en-es  The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Chapter VI
LA INDAGATORIA Antes de la indagación, Poirot estaba persistente en su actividad.

Dos veces se reunió en privado con el Sr. Wells.

También tomó largos paseos por el campo. Estaba bastante ofendido porque no me hacía confidencias, sobre todo porque no podía adivinar ni un poco hacia donde apuntaba.

Se me ocurrió que posiblemente había investigado en la granja de Raikes; entonces, como no estaba en casa cuando llegué a Leastways Cottage el miércoles por la tarde, caminé hacia allí por los campos, esperando encontrarle.

Pero no había ningún rastro de él, y dudé en ir a la granja directamente.

Mientras me alejaba, encontré un viejo campesino, que me sonrió maliciosamente.

"Es usted de la Casa, ¿verdad?". preguntó.

''Sí. Estoy buscando a un amigo que pensaba que había pasado por aquí''.

''¿Un hombre pequeño? ¿Que mueve las manos cuando habla? ¿Uno de esos Belgas del pueblo?''.

''Sí'', dije ávidamente. ''¿Ha estado aquí, entonces?''.

''Oh sí, ha estado aquí, de verdad. Más de una vez, también. ¿Amigo suyo? Ah, ustedes los señores de la Casa... ¡son un grupo raro!''.

Y me miró con malicia y más jocosamente que antes.

"¿Por qué los caballeros de la casa vienen aquí con frecuencia?", pregunté, tan despreocupado como pude.

Me guiñó el ojo astutamente.

"Uno sí que viene, señor. Sin nombrar a nadie, cuidado. ¡Y un caballero muy generoso también! Oh, gracias, señor, seguro".

Seguí caminando bruscamente. Entonces, Evelyn Howard estaba en lo cierto y experimenté una punzada de disgusto, al pensar en la generosidad de Alfred Inglethorp con el dinero de otra mujer.

¿Había estado esa cara gitana picante en la base del crimen, o la causa principal era el aspecto más vil del dinero?. Probablemente una mezcla sensata de ambos.

En un punto, Poirot parecía tener una obsesión extraña.

Me dijo una o dos veces que pensaba que Dorcas había hecho un error determinando la hora de la pelea.

Le sugirió varias veces que eran las 4.30 y no las 4 cuando ella escuchó las voces.

Pero Dorcas no cambiaba. Había pasado una hora o más entre el momento cuando había oído las voces y eran las 5 cuando había llevado su té a la señora.

La indagatoria se llevó a cabo el viernes en las Stylites Arms en el pueblo. Poirot y yo nos sentamos juntos, no estabamos obligados a prestar testimonio.

Las preliminares pasaron. El jurado vio el cuerpo, y John Cavendish lo identificó.

Interrogado más tarde, describió como se despertó en las primeras horas de la madrugada y las circunstancias de la muerte de su madre.

La declaración médica se produjo a continuación.

Hubo un silencio sepulcral, y todas las miradas se fijaron en el famoso especialista de Londres, que era conocido por ser una de las mayores autoridades del momento en el tema de la toxicología.

En breves palabras, resumió el resultado de la autopsia.

Despojadas de su fraseología médica y tecnicismos, equivalía al hecho de que la Sra. Inglethorp había encontrado la muerte como resultado de una intoxicación por estricnina.

A juzgar por la cantidad recuperada, debió haber tomado no menos de tres cuartas partes de un grano de estricnina, pero probablemente un grano o un poco más.

"¿Es posible que ella hubiera tomado el veneno por accidente?", preguntó el juez.

"Lo considero muy poco probable. La estricnina no se usa para fines domésticos, como algunos venenos, y existen restricciones a su venta".

"¿No hay nada en su examen que lo lleve a determinar cómo se administró el veneno?".

"No".

"¿Usted llegó a Styles antes que el Dr. Wilkins, creo?".

"Así es. Me encontré el coche justo fuera de la verja de la casa de campo, y me apresuré allí tan rápido como pude".

¿Quiere explicarnos exactamente qué sucedió después?".

"Entré en la habitación de la Sra. Inglethorp. En ese momento estaba con una convulsión tetánica típica. Ella se giró hacia mí, y gritó: 'Alfred-Alfred ...'". "¿Se podría haber administrado la estricnina con el café de la señora Inglethorp de después de la cena, que le llevó su marido?".

"Es posible, pero la estricnina es una droga de acción bastante rápida.

Los síntomas aparecen de una a dos horas después de haberse tomado. Se retarda bajo ciertas condiciones, sin embargo, ninguna de ellas, parecen haber estado presentes en este caso. Supongo que la Sra. Inglethorp tomó el café después de la cena alrededor de las ocho, mientras que los síntomas no se manifestaron hasta las primeras horas de la madrugada, lo que, a primera vista, indica que la droga se había tomado mucho más tarde por la noche".

"La Sra. Inglethorp tenía la costumbre de tomar una taza de chocolate a mitad de la noche.

¿Podría haberse administrado la estricnina con eso?".

''No, personalmente tomé una muestra del chocolate restante en la cazuela y la tuve analizada.

No había estricnina presente''.

Oyé Poirot reír suavemente a mi lado.

''¿Cómo lo sabía?''. susurré.

''Escuche''.

''Podría decir''...siguió el doctor...'' que cualquier otro resultado me hubiera sorprendido mucho''.

''¿Porqué?''.

''Simplemente porque la estricnina tiene un inusual gusto muy amargo.

Se puede detectar en una solución de 1 en 70 000, y solo puede ser disfrazada en una sustancia de sabor fuerte. El chocolate no podría disfrazarla''.

Uno del jurado quiso saber si la misma objeción era aplicable al café.

"No. El café tiene un gusto amargo propio de él que probablemente cubriría el gusto de la estricnina".

"Entonces considera usted más probable que la droga fue puesta en el café, pero que por alguna razón desconocida su acción fue retrasada".

"Sí, pero, estando la taza completamente rota, no hubo ninguna posibilidad de analizar su contenido".

Esto puso fin a la declaración del Dr. Bauerstein. El Doctor Wilkins la corroboró en todas sus partes.

Interrogado en cuanto a la posibilidad de suicidio, él lo rechazó completamente.

La difunta, dijo, tenía un corazón débil, pero por lo demás disfrutaba de una salud perfecta, y era de una naturaleza alegre y bien equilibrada.

Sería una de las últimas personas en quitarse la vida.

A continuación fue llamado Lawrence Cavendish.

Su declaración no tuvo importancia, fue una mera repetición de la de su hermano.

En el momento en que se retiraba, se detuvo, y dijo más bien con vacilación: "¿Podría hacer una sugerencia?".

Miró al Juez de instrucción, como disculpándose, quien contestó con bríos: " Seguramente, Sr. Cavendish, debemos aquí llegar a la verdad de este asunto y dar la bienvenida a algo que puede dar lugar a un nuevo esclarecimiento.

"Es sólo una idea mía", explicó Lawrence. "Por supuesto puedo estar bastante equivocado, pero todavía me parece que la muerte de mi madre podría ser explicada por medios naturales".

"¿Cómo se la explica usted, señor Cavendish?".

"Mi madre, en el momento de su muerte y desde hace algún tiempo antes de ella, tomaba un tónico que contenía estricnina".

"¡Ah!", dijo el Juez de instrucción.

El jurado levantó la vista, interesado.

"Creo'', siguió Lawrence, ''que ha habido casos en los el efecto acumulado de una droga, administrada durante algún tiempo, terminó causando la muerte.

¿No habría sido posible también, que sin querer, hubiera tomado una sobredosis de su medicina?".

''Es la primera vez que he escuchado que la difunta tomaba estricnina al momento de su muerte.

Le estamos muy agradecidos, Sr. Cavendish''.

El Dr. Wilkins fue llamado otra vez y ridiculizó la idea.

''Lo que sugiere el Sr. Cavendish es totalmente imposible. Cualquier médico podría decir lo mismo. La estricnina es, en cierto sentido, un veneno acumulativo, pero sería realmente imposible para de esta manera resultar en la muerte súbita.

Hubiera habido un período largo de síntomas crónicos que inmediatamente hubieran atraído mi atención. Todo este tema es absurdo.

''¿Y la segunda sugestión? ¿Que la Sra Inglethorp hubiera tomado una sobredosis sin darse cuenta?''.

''Tres, o hasta cuatro dosis, no habrían resultado en la muerte. La Sra Inglethorp siempre tenía un montón de medicinas preparadas a la vez, como trataba con Coot, el boticario en Tadminster.

Habría debido tomar casi una botella completa para explicar la cantidad de estricnina encontrada en la autopsia''.

''¿Entonces considería que podemos descartar el tónico por no tener de ninguna manera, un papel decisivo en causar su muerte?.

''Seguro. La suposición es ridícula''.

El mismo miembro del jurado que había interrumpido antes sugirió que el farmacéutico que preparó la medicina podría haber cometido un error.

"Eso, por supuesto, siempre es posible", respondió el doctor.

Pero Dorcas, que fue la siguiente testigo llamada, disipó incluso esa posibilidad. El medicamento no se había preparado recientemente.

Al contrario, la Sra. Inglethorp había tomado la última dosis el día de su muerte.

Así que la cuestión del tónico finalmente se abandonó, y el juez prosiguió con su tarea. Después de haber recabado de Dorcas que la había despertado el violento sonido de la campanilla de su señora, y que a continuación había despertado a toda la casa, pasó al tema de la pelea de la tarde anterior.

La declaración de Dorcas sobre este punto fue sustancialmente lo que Poirot y yo ya habíamos escuchado, por lo que no lo repetiré aquí.

El siguiente testigo fue Mary Cavendish.

Se mantuvo muy erguida, y habló en voz baja, clara y absolutamente serena.

En respuesta a la pregunta del juez, contó cómo, su despertador la había despertado a las 4.30 como de costumbre, se estaba vistiendo, cuando se sobresaltó por el sonido de algo pesado que se cayó.

"¿Habría sido la mesa próxima a la cama?", comentó el juez de instrucción.

''Abrí mi puerta'' siguió Mary, ''y escuché.

En pocos minutos, una campana sonó violentamente. Dorcas llegó corriendo y despertó a mi marido, y todos fuimos a la habitación de mi suegra, pero estaba cerrada...''.

El juez de instrucción la interrumpió.

''Realmente, pienso que no necesitemos molestarle más sobre eso. Conocemos todo lo que se puede saber de los hechos subsiguientes. Pero le estaría agradecido si pudiera decirnos todo lo que escuchó de la pelea del día anterior..

''¿Yo?''. Había una insolencia débil en su voz.

Levantó la mano y arregló las arrugas de encaje en su cuello, volviendo un poco la cabeza al hacerlo.

Y de manera muy espontánea, el pensamiento cruzó por mi mente: "¡Está ganando tiempo!".

"Sí. Entiendo", continuó deliberadamente el juez, "que estaba sentada leyendo en el banco, justo afuera de la larga ventana del tocador. Es así, ¿verdad?".

Esto era nuevo para mí y, mirando de reojo a Poirot, me imaginé que también era nuevo para él.

Hubo la más leve pausa, la mera duda de un momento, antes de que ella respondiera: "Sí, así es".

"Y la ventana del tocador estaba abierta, ¿no es así?".

Seguramente su rostro se puso un poco más pálido cuando respondió: "Sí".

"Entonces no pudo dejar de escuchar las voces del interior, especialmente cuando fueron pronunciadas con ira. De hecho, se oirían mejor donde estaba que en el vestíbulo".

"Posiblemente".

"¿Quiere repetirnos lo que oyó de la pelea?".

"En realidad no recuerdo haber escuchado nada".

"¿Quiere decir que no escuchó voces?".

"Oh, sí, oí las voces, pero no escuché lo que decían". Un leve rubor apareció en sus mejillas. "No tengo la costumbre de escuchar conversaciones privadas".

El juez insistió.

"¿Y no recuerda nada en absoluto? ¿Nada, Sra. Cavendish? ¿Ni una sola palabra perdida o frase que le hiciera darse cuenta que era una conversación privada?".


Hizo una pausa, y pareció reflexionar, aún exteriormente más serena que nunca.

Sí, recuerdo. La Sra. Inglethorp dijo algo, no recuerdo exactamente qué, acerca de causar escándalo entre marido y mujer".

"¡Ah!", el juez se recostó satisfecho. "Eso concuerda con lo que Dorcas oyó.

Pero perdóneme, Sra. Cavendish, aunque usted comprendió que ello era una conversación privada, ¿no se alejó?

¿Permaneció donde estaba?".

Cuando ella levantó sus ojos castaños, atrapé en ellos un destello momentáneo.

Comprendí que en aquel momento, de buen grado habría destrozado al pequeño abogado, con sus insinuaciones, pero respondió tranquilamente: "No. Estaba muy cómoda allí. Fijé mi mente en mi libro".

"¿Y eso es todo lo que usted puede decirnos?".

"Eso es todo".

El interrogatorio terminó, aunque dudé si el juez de instrucción estaba completamente satisfecho por ello.

Creo que sospechaba que María Cavendish podría contar más si ella hubiese querido.

Después fue llamada Amy Hill, empleada de comercio, y declaró haber vendido un impreso para testamento durante la tarde del 17 a William Earl, jardinero menor en Styles.

William Earl y Manning lo sucedieron y declararon haber firmado un documento como testigos. Manning fijó la hora en aproximadamente las 4.30, William era de la opinión que era más bien más temprano.

Cynthia Murdoch vino después. Tenía, sin embargo, poco que decir. Ella no conocía nada de la tragedia, hasta que fue despertada por la Sra. Cavendish.

"¿Usted no oyó la caída de la mesa?".

"No. Estaba profundamente dormida".

El juez de instrucción sonrió.

Una conciencia buena hace un buen durmiente", observó él. "Gracias, Srta. Murdoch, eso es todo".

"Srta. Howard".

La Srta. Howard mostró la carta que le había escrito la Sra. Inglethorp durante la tarde del 17. Poirot y yo, por supuesto, ya la habíamos visto. No añadió nada a nuestro conocimiento de la tragedia.

Fue entregada al jurado que la examinó con atención.

"Temo no nos ayude mucho", dijo el Juez de instrucción, con un suspiro.

"No hay ninguna mención de los acontecimientos de aquella tarde".

"Para mí está más claro que el agua", dijo la Srta. Howard brevemente.

"¡La carta demuestra bastante claramente que mi pobre vieja amiga acababa de enterarse que había hecho el ridículo!".

"No dice nada por el estilo en la carta", señaló el juez de instrucción.

"No, porque Emily nunca podría soportar el poner que se equivocó. Pero yo la conocía. Quería que volviese. Pero no quería admitir que estuve en lo correcto.

Ella daba rodeos. Mucha gente lo hace. Yo mismo no creo en esta manera''.

El Sr. Wells sonrió débilmente. Noté que varios del jurado hicieron lo mismo. La Srta. Howard era claramente un personaje público.

"De todos modos, toda esta tontería es una gran pérdida de tiempo", continuó la dama, mirando al jurado de arriba abajo con desprecio.


"¡Hablar, hablar, hablar! Cuando todos sabemos perfectamente ...". El juez la interrumpió con aprensión: "Gracias, señorita Howard, eso es todo".

Creo que dejó escapar un suspiro de alivio cuando ella obedeció.

Luego llegó la sensación del día.

El juez llamó a Albert Mace, auxiliar de farmacia.

Era nuestro joven agitado de cara pálida.

En respuesta a las preguntas del juez, explicó que era un farmacéutico cualificado, pero que había llegado recientemente a esta tienda en particular, ya que el asistente anterior había sido reclutado por el ejército.

Terminados estos preliminares, el juez procedió con el tema.

"Señor Mace, ¿ha vendido estricnina recientemente a alguna persona no autorizada?".

"Sí, señor".

"¿Cuándo fue esto?".

"El lunes pasado por la noche".

"¿El lunes? ¿No el martes?".

"No, señor, el lunes 16".

"¿Quiere decirnos a quién se la vendió?".

No se oía ni una mosca.

"Sí, señor. Fue al Sr. Inglethorp".

Todos los ojos se volvieron simultáneamente hacia donde Alfred Inglethorp estaba sentado, impasible y rígido.

Inició un leve movimiento, cuando las palabras incriminatorias salieron de los labios del joven.

Casi pensé que iba a levantarse de su silla, pero permaneció sentado, aunque una expresión de asombro, notablemente bien actuada, apareció en su rostro.

"¿Está seguro de lo que dice?", preguntó el juez con gradaved.

"Completamente seguro, señor".

"Tiene el hábito de vender estricnina sin discriminación en el mostrador?".

El desventurado joven se debilitaba visiblemente bajo el ceño del Juez de instrucción.

"Oh, no, señor, por supuesto que no. Pero, viendo que era el Sr. Inglethorp de la Casa, pensé que no había ningún daño en ello. Dijo que era para envenenar un perro".

Interiormente comprendí. Era muy humano esforzarse por ayudar a "La Casa", especialmente cuando ello podría resultar que dejaran de ser clientes del establecimiento local de Coot.

¿No es costumbre para los que compran veneno firmar en un libro?".

"Sí, señor, el Sr. Inglethorp firmó".

"¿Tiene usted el libro aquí?".

"Sí, señor".

El libro fue mostrado; y, con unas palabras de severa censura, el juez de instrucción despidió al desventurado Sr. Mace.

Entonces, en medio de un silencio absoluto, fue llamado Alfred Inglethorp.

¿Me pregunté si se daba cuenta de a qué punto el cabestro estaba contra su cuello?

El juez fue directo al punto.

''¿En la tarde del pasado lunes, compró usted estricnina para envenenar a un perro?''.

Inglethorp contestó con calma perfecta: ''No, no lo hice. No hay ningún perro en Styles, excepto un pastor fuera, que tiene una salud perfecta''.

'¿Usted niega absolutamente haber comprado estricnina a Albert Mace el lunes pasado?''.

''Sí''.

''¿También niega esto?''.

El juez le dio el registro donde su firma estaba escrita.

''Ciertamente. La letra es diferente de la mía. Se lo mostraré''.

Sacó un viejo sobre del bolsillo y escribió su nombre en él, entregándolo al jurado. Sin duda era completamente diferente.

"Entonces, ¿cuál es su explicación de la declaración del Sr. Mace?".

Alfred Inglethorp respondió imperturbablemente: "El señor Mace debe haberse equivocado".

El juez dudó un momento y luego dijo: "Sr. Inglethorp, por pura cuestión de forma, ¿le importaría decirnos dónde estuvo la tarde del lunes 16 de julio?".

"Realmente, no puedo recordarlo".

"Eso es absurdo, Sr. Inglethorp", dijo el juez bruscamente. "Piense otra vez".

Inglethorp negó con la cabeza.

"No puedo decírle. Tengo la idea de que estaba paseando".

"¿En qué dirección?".

"Realmente no puedo recordarlo".

La cara del juez se volvió más grave.

"¿Estaba en compañía de alguien?".

"No".

"¿Se encontró a alguien en su paseo?".

"No".

"Es una pena", dijo el juez secamente.

"Debo entender entonces que usted se niega a decir dónde estaba en el momento en que el Sr. Mace le reconoció positivamente como quien entró a la tienda para comprar estricnina".

"Si quiere tomarlo de esa manera, sí".

"Tenga cuidado, Sr. Inglethorp".

Poirot estaba inquieto, nervioso.

"¡Sacre!", murmuró. ¿Este imbécil quiere ser arrestado?".

En efecto, Inglethorp estaba causando una mala impresión.

Sus inútiles negaciones no habrían convencido a un niño.

Sin embargo, el juez pasó rápidamente al siguiente punto y Poirot dió un gran respiro de alivio.

"¿Tuvo una discusión con su esposa el martes por la tarde?''.

''Perdón'' interrumpió Alfred Inglethorp, '' ha sido mal informado.

No me peleé con mi querida esposa. Toda la historia es totalmente falsa.

Estuve ausente de la casa toda la tarde''.

"¿Hay alguien que pueda atestiguar eso?".

"Tiene usted mi palabra", dijo Inglethorp altivamente.

El juez de instrucción no se molestó en responder.

"Hay dos testigos que juraron haber oído su desacuerdo con la Sra. Inglethorp".

"Esos testigos estaban equivocados".

Yo estaba desconcertado. El hombre hablaba con tal tranquila seguridad que yo estaba estupefacto.

Miré a Poirot. Había una expresión de regocijo en su cara que no pude comprender.

¿Estaría después de todo, convencido de la culpabilidad de Alfred INglethorp?

''Sr.Inglethorp'', dijo el juez, ''ha escuchado las últimas palabras de su esposa repetidas aquí.

¿Puede usted explicarlas de alguna manera?''.

''Ciertamente que puedo''. ''¿Puede usted?''.

''Me parece muy simple

La habitación estaba débilmente iluminada.

La altura y la constitución del Dr. Bauerstein es muy parecida a la mía y, como yo, tiene barba.

En la luz débil, y como estaba sufriendo, mi pobre esposa lo confundio conmigo''.

''¡Ah!'', murmuró Poirot a sí mismo. ''¡Pero eso es una idea!''.

''¿Piensa que es la verdad?'' susurré.

"No digo eso. Pero es de verdad una suposición ingeniosa''.

"Interpreta las últimas palabras de mi esposa como una acusación", Inglethorp continuó, "eran, por el contrario, una llamada para mí".

El juez reflexionó un momento, luego dijo: "Creo, Sr. Inglethorp, que usted mismo sirvió el café y se lo llevó a su esposa esa noche".

"Lo serví, sí".

Pero no lo llevé.

Quería hacerlo, pero me dijeron que había un amigo en la puerta del pasillo, así que dejé el café en la mesa del vestíbulo.

Cuando volví por el pasillo unos minutos después, ya no estaba".

Esta declaración podría ser cierta o no, pero no me pareció que mejorara mucho las cosas para Inglethorp.

En cualquier caso, había tenido tiempo de sobra para introducir el veneno.

En ese momento, Poirot me dio un suave empujón, para indicarme que había dos hombres sentados cerca de la puerta.

Uno era un hombre pequeño, fuerte, moreno, con cara de hurón, el otro era alto y rubio.

Pregunté a Poirot en silencio.

Acercó sus labios a mi oído.

¿Sabe usted quién es ese hombre menudo?".

Negué con la cabeza.

"Es, Jimmy Japp, detective inspector de Scotland Yard.

El otro también es de Scotland Yard.

Las cosas van muy deprisa, amigo mío".

Miré a los dos hombres con atención.

Ciertamente no había nada policial en ellos.

Nunca hubiera sospechado que ellos fueran personajes oficiales.

Todavía seguía mirándolos, cuando me sobresaltó oír el veredicto dado:"Asesinato cometido por alguna persona o personas desconocidas".
unit 1
THE INQUEST In the interval before the inquest, Poirot was unfailing in his activity.
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Twice he was closeted with Mr. Wells.
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He also took long walks into the country.
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But there was no sign of him, and I hesitated to go right up to the farm itself.
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As I walked away, I met an aged rustic, who leered at me cunningly.
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"You'm from the Hall, bain't you?"
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he asked.
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"Yes.
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I'm looking for a friend of mine whom I thought might have walked this way."
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"A little chap?
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As waves his hands when he talks?
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One of them Belgies from the village?"
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"Yes," I said eagerly.
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"He has been here, then?"
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"Oh, ay, he's been here, right enough.
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More'n once too.
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Friend of yours, is he?
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Ah, you gentlemen from the Hall—you'n a pretty lot!".
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And he leered more jocosely than ever.
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"Why, do the gentlemen from the Hall come here often?"
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I asked, as carelessly as I could.
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unit 24
He winked at me knowingly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 25
"One does, mister.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 26
Naming no names, mind.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 27
And a very liberal gentleman too!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 28
Oh, thank you, sir, I'm sure."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 29
I walked on sharply.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 31
unit 32
Probably a judicious mixture of both.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 33
On one point, Poirot seemed to have a curious obsession.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 35
He suggested to her repeatedly that it was 4.30, and not 4 o'clock when she had heard the voices.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 36
But Dorcas was unshaken.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 38
The inquest was held on Friday at the Stylites Arms in the village.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 39
Poirot and I sat together, not being required to give evidence.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 40
The preliminaries were gone through.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 41
The jury viewed the body, and John Cavendish gave evidence of identification.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 43
The medical evidence was next taken.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 45
In a few brief words, he summed up the result of the post-mortem.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 48
"Is it possible that she could have swallowed the poison by accident?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 49
asked the Coroner.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 50
"I should consider it very unlikely.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 52
"Does anything in your examination lead you to determine how the poison was administered?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 53
"No."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 54
"You arrived at Styles before Dr.Wilkins, I believe?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 55
"That is so.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 56
The motor met me just outside the lodge gates, and I hurried there as fast as I could."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 57
"Will you relate to us exactly what happened next?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 58
"I entered Mrs. Inglethorp's room.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 59
She was at that moment in a typical tetanic convulsion.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 61
"Possibly, but strychnine is a fairly rapid drug in its action.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 62
The symptoms appear from one to two hours after it has been swallowed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 65
"Mrs. Inglethorp was in the habit of drinking a cup of coco in the middle of the night.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 66
Could the strychnine have been administered in that?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 67
"No, I myself took a sample of the coco remaining in the saucepan and had it analysed.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 68
There was no strychnine present."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 69
I heard Poirot chuckle softly beside me.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 70
"How did you know?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 71
I whispered.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 72
"Listen."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 74
"Why?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 75
"Simply because strychnine has an unusually bitter taste.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 77
Coco would be quite powerless to mask it."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 78
One of the jury wanted to know if the same objection applied to coffee.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 79
"No.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 80
Coffee has a bitter taste of its own which would probably cover the taste of strychnine."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 82
"Yes, but, the cup being completely smashed, there is no possibility of analyzing its contents."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 83
This concluded Dr.Bauerstein's evidence.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 84
Dr.Wilkins corroborated it on all points.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 85
Sounded as to the possibility of suicide, he repudiated it utterly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 87
She would be one of the last people to take her own life.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 88
Lawrence Cavendish was next called.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 89
His evidence was quite unimportant, being a mere repetition of that of his brother.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 92
"It is just an idea of mine," explained Lawrence.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 94
"How do you make that out, Mr.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 95
Cavendish?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 97
"Ah!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 98
said the Coroner.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 99
The jury looked up, interested.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 101
Also, is it not possible that she may have taken an overdose of her medicine by accident?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 102
"This is the first we have heard of the deceased taking strychnine at the time of her death.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 103
We are much obliged to you, Mr.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 104
Cavendish."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 105
Dr. Wilkins was recalled and ridiculed the idea.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 106
"What Mr. Cavendish suggests is quite impossible.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 107
Any doctor would tell you the same.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 109
unit 110
The whole thing is absurd."
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 111
"And the second suggestion?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 112
That Mrs. Inglethorp may have inadvertently taken an overdose?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 113
"Three, or even four doses, would not have resulted in death.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 117
"Certainly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 118
The supposition is ridiculous."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 120
"That, of course, is always possible," replied the doctor.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 121
But Dorcas, who was the next witness called, dispelled even that possibility.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 122
The medicine had not been newly made up.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 123
On the contrary, Mrs. Inglethorp had taken the last dose on the day of her death.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 124
So the question of the tonic was finally abandoned, and the Coroner proceeded with his task.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 127
The next witness was Mary Cavendish.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 128
She stood very upright, and spoke in a low, clear, and perfectly composed voice.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 130
"That would have been the table by the bed?"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 131
commented the Coroner.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 132
"I opened my door," continued Mary, "and listened.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 133
In a few minutes a bell rang violently.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 135
The Coroner interrupted her.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 136
"I really do not think we need trouble you further on that point.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 137
We know all that can be known of the subsequent happenings.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 138
But I should be obliged if you would tell us all you overheard of the quarrel the day before."
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 139
"I?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 140
There was a faint insolence in her voice.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 141
unit 142
And quite spontaneously the thought flashed across my mind: "She is gaining time!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 143
"Yes.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 145
That is so, is it not?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 146
This was news to me and glancing sideways at Poirot, I fancied that it was news to him as well.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 147
unit 148
"And the boudoir window was open, was it not?"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 149
Surely her face grew a little paler as she answered: "Yes."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 150
"Then you cannot have failed to hear the voices inside, especially as they were raised in anger.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 151
In fact, they would be more audible where you were than in the hall."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 152
"Possibly."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 153
"Will you repeat to us what you overheard of the quarrel?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 154
"I really do not remember hearing anything."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 155
"Do you mean to say you did not hear voices?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 156
"Oh, yes, I heard the voices, but I did not hear what they said."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 157
A faint spot of colour came into her cheek.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 158
"I am not in the habit of listening to private conversations."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 159
The Coroner persisted.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 160
"And you remember nothing at all?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 161
Nothing, Mrs. Cavendish?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 162
Not one stray word or phrase to make you realize that it was a private conversation?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 163
She paused, and seemed to reflect, still outwardly as calm as ever.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 164
"Yes; I remember.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 166
"Ah!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 167
the Coroner leant back satisfied.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 168
"That corresponds with what Dorcas heard.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 170
You remained where you were?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 171
I caught the momentary gleam of her tawny eyes as she raised them.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 173
I was very comfortable where I was.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 174
I fixed my mind on my book."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 175
"And that is all you can tell us?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 176
"That is all."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 177
The examination was over, though I doubted if the Coroner was entirely satisfied with it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 178
I think he suspected that Mary Cavendish could tell more if she chose.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 180
William Earl and Manning succeeded her, and testified to witnessing a document.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 181
Manning fixed the time at about 4.30, William was of the opinion that it was rather earlier.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 182
Cynthia Murdoch came next.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 183
She had, however, little to tell.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 184
She had known nothing of the tragedy, until awakened by Mrs. Cavendish.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 185
"You did not hear the table fall?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 186
"No.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 187
I was fast asleep."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 188
The Coroner smiled.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 189
"A good conscience makes a sound sleeper," he observed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 190
"Thank you, Miss Murdoch, that is all."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 191
"Miss Howard."
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 192
Miss Howard produced the letter written to her by Mrs. Inglethorp on the evening of the 17th.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 193
Poirot and I had, of course already seen it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 194
It added nothing to our knowledge of the tragedy.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 195
It was handed to the jury who scrutinized it attentively.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 196
"I fear it does not help us much," said the Coroner, with a sigh.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 197
"There is no mention of any of the events of that afternoon."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 198
"Plain as a pikestaff to me," said Miss Howard shortly.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 199
"It shows clearly enough that my poor old friend had just found out she'd been made a fool of!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 200
"It says nothing of the kind in the letter," the Coroner pointed out.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 201
"No, because Emily never could bear to put herself in the wrong.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 202
But I know her.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 203
She wanted me back.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 204
But she wasn't going to own that I'd been right.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 205
She went round about.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 206
Most people do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 207
Don't believe in it myself."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 208
Mr. Wells smiled faintly.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 209
So, I noticed, did several of the jury.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 210
Miss Howard was obviously quite a public character.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 212
"Talk—talk—talk!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 214
I fancy he breathed a sigh of relief when she complied.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 215
Then came the sensation of the day.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 216
The Coroner called Albert Mace, chemist's assistant.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 217
It was our agitated young man of the pale face.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 219
These preliminaries completed, the Coroner proceeded to business.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 220
"Mr. Mace, have you lately sold strychnine to any unauthorized person?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 221
"Yes, sir."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 222
"When was this?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 223
"Last Monday night."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 224
"Monday?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 225
Not Tuesday?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 226
"No, sir, Monday, the 16th."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 227
"Will you tell us to whom you sold it?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 228
You could have heard a pin drop.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 229
"Yes, sir.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 230
It was to Mr.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 231
Inglethorp."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 232
Every eye turned simultaneously to where Alfred Inglethorp was sitting, impassive and wooden.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 233
He started slightly, as the damning words fell from the young man's lips.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 235
"You are sure of what you say?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 236
asked the Coroner sternly.
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 237
"Quite sure, sir."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 238
"Are you in the habit of selling strychnine indiscriminately over the counter?"
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 239
The wretched young man wilted visibly under the Coroner's frown.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 240
"Oh, no, sir—of course not.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 241
But, seeing it was Mr. Inglethorp of the Hall, I thought there was no harm in it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 242
He said it was to poison a dog."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 243
Inwardly I sympathized.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 245
"Is it not customary for anyone purchasing poison to sign a book?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 246
"Yes, sir, Mr. Inglethorp did so."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 247
"Have you got the book here?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 248
"Yes, sir."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 249
unit 250
Then, amidst a breathless silence, Alfred Inglethorp was called.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 251
Did he realize, I wondered, how closely the halter was being drawn around his neck?.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 252
The Coroner went straight to the point.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 253
"On Monday evening last, did you purchase strychnine for the purpose of poisoning a dog?".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 254
Inglethorp replied with perfect calmness: "No, I did not.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 255
There is no dog at Styles, except an outdoor sheepdog, which is in perfect health.".
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 256
"You deny absolutely having purchased strychnine from Albert Mace on Monday last?"
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 257
"I do."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 258
"Do you also deny this?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 259
The Coroner handed him the register in which his signature was inscribed.
4 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 260
"Certainly I do.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 261
The hand-writing is quite different from mine.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 262
I will show you."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 263
He took an old envelope out of his pocket, and wrote his name on it, handing it to the jury.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 264
It was certainly utterly dissimilar.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 265
"Then what is your explanation of Mr. Mace's statement?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 266
Alfred Inglethorp replied imperturbably: "Mr. Mace must have been mistaken."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 268
"Really—I can't remember."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 269
"That is absurd, Mr. Inglethorp," said the Coroner sharply.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 270
"Think again."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 271
Inglethorp shook his head.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 272
"I cannot tell you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 273
I have an idea that I was out walking."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 274
"In what direction?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 275
"I really can't remember."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 276
The Coroner's face grew graver.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 277
"Were you in company with anyone?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 278
"No."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 279
"Did you meet anyone on your walk?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 280
"No."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 281
"That is a pity," said the Coroner dryly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 283
"If you like to take it that way, yes."
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"Be careful, Mr.
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Inglethorp."
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unit 286
Poirot was fidgeting nervously.
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"Sacre!"
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he murmured.
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"Does this imbecile of a man want to be arrested?".
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Inglethorp was indeed creating a bad impression.
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His futile denials would not have convinced a child.
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The Coroner, however, passed briskly to the next point, and Poirot drew a deep breath of relief.
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"You had a discussion with your wife on Tuesday afternoon?".
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"Pardon me," interrupted Alfred Inglethorp, "you have been misinformed.
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I had no quarrel with my dear wife.
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The whole story is absolutely untrue.
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I was absent from the house the entire afternoon."
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"Have you anyone who can testify to that?".
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"You have my word," said Inglethorp haughtily.
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The Coroner did not trouble to reply.
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"There are two witnesses who will swear to having heard your disagreement with Mrs.
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Inglethorp.".
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"Those witnesses were mistaken.".
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I was puzzled.
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The man spoke with such quiet assurance that I was staggered.
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I looked at Poirot.
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There was an expression of exultation on his face which I could not understand.
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Was he at last convinced of Alfred Inglethorp's guilt?.
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"Mr. Inglethorp," said the Coroner, "you have heard your wife's dying words repeated here.
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Can you explain them in any way?".
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"Certainly I can."
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"You can?".
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"It seems to me very simple.
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The room was dimly lighted.
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Dr. Bauerstein is much of my height and build, and, like me, wears a beard.
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In the dim light, and suffering as she was, my poor wife mistook him for me."
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"Ah!"
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murmured Poirot to himself.
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"But it is an idea, that!".
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"You think it is true?"
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I whispered.
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"I do not say that.
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But it is truly an ingenious supposition.".
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"I poured it out, yes.
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But I did not take it to her.
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When I came through the hall again a few minutes later, it was gone."
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In any case, he had had ample time to introduce the poison.
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At that point, Poirot nudged me gently, indicating two men who were sitting together near the door.
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One was a little, sharp, dark, ferret-faced man, the other was tall and fair.
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I questioned Poirot mutely.
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He put his lips to my ear.
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"Do you know who that little man is?"
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I shook my head.
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"That is Detective Inspector James Japp of Scotland Yard—Jimmy Japp.
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The other man is from Scotland Yard too.
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Things are moving quickly, my friend."
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I stared at the two men intently.
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There was certainly nothing of the policeman about them.
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I should never have suspected them of being official personages.
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THE INQUEST

In the interval before the inquest, Poirot was unfailing in his activity.

Twice he was closeted with Mr. Wells.

He also took long walks into the country. I rather resented his not taking me into his confidence, the more so as I could not in the least guess what he was driving at.

It occurred to me that he might have been making inquiries at Raikes's farm; so, finding him out when I called at Leastways Cottage on Wednesday evening, I walked over there by the fields, hoping to meet him.

But there was no sign of him, and I hesitated to go right up to the farm itself.

As I walked away, I met an aged rustic, who leered at me cunningly.

"You'm from the Hall, bain't you?" he asked.

"Yes. I'm looking for a friend of mine whom I thought might have walked this way."

"A little chap? As waves his hands when he talks? One of them Belgies from the village?"

"Yes," I said eagerly. "He has been here, then?"

"Oh, ay, he's been here, right enough. More'n once too. Friend of yours, is he? Ah, you gentlemen from the Hall—you'n a pretty lot!".

And he leered more jocosely than ever.

"Why, do the gentlemen from the Hall come here often?" I asked, as carelessly as I could.

He winked at me knowingly.

"One does, mister. Naming no names, mind. And a very liberal gentleman too! Oh, thank you, sir, I'm sure."

I walked on sharply. Evelyn Howard had been right then, and I experienced a sharp twinge of disgust, as I thought of Alfred Inglethorp's liberality with another woman's money.

Had that piquant gipsy face been at the bottom of the crime, or was it the baser mainspring of money? Probably a judicious mixture of both.

On one point, Poirot seemed to have a curious obsession.

He once or twice observed to me that he thought Dorcas must have made an error in fixing the time of the quarrel.

He suggested to her repeatedly that it was 4.30, and not 4 o'clock when she had heard the voices.

But Dorcas was unshaken. Quite an hour, or even more, had elapsed between the time when she had heard the voices and 5 o'clock, when she had taken tea to her mistress.

The inquest was held on Friday at the Stylites Arms in the village. Poirot and I sat together, not being required to give evidence.

The preliminaries were gone through. The jury viewed the body, and John Cavendish gave evidence of identification.

Further questioned, he described his awakening in the early hours of the morning, and the circumstances of his mother's death.

The medical evidence was next taken.

There was a breathless hush, and every eye was fixed on the famous London specialist, who was known to be one of the greatest authorities of the day on the subject of toxicology.

In a few brief words, he summed up the result of the post-mortem.

Shorn of its medical phraseology and technicalities, it amounted to the fact that Mrs. Inglethorp had met her death as the result of strychnine poisoning.

Judging from the quantity recovered, she must have taken not less than three-quarters of a grain of strychnine, but probably one grain or slightly over.

"Is it possible that she could have swallowed the poison by accident?" asked the Coroner.

"I should consider it very unlikely. Strychnine is not used for domestic purposes, as some poisons are, and there are restrictions placed on its sale."

"Does anything in your examination lead you to determine how the poison was administered?"

"No."

"You arrived at Styles before Dr.Wilkins, I believe?".

"That is so. The motor met me just outside the lodge gates, and I hurried there as fast as I could."

"Will you relate to us exactly what happened next?"

"I entered Mrs. Inglethorp's room. She was at that moment in a typical tetanic convulsion. She turned towards me, and gasped out: 'Alfred—Alfred——' "

"Could the strychnine have been administered in Mrs. Inglethorp's after-dinner coffee which was taken to her by her husband?"

"Possibly, but strychnine is a fairly rapid drug in its action.

The symptoms appear from one to two hours after it has been swallowed. It is retarded under certain conditions, none of which, however, appear to have been present in this case. I presume Mrs. Inglethorp took the coffee after dinner about eight o'clock, whereas the symptoms did not manifest themselves until the early hours of the morning, which, on the face of it, points to the drug having been taken much later in the evening.".

"Mrs. Inglethorp was in the habit of drinking a cup of coco in the middle of the night.

Could the strychnine have been administered in that?"

"No, I myself took a sample of the coco remaining in the saucepan and had it analysed.

There was no strychnine present."

I heard Poirot chuckle softly beside me.

"How did you know?" I whispered.

"Listen."

"I should say"—the doctor was continuing—"that I would have been considerably surprised at any other result."

"Why?"

"Simply because strychnine has an unusually bitter taste.

It can be detected in a solution of 1 in 70,000, and can only be disguised by some strongly flavoured substance. Coco would be quite powerless to mask it."

One of the jury wanted to know if the same objection applied to coffee.

"No. Coffee has a bitter taste of its own which would probably cover the taste of strychnine."

"Then you consider it more likely that the drug was administered in the coffee, but that for some unknown reason its action was delayed."

"Yes, but, the cup being completely smashed, there is no possibility of analyzing its contents."

This concluded Dr.Bauerstein's evidence. Dr.Wilkins corroborated it on all points.

Sounded as to the possibility of suicide, he repudiated it utterly.

The deceased, he said, suffered from a weak heart, but otherwise enjoyed perfect health, and was of a cheerful and well-balanced disposition.

She would be one of the last people to take her own life.

Lawrence Cavendish was next called.

His evidence was quite unimportant, being a mere repetition of that of his brother.

Just as he was about to step down, he paused, and said rather hesitatingly:

"I should like to make a suggestion if I may?"

He glanced deprecatingly at the Coroner, who replied briskly:

"Certainly, Mr. Cavendish, we are here to arrive at the truth of this matter, and welcome anything that may lead to further elucidation."

"It is just an idea of mine," explained Lawrence. "Of course I may be quite wrong, but it still seems to me that my mother's death might be accounted for by natural means."

"How do you make that out, Mr. Cavendish?"

"My mother, at the time of her death, and for some time before it, was taking a tonic containing strychnine."

"Ah!" said the Coroner.

The jury looked up, interested.

"I believe," continued Lawrence, "that there have been cases where the cumulative effect of a drug, administered for some time, has ended by causing death.

Also, is it not possible that she may have taken an overdose of her medicine by accident?"

"This is the first we have heard of the deceased taking strychnine at the time of her death.

We are much obliged to you, Mr. Cavendish."

Dr. Wilkins was recalled and ridiculed the idea.

"What Mr. Cavendish suggests is quite impossible. Any doctor would tell you the same. Strychnine is, in a certain sense, a cumulative poison, but it would be quite impossible for it to result in sudden death in this way.

There would have to be a long period of chronic symptoms which would at once have attracted my attention. The whole thing is absurd."

"And the second suggestion? That Mrs. Inglethorp may have inadvertently taken an overdose?"

"Three, or even four doses, would not have resulted in death. Mrs. Inglethorp always had an extra large amount of medicine made up at a time, as she dealt with Coot's, the Cash Chemists in Tadminster.

She would have had to take very nearly the whole bottle to account for the amount of strychnine found at the post-mortem."

"Then you consider that we may dismiss the tonic as not being in any way instrumental in causing her death?"

"Certainly. The supposition is ridiculous."

The same juryman who had interrupted before here suggested that the chemist who made up the medicine might have committed an error.

"That, of course, is always possible," replied the doctor.

But Dorcas, who was the next witness called, dispelled even that possibility. The medicine had not been newly made up.

On the contrary, Mrs. Inglethorp had taken the last dose on the day of her death.

So the question of the tonic was finally abandoned, and the Coroner proceeded with his task. Having elicited from Dorcas how she had been awakened by the violent ringing of her mistress's bell, and had subsequently roused the household, he passed to the subject of the quarrel on the preceding afternoon.

Dorcas's evidence on this point was substantially what Poirot and I had already heard, so I will not repeat it here.

The next witness was Mary Cavendish.

She stood very upright, and spoke in a low, clear, and perfectly composed voice.

In answer to the Coroner's question, she told how, her alarm clock having aroused her at 4.30 as usual, she was dressing, when she was startled by the sound of something heavy falling.

"That would have been the table by the bed?" commented the Coroner.

"I opened my door," continued Mary, "and listened.

In a few minutes a bell rang violently. Dorcas came running down and woke my husband, and we all went to my mother-in-law's room, but it was locked——".

The Coroner interrupted her.

"I really do not think we need trouble you further on that point. We know all that can be known of the subsequent happenings. But I should be obliged if you would tell us all you overheard of the quarrel the day before."

"I?" There was a faint insolence in her voice.

She raised her hand and adjusted the ruffle of lace at her neck, turning her head a little as she did so.

And quite spontaneously the thought flashed across my mind: "She is gaining time!".

"Yes. I understand," continued the Coroner deliberately, "that you were sitting reading on the bench just outside the long window of the boudoir. That is so, is it not?"

This was news to me and glancing sideways at Poirot, I fancied that it was news to him as well.

There was the faintest pause, the mere hesitation of a moment, before she answered:

"Yes, that is so."

"And the boudoir window was open, was it not?"

Surely her face grew a little paler as she answered:

"Yes."

"Then you cannot have failed to hear the voices inside, especially as they were raised in anger. In fact, they would be more audible where you were than in the hall."

"Possibly."

"Will you repeat to us what you overheard of the quarrel?"

"I really do not remember hearing anything."

"Do you mean to say you did not hear voices?"

"Oh, yes, I heard the voices, but I did not hear what they said." A faint spot of colour came into her cheek. "I am not in the habit of listening to private conversations."

The Coroner persisted.

"And you remember nothing at all? Nothing, Mrs. Cavendish? Not one stray word or phrase to make you realize that it was a private conversation?".

She paused, and seemed to reflect, still outwardly as calm as ever.

"Yes; I remember. Mrs. Inglethorp said something—I do not remember exactly what—about causing scandal between husband and wife.".

"Ah!" the Coroner leant back satisfied. "That corresponds with what Dorcas heard.

But excuse me, Mrs. Cavendish, although you realized it was a private conversation, you did not move away?.

You remained where you were?"

I caught the momentary gleam of her tawny eyes as she raised them.

I felt certain that at that moment she would willingly have torn the little lawyer, with his insinuations, into pieces, but she replied quietly enough:

"No. I was very comfortable where I was. I fixed my mind on my book."

"And that is all you can tell us?"

"That is all."

The examination was over, though I doubted if the Coroner was entirely satisfied with it.

I think he suspected that Mary Cavendish could tell more if she chose.

Amy Hill, shop assistant, was next called, and deposed to having sold a will form on the afternoon of the 17th to William Earl, under-gardener at Styles.

William Earl and Manning succeeded her, and testified to witnessing a document. Manning fixed the time at about 4.30, William was of the opinion that it was rather earlier.

Cynthia Murdoch came next. She had, however, little to tell. She had known nothing of the tragedy, until awakened by Mrs. Cavendish.

"You did not hear the table fall?"

"No. I was fast asleep."

The Coroner smiled.

"A good conscience makes a sound sleeper," he observed. "Thank you, Miss Murdoch, that is all."

"Miss Howard."

Miss Howard produced the letter written to her by Mrs. Inglethorp on the evening of the 17th. Poirot and I had, of course already seen it. It added nothing to our knowledge of the tragedy.

It was handed to the jury who scrutinized it attentively.

"I fear it does not help us much," said the Coroner, with a sigh.

"There is no mention of any of the events of that afternoon."

"Plain as a pikestaff to me," said Miss Howard shortly.

"It shows clearly enough that my poor old friend had just found out she'd been made a fool of!"

"It says nothing of the kind in the letter," the Coroner pointed out.

"No, because Emily never could bear to put herself in the wrong. But I know her. She wanted me back. But she wasn't going to own that I'd been right.

She went round about. Most people do. Don't believe in it myself."

Mr. Wells smiled faintly. So, I noticed, did several of the jury. Miss Howard was obviously quite a public character.

"Anyway, all this tomfoolery is a great waste of time," continued the lady, glancing up and down the jury disparagingly.

"Talk—talk—talk! When all the time we know perfectly well——"

The Coroner interrupted her in an agony of apprehension:

"Thank you, Miss Howard, that is all."

I fancy he breathed a sigh of relief when she complied.

Then came the sensation of the day.

The Coroner called Albert Mace, chemist's assistant.

It was our agitated young man of the pale face.

In answer to the Coroner's questions, he explained that he was a qualified pharmacist, but had only recently come to this particular shop, as the assistant formerly there had just been called up for the army.

These preliminaries completed, the Coroner proceeded to business.

"Mr. Mace, have you lately sold strychnine to any unauthorized person?"

"Yes, sir."

"When was this?"

"Last Monday night."

"Monday? Not Tuesday?"

"No, sir, Monday, the 16th."

"Will you tell us to whom you sold it?"

You could have heard a pin drop.

"Yes, sir. It was to Mr. Inglethorp."

Every eye turned simultaneously to where Alfred Inglethorp was sitting, impassive and wooden.

He started slightly, as the damning words fell from the young man's lips.

I half thought he was going to rise from his chair, but he remained seated, although a remarkably well acted expression of astonishment rose on his face.

"You are sure of what you say?" asked the Coroner sternly.

"Quite sure, sir."

"Are you in the habit of selling strychnine indiscriminately over the counter?"

The wretched young man wilted visibly under the Coroner's frown.

"Oh, no, sir—of course not. But, seeing it was Mr. Inglethorp of the Hall, I thought there was no harm in it. He said it was to poison a dog."

Inwardly I sympathized. It was only human nature to endeavour to please "The Hall"—especially when it might result in custom being transferred from Coot's to the local establishment.

"Is it not customary for anyone purchasing poison to sign a book?"

"Yes, sir, Mr. Inglethorp did so."

"Have you got the book here?"

"Yes, sir."

It was produced; and, with a few words of stern censure, the Coroner dismissed the wretched Mr. Mace.

Then, amidst a breathless silence, Alfred Inglethorp was called.

Did he realize, I wondered, how closely the halter was being drawn around his neck?.

The Coroner went straight to the point.

"On Monday evening last, did you purchase strychnine for the purpose of poisoning a dog?".

Inglethorp replied with perfect calmness:

"No, I did not. There is no dog at Styles, except an outdoor sheepdog, which is in perfect health.".

"You deny absolutely having purchased strychnine from Albert Mace on Monday last?"

"I do."

"Do you also deny this?"

The Coroner handed him the register in which his signature was inscribed.

"Certainly I do. The hand-writing is quite different from mine. I will show you."

He took an old envelope out of his pocket, and wrote his name on it, handing it to the jury. It was certainly utterly dissimilar.

"Then what is your explanation of Mr. Mace's statement?"

Alfred Inglethorp replied imperturbably:

"Mr. Mace must have been mistaken."

The Coroner hesitated for a moment, and then said:

"Mr. Inglethorp, as a mere matter of form, would you mind telling us where you were on the evening of Monday, July 16th?"

"Really—I can't remember."

"That is absurd, Mr. Inglethorp," said the Coroner sharply. "Think again."

Inglethorp shook his head.

"I cannot tell you. I have an idea that I was out walking."

"In what direction?"

"I really can't remember."

The Coroner's face grew graver.

"Were you in company with anyone?"

"No."

"Did you meet anyone on your walk?"

"No."

"That is a pity," said the Coroner dryly.

"I am to take it then that you decline to say where you were at the time that Mr. Mace positively recognized you as entering the shop to purchase strychnine?".

"If you like to take it that way, yes."

"Be careful, Mr. Inglethorp."

Poirot was fidgeting nervously.

"Sacre!" he murmured. "Does this imbecile of a man want to be arrested?".

Inglethorp was indeed creating a bad impression.

His futile denials would not have convinced a child.

The Coroner, however, passed briskly to the next point, and Poirot drew a deep breath of relief.

"You had a discussion with your wife on Tuesday afternoon?".

"Pardon me," interrupted Alfred Inglethorp, "you have been misinformed.

I had no quarrel with my dear wife. The whole story is absolutely untrue.

I was absent from the house the entire afternoon."

"Have you anyone who can testify to that?".

"You have my word," said Inglethorp haughtily.

The Coroner did not trouble to reply.

"There are two witnesses who will swear to having heard your disagreement with Mrs. Inglethorp.".

"Those witnesses were mistaken.".

I was puzzled. The man spoke with such quiet assurance that I was staggered.

I looked at Poirot. There was an expression of exultation on his face which I could not understand.

Was he at last convinced of Alfred Inglethorp's guilt?.

"Mr. Inglethorp," said the Coroner, "you have heard your wife's dying words repeated here.

Can you explain them in any way?".

"Certainly I can." "You can?".

"It seems to me very simple.

The room was dimly lighted.

Dr. Bauerstein is much of my height and build, and, like me, wears a beard.

In the dim light, and suffering as she was, my poor wife mistook him for me."

"Ah!" murmured Poirot to himself. "But it is an idea, that!".

"You think it is true?" I whispered.

"I do not say that. But it is truly an ingenious supposition.".

"You read my wife's last words as an accusation"—Inglethorp was continuing—"they were, on the contrary, an appeal to me.".

The Coroner reflected a moment, then he said:
"I believe, Mr. Inglethorp, that you yourself poured out the coffee, and took it to your wife that evening?".

"I poured it out, yes.

But I did not take it to her.

I meant to do so, but I was told that a friend was at the hall door, so I laid down the coffee on the hall table.

When I came through the hall again a few minutes later, it was gone."

This statement might, or might not, be true, but it did not seem to me to improve matters much for Inglethorp.

In any case, he had had ample time to introduce the poison.

At that point, Poirot nudged me gently, indicating two men who were sitting together near the door.

One was a little, sharp, dark, ferret-faced man, the other was tall and fair.

I questioned Poirot mutely.

He put his lips to my ear.

"Do you know who that little man is?"

I shook my head.

"That is Detective Inspector James Japp of Scotland Yard—Jimmy Japp.

The other man is from Scotland Yard too.

Things are moving quickly, my friend."

I stared at the two men intently.

There was certainly nothing of the policeman about them.

I should never have suspected them of being official personages.

I was still staring, when I was startled and recalled by the verdict being given:

"Wilful Murder against some person or persons unknown."