a late-model convertible with First and Second Murderers


Senior Member
‘A sour old beldame with a face of curds welcomed us, thank you,’ he said. ‘ ”Howdy-do,” she told me, “I hope I see you alive when I come back in the morning and your dinner’s on the sideboard.” Saying which, she departed in a late-model convertible with First and Second Murderers.’
Context: a rude housekeeper welcomed the speaker into the house right before leaving. He's now retelling his experience. And no, the woman did not literally committed any kind of murder, or is affiliated with any murderer.

I don't get the part in bold. Is there a reference of some sort or some kind of mockery here?

Source: The Haunting of Hill House
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    The "late-model convertible" is meant literally. The car she drove off in was a convertible, of recent design.

    I am not entirely sure the speaker was thinking of Macbeth (although this is where the characters of First/Second/Third Murderer come from), but he clearly didn't like the look of any of the three people, and thought they looked the type of person who could commit murder.
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