en-es  The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Chapter VII
POIROT PAGA SUS DEUDAS.

Cuando salíamos del Styles Arms, Poirot me llevó aparte presionándome suavemente en el brazo .

Comprendí su propósito. Estaba esperando a los hombres de Scotland Yard.

En poco tiempo, salieron, y Poirot inmediatamente dio un paso adelante y abordó al más bajo de los dos.

''Temo que usted no se acuerda de mí, Inspector Japp''.

"¡Pero si es el Sr. Poirot!''. dijo el inspector.

Se volvió hacia el otro hombre. '' ¿Me ha escuchado hablar del Sr. Poirot? Fue en 1904, él y yo trabajamos juntos...El caso de falsificación Abercrombie...recuerda, fue atrapado en Bruselas.

Ah, esos fueran grandes días, moosier.

¿Entonces se acuerda de 'Baron' Altara? ¡Ese fue un ejemplo de buen pícaro!.

Eludió las garras de la mitad de la policía de Europe.

Pero lo detuvimos en Antwerp... gracias al Sr. Poirot, aquí''.

Mientras se complacían con estos amistosos recuerdos, me acerqué y me presentaron al detective-inspector Japp, quien, a su vez, nos presentó a su compañero, el superintendente Summerhaye.

"No necesito preguntar qué están haciendo aquí, señores", comentó Poirot.

Japp guiñó el ojo intencionadamente.

"De hecho no. Un caso bastante claro, debo decir".

Pero Poirot respondió con gravedad: "Ahí difiero de usted".

"¡Oh, vamos!", dijo Summerhaye, abriendo sus labios por primera vez.

"Sin duda todo está claro como la luz del día.

El hombre ha sido atrapado con las manos en la masa.

Me sorprende ¡cómo puede ser tan tonto!".

Pero Japp estaba mirando a Poirot atentamente.

"No dispare, Summerhaye", comentó jocosamente.

"Yo y Moosier nos conocemos de antes, y no hay juicio de nadie en el que confie más que en el suyo.

Si no estoy muy equivocado, tiene un as en la manga.

¿No es así, moosier?".

Poirot sonrió.

"He sacado ciertas conclusiones, sí".

Summerhaye todavía parecía bastante escéptico, pero Japp continuó su escrutinio de Poirot.

"Es de esta manera", dijo, "hasta ahora, solo hemos visto el caso desde fuera.

Ahí es donde Scontland Yard está en desventaja en un caso de este tipo, donde el asesinato solo sale, por así decirlo, después de la investigación.

Mucho depende de estar en el lugar primero, y eso es donde el Sr. Poirot nos lleva ventaja.

Aún ni deberíamos haber estado aquí tan pronto, si no hubiera sido por el hecho que había un médico inteligente en el lugar, quién nos dió la pista mediante el juez.

Pero usted ha estado en el lugar desde el principio, y podría haber recogido pequeños indicios.

De la evidencia en la indagatoria, el Sr. Inglethorp asesinó a su mujer tan seguro como que estoy de pie aquí, y si alguien que no fuera usted insinuara lo contrario me reiría en su cara.

Debo decir que me sorprendió que el jurado no dictaminara contra él, Homicidio intencional, de inmediato.

Pienso que lo hubieran hecho, si no hubiera sido por el juez de instrucción, que parecía estar reteniéndolos".

"Aunque, tal vez, ahora usted tiene en su bolsillo una orden para su arresto", sugirió Poirot.

Una especie de persiana carente de manifestación, bajó sobre el expresivo semblante de Japp.

"Quizás la tenga y quizás no", observó secamente.

Poirot le miró, pensativamente.

''Señores, estoy muy ansioso por que no lo detengan''.

''Me atrevo a decir'', observó Summerhaye con sarcasmo.

Japp estaba mirando a Poirot con una perplejidad cómica.

''¿No puede usted decirnos un poco más, Sr. Poirot? "A buen entendedor, pocas palabras bastan" Usted ha estado aquí...y el Yard no quiere hacer errores, sabe''.

Poirot asintió con gravedad.

''Eso es exactamente lo que pensaba. Bueno, les diré esto.

Usen su orden: Arresten el Sr. Inglethorp.

Pero no va a darles prestigio... el caso contra él será descartado pronto. Comme ça!''. Y chasqueó los dedos expresivamente.

"La cara de Japp se puso grave, aunque Summerhaye resopló incredulamente.

En cuanto a mí, literalmente me quedé mudo de asombro.

Solo podía concluir que Poirot estaba loco.

Japp había sacado un pañuelo y se secaba suavemente la frente.

"No me atrevo, Sr. Poirot.

Me fio de su palabra, pero hay otros por encima mío que preguntarán qué diablos significa eso.

¿No puede decirme algo más para continuar?".

Poirot reflexionó un momento.

"Se puede hacer", dijo al fin.

"Admito que no lo deseo.

Me veo obligado.

Por el momento preferiría trabajar en la sombra, pero lo que dice es muy justo: ¡la palabra de un policía belga, del pasado, no es suficiente! Y Alfred Inglethorp no debe ser arrestado.

Lo he jurado, como mi amigo Hastings sabe.

Pues mire, mi buen Japp, ¿va enseguida a Styles?".

"Bueno, en aproximadamente media hora". Primero veremos al juez y al médico".

"Bien. Pase a buscarme, la última casa del pueblo.

Iré con usted. En Styles, el Sr. Inglethorp le dará, o si se niega, como es probable, le daré las pruebas que le satisfacerán de que el caso en su contra no se sostendría.

¿De acuerdo?".

"De acuerdo", dijo Japp sinceramente.

"¡Y, en nombre de Scotland Yard, le doy las gracias, aunque yo esté obligado a confesar que actualmente no puedo ver la menor posibilidad de encontrar una vía de escape en las pruebas, pero usted siempre ha sido una maravilla! Hasta luego, entonces, señor".

Los dos detectives se alejaron a grandes pasos, Summerhaye con una sonrisa incrédula en su cara.

"Bien, mi amigo", exclamó Poirot, antes de que yo pudiera pronunciar una palabra, "¿qué piensa usted? Mon Dieu! Tuve algunos momentos malos en aquel tribunal; no imaginaba que ese hombre fuera tan terco como para negar tener algo para decir.

Decididamente, su conducta fue la de un imbécil".

"¡Hum! Hay otras explicaciones además de la imbecilidad", observé.

''Porque si el caso contra él es verdadero, ¿cómo podría defenderse excepto con el silencio?''.

''Bueno, con miles de maneras ingeniosas'', dijo Poirot.

''Vea; digamos que soy yo el que ha cometido este asesinato, ¡puedo pensar en siete hostorias muy creíbles! ¡Mucho más persuasivas que las negaciones estrictas del Sr Inglethorp!''.

No pude resistir reírme.

''¡Querido Poirot, estoy seguro que usted es capaz pensar setenta!' Pero, en serio, a pesar de lo que le oí decir a los detectives, ¿seguro que no puede creer todavía en la posible inocencia de Alfred Inglethorp?''.

''¿Porqué ahora no tanto como antes? Nada ha cambiado''.

"Pero las pruebas son tan concluyentes".

"Sí, demasiado concluyentes".

Entramos en Leastways Cottage, y continuamos por las escaleras ahora familiares.

"Sí, sí, demasiado concluyentes", continuó Poirot, casi para sí mismo.

Las pruebas reales generalmente son vagas e insuficientes

Tienen que ser examinadas, tamizadas. Pero aquí todo es claro y sencillo.
No, amigo mío, estas pruebas han sido muy hábilmente preparadas, tan hábilmente que ha hecho fracasar su propio fin".

"¿Cómo llega a esa conclusión?".

"Porque, mientras las pruebas en su contra fueran vagas e intangibles, era muy difícil refutarlas. Pero, en su ansiedad, el criminal ha cerrado la red tanto que un corte liberará a Inglethorp".

Yo estaba en silencio. Y en uno o dos minutos, Poirot continuó: "Veamos el asunto de esta manera.

Hay un hombre, digamos, que se propone envenenar a su esposa.

Él ha vivido del cuento, como dice el dicho.

Presumiblemente, por lo tanto, tiene algún ingenio.

No es del todo tonto. Bien, ¿cómo se dispone a hacerlo? Va con audacia a la farmacia del pueblo y compra estricnina bajo su propio nombre, con una historia inventada sobre un perro la cual está destinada a ser demostrada absurda.

No emplea el veneno aquella noche. No, espera hasta que haya tenido una pelea violenta con ella, de la cual la casa entera se entera, y que naturalmente dirige sus sospechas sobre él.

No prepara una defensa, ni la sombra de una coartada, pero sabe que el empleado de la farmacia necesariamente expondrá los hechos.

¡Bah!, ¡no me pida que crea que un hombre pueda ser tan idiota! ¡Sólo un lunático, que desea suicidarse haciéndose ahorcar, actuaría así!".

"Todavía, no veo", empecé.

"Yo tampoco. Le digo, amigo mío, me desconcierta. ¡A mí, Hercule Poirot!".

"¿Pero si usted lo cree inocente, cómo explica su compra de la estricnina?".

"Muy simple. No la compró".

"¡Pero Mace lo reconoció!".

"Perdóneme pero, él vio a un hombre con una barba negra como el Sr. Inglethorp, y llevando gafas como el Sr. Inglethorp, y vestido con la ropa bastante llamativa del Sr. Inglethorp.

No podía reconocer entonces a un hombre a quien probablemente sólo había visto a distancia, recuerde usted, él mismo sólo había estado en el pueblo quince días, y la Sra. Inglethorp trataba principalmente con Coot's en Tadminster".

"Entonces usted piensa...". "Mon ami, ¿recuerda usted los dos puntos sobre los que hice hincapié?

Deje por el momento el primero, ¿cuál era el segundo?".

"El hecho importante de que Alfred Inglethorp lleva ropa llamativa, tiene una barba negra, y usa gafas", cité.


"Exactamente. Ahora, suponga que alguien desea hacerse pasar por John o Lawrence Cavendish.
¿Sería fácil?''.

''No'', dije pensativo. ''Claro un actor...''

Pero Poirot me cortó implacablemente.

''¿Y porqué no sería fácil? Voy a decirle, mi amigo: Porque los dos son hombres bien afeitados.

Para parecer como uno de esos dos en a la luz del día, necesitaría un actor genial, y una semejanza de cara inicial.

Pero en el caso de Alfred Inglethorp, todo está cambiado.

Su ropa, su barba, las gafas que esconden los ojos... esos son puntos importantes de su apariencia personal.

Ahora, ¿cuál es el instinto primero de un criminal?

Desviar la sospecha de sí mismo, ¿no es así?

¿Y cómo puede hacerlo mejor? Arrojándola a cualquier otro.

En este caso, había un hombre a mano.

Todos estaban predispuestos a creer en la culpabilidad del Sr. Inglethorp.

Era una conclusión inevitable que sería sospechoso; pero, para que sea seguro, debe haber pruebas tangibles, como la compra real del veneno, y eso, con un hombre de la peculiar apariencia del señor Inglethorp, no era difícil.

Recuerde, este joven Mace nunca había hablado con el Sr. Inglethorp.

¿Cómo iba a dudar que el hombre con su ropa, con su barba y sus gafas, no fuera Alfred Inglethorp?".

"Puede ser así", le dije, fascinado por la elocuencia de Poirot.

"Pero, si ese fuera el caso, ¿por qué no dice dónde estaba a las seis de la tarde del lunes?".

"Ah, en efecto, ¿por qué?", dijo Poirot, calmándose.

"Si lo arrestaran, probablemente hablaría, pero no quiero que se llegue a eso.

Tengo que hacerle ver la gravedad de su posición.

Por supuesto, hay algo deshonesto detrás de su silencio.

Si no asesinó a su esposa, sin embargo, es un canalla, y tiene algo que ocultar, independientemente del asesinato".

"¿Qué puede ser?". Reflexioné, convencido por las opiniones de Poirot por el momento, aunque todavía conservaba una ligera convicción de que la deducción obvia era la correcta.

"¿No lo adivina?", preguntó Poirot, sonriendo.

"No, ¿usted sí?".

"Oh, sí, tuve una pequeña idea hace algún tiempo, y ha resultado ser correcta".

"Nunca me lo dijo", le dije con reproche.

Poirot extendió sus manos como disculpa.

"Perdóneme, mon ami, usted no era precisamente sympathique". Se volvió hacia mí con seriedad. "Dígame, ¿ve ahora que no debe ser arrestado?".

"Tal vez", dije con dudas, porque me era realmente bastante indiferente al destino de Alfred Inglethorp, y pensé que un buen susto no le haría ningún daño.

Poirot, quien me miraba atentamente, dio un suspiro.

"Venga, amigo mío", dijo, cambiando de tema, "con la excepción del Sr. Inglethorp, cómo le parecieron las pruebas en la indagatoria?".

"Oh, más o menos lo que esperaba".

Al respecto, ¿no hubo nada que le pareciera extraño?".

Mis pensamientos volaron hacia María Cavendish, y me cubrí: "¿En qué sentido?".

"Bueno, por ejemplo ¿la declaración del Sr. Lawrence Cavendish?".

Me sentí aliviado.

"¡Oh, Lawrence! No, no lo creo. Es un muchacho muy nervioso''.

''Su sugerencia de que su madre podría haber sido envenenada por accidente con el tónico que tomaba, ¿no le pareció extraña...no?

''No, no puedo decírselo.

Los médicos la ridiculizaron, por supuesto.

Pero era una sugerencia bastante natural para un profano".

"Pero Monsieur Lawrence no es un profano.

Usted mismo me dijo que había comenzado estudiando medicina y que había obtenido el título".

"Sí, eso es verdad. No pensé en eso". Estaba bastante sorprendido. "Es raro".

Poirot asintió.

"Desde el principio, su comportamiento ha sido peculiar.

De toda la casa, probablemente solo él reconocería los síntomas del envenenamiento por estricnina, y sin embargo, lo encontramos como el único miembro de la familia que defiende enérgicamente la teoría de la muerte por causas naturales.

Si hubiera sido Monsieur John, podría haberlo entendido.

No tiene conocimientos técnicos, y es por naturaleza poco imaginativo.

Pero Monsieur Lawrence, ¡no! Y ahora, hoy, presenta una sugerencia que él mismo debía haber sabido que era ridícula.

¡Esto da que pensar, mon ami!".

"Es muy confuso", acepté.

"Luego está la Sra. Cavendish", continuó Poirot.

"¡Es otra que no dice todo lo que sabe!". ¿Qué le parece su actitud?".

"No sé qué pensar". Parece inconcebible que esté protegiendo a Alfred Inglethorp. Sin embargo, eso es lo que parece".

Poirot asintió con expresión reflexiva.

"Sí, resulta muy extraño. Una cosa es segura, ella oyó por casualidad de aquella "conversación privada" mucho más de lo que está dispuesta a admitir".

"¡Y sin embargo, es la última persona a quien uno acusaría de rebajarse a escuchar a escondidas!".

"Exactamente. Una cosa que me mostró su declaración. Me equivoqué. Dorcas tenía razón. La pelea occurió más temprano en la tarde, cerca de las cuatro, como dijo ella''.

Le miré con curiosidad. Nunca entendí su insistencia sobre este punto.

''Sí, muchas cosas extrañas salieron a la luz hoy'', continuó Poirot.

''El Dr. Bauerstein, entonces, ¿qué estaba hiciendo levantado y vestido a aquella hora de la mañana? Me sorprende que nadie comentó este hecho''.

''Tiene insomnio, creo'', dije dudosamente.

'' Es una muy buena, o muy mala explicación'' remarcó Poirot. ''Abarca todo, y explica nada. Mantendré mi vigilancia en nuestro inteligente Dr. Bauerstein''.

"¿Hay más fallos que encontrar en la declaración?", pregunté satíricamente.

''¡Mon ami'', contestó Poirot gravemente, ''cuando piense que la gente no le dice la verdad...¡cuidado!

Ahora, si no me equivoco, hoy en la indagación... solo una o quizás dos personas dijeron la verdad sin reserva ni subterfigio''.


"¡Oh, vamos, Poirot!". Dejemos de lado a Lawrence, y a la Sra. Cavendish.

Pero están John... y la Srta. Howard, ¿ellos no decían la verdad?".

"¿Ambos, amigo mío? Uno, se lo concedo, ¡pero ambos!".

Sus palabras me produjeron una impresión desagradable.

La declaración de la Srta. Howard, que no tenía mucha importancia, había sido hecha de una manera tan realmente directa que nunca se me hubiera ocurrido dudar de su sinceridad.

De todos modos tenía un gran respeto por la sagacidad de Poirot, excepto en las ocasiones cuando él se comportaba como lo que calificaba en mí interior como "tontamente obstinado".

"¿Realmente lo cree usted así?". Pregunté.

"La Srta. Howard siempre me pareció tan básicamente honesta... casi un tanto molesta".

Poirot me miró con una expresión curiosa, que no pude comprender bien.

Parecía a punto de hablar, y se dio de alta.

''La Srta. Murdoch también'', seguí, ''no hay nada de mentiras acerca de ella''.

''No. Pero era extraño que no oyó ningún sonido, durmiendo al lado; considerando que la Sra Cavendish, en la otra ala del edificio, oyó caer la mesa''.

''Bueno, es joven. Y duerme profundamente''.

''¡Ah, sí, de verdad! ¡Tiene que ser una famosa durmiente, esta chica!''.

No me gustó mucho el tono de su voz, pero en este momento, escuchamos un golpe vivo, y mirando por la ventana vimos a los dos detectives que nos estaban esperando abajo.

Poirot tomó su sombrero, dió a su bigote un giro feroz y, cuidadosamente cepillando una mota imaginaria de la manga, me hizo señas de que le precedierá en las escaleras; allí nos juntamos con los detectives y salimos para Styles.

Creo que la aparición de los dos hombres de Scotland Yard fue una sorpresa... especialmente para John, quien naturalmente después de la sentencia, había realizado que solo era una cuestión de tiempo.

Aún así, la presencia de los detectives le trajo la verdad a su hogar más de lo que cualquier otra cosa podría haber hecho.

En el camino Poirot había consultado con Japp en un tono bajo, y este funcionario fue quien solicitó que todos los que habitaban la casa, a excepción de los criados, se reunieran en el salón.

Me di cuenta de la importancia de esto. Correspondía a Poirot exponer su razonamiento.

Personalmente, yo no era optimista. Poirot podría tener motivos excelentes para su creencia en la inocencia de Inglethorp, pero un hombre del tipo de Summerhaye requeriría pruebas tangibles, y dudé que Poirot pudiera suministrarlas.

Antes de que transcurriese mucho tiempo habíamos entrado todos al salón, cuya puerta cerró Japp.

Poirot cortesmente acercó sillas a todos.

Los hombres de Scotland Yard eran el blanco de todas las miradas.

Creo que por primera vez comprendimos que la cosa no era una pesadilla, sino una realidad tangible.

Habíamos leído de tales cosas, y ahora nosotros mismos éramos actores en el drama.

Mañana los diarios por toda Inglaterra anunciarían la noticia en grandes titulares: ''TRAGEDIA MISTERIOSA EN ESSEX'' ''DAMA ADINERADA ENVENADA''.


Pondrían fotos de Styles, instantáneas de '' La familia saliendo de la indagación'' ... ¡el fotógrafo del pueblo no había estado desocupado!.

Todas las cosas que se podían leer muchas veces... cosas que pasan a otros, no a uno mismo.

Y ahora, en esta casa, un homicidio había ocurrido. Delante de nosotros estaban ''los detectives encargados del caso''.

La fraseología simplista y conocida pasó rápidamente por mi mente en el intervalo antes de que Poirot abrió el procedimiento.

Creo que todos estaban un poco sorprendidos que fuera él y no uno de los detectives oficiales quien tomó la iniciativa.

''Mesdames et Messieurs'', dijo Poirot, inclinándose como si fuera una celebridad a punto de pronunciar una conferencia,'' Les he pedido que vengan aquí todos por un objeto determinado.

Ese motivo concierne el Sr. Alfred Inglethorp''.

Inglethorp estaba sentado un poco solo... creo que, sin pensar, cada uno había alejado su silla un poco de él... y se sobresaltó débilmente cuando Poirot pronunció su nombre.

"Mr.Inglethorp", dijo Poirot, dirigiéndose a él directamente, "una sombra muy oscura cae sobre esta casa, la sombra del asesinato".

Inglethorp movió la cabeza tristemente.

"Mi pobre esposa", murmuró. "¡Pobre Emily! Es terrible".

"No creo, señor", dijo Poirot intencionadamente, "que se de cuenta de lo terrible que puede ser, para usted".

Y como Inglethorp no parecía comprender, agregó: "Sr. Inglethorp, está usted en grave peligro".

Los dos detectives se inquietaron. Vi la advertencia oficial: "Todo lo que diga se utilizará como prueba en su contra", en realidad flotando en los labios de Summerhaye.

Poirot continuó.

"¿Lo entiende ahora, monsieur?".

"¿No, qué quiere decir?".

"Quiero decir", dijo Poirot deliberadamente, "que se sospecha que usted envenenó a su esposa".

Un pequeño suspiro de asombro recorrió el círculo por hablar tan claro.

"¡Cielos!", exclamó Inglethorp, sobresaltado. "¡Qué idea más monstruosa! ¡Yo... envenar a mi querida Emily!".

"No creo", Poirot lo miró estrechamente, "que usted se dé cuenta de la naturaleza desfavorable de su declaración en la investigación".

Mr. Inglethorp, sabiendo lo que acabo de decirle, ¿todavía se niega a decir dónde estaba a las seis de la tarde del lunes?".

Con un gemido, Alfred Inglethorp se hundió de nuevo y escondió su rostro entre las manos.

Poirot se acercó y se paró junto a él.

"¡Hable!", gritó amenazadoramente.

Con un esfuerzo, Inglethorp levantó la cara de entre sus manos.

Entonces, lenta y deliberadamente, negó con la cabeza.

¿No quiere hablar?".

"No. No creo que nadie pueda ser tan monstruoso como para acusarme de lo que dice".

Poirot movió la cabeza reflexivamente, como la de un hombre cuya decisión está tomada.

"¡Soit!". dijo. "Entonces debo hablar por usted".

Alfred Inglethorp saltó nuevamente.

"¿Usted?". ¿Cómo puede usted hablar? Usted no sabe, "se interrumpió bruscamente".

Poirot se volvió hacia nosotros. "¡Mesdames y señores!". ¡Voy a hablar! ¡Escuchen! Yo, Hercule Poirot, afirmo que el hombre que entró en la farmacia y compró la estricnina a las seis el lunes último no era el Sr. Inglethorp, pues a las seis durante aquel día el Sr. Inglethorp estaba acompañando a la Sra. Raikes a su casa desde una granja vecina.

Puedo presentar por lo menos cinco testigos que jurarán haberlos visto juntos, a las seis o inmediatamente después y, como ustedes pueden saber, Abbey Farm, la casa de la Sra. Raikes, está al menos a dos millas y media distante del pueblo.

!No hay absolutamente ninguna duda en cuanto a la coartada! ".
unit 1
POIROT PAYS HIS DEBTS.
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As we came out of the Stylites Arms, Poirot drew me aside by a gentle pressure of the arm.
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I understood his object.
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He was waiting for the Scotland Yard men.
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"I fear you do not remember me, Inspector Japp.".
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"Why, if it isn't Mr.
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Poirot!"
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cried the Inspector.
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He turned to the other man.
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"You've heard me speak of Mr. Poirot?
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Ah, those were great days, moosier.
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Then, do you remember 'Baron' Altara?
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There was a pretty rogue for you!.
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He eluded the clutches of half the police in Europe.
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But we nailed him in Antwerp—thanks to Mr. Poirot here.".
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"I need hardly ask what you are doing here, gentlemen," remarked Poirot.
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Japp closed one eye knowingly.
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"No, indeed.
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Pretty clear case I should say.".
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But Poirot answered gravely: "There I differ from you.".
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"Oh, come!"
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said Summerhaye, opening his lips for the first time.
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"Surely the whole thing is clear as daylight.
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unit 27
The man's caught red-handed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 28
How he could be such a fool beats me!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 29
But Japp was looking attentively at Poirot.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 30
"Hold your fire, Summerhaye," he remarked jocularly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 31
"Me and Moosier here have met before—and there's no man's judgment I'd sooner take than his.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 32
If I'm not greatly mistaken, he's got something up his sleeve.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 33
Isn't that so, moosier?".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 34
Poirot smiled.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 35
"I have drawn certain conclusions—yes.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 36
Summerhaye was still looking rather sceptical, but Japp continued his scrutiny of Poirot.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 37
"It's this way," he said, "so far, we've only seen the case from the outside.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 39
A lot depends on being on the spot first thing, and that's where Mr.Poirot's had the start of us.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 41
But you've been on the spot from the first, and you may have picked up some little hints.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 43
I must say I was surprised the jury didn't bring it in Wilful Murder against him right off.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 44
I think they would have, if it hadn't been for the Coroner—he seemed to be holding them back."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 45
"Perhaps, though, you have a warrant for his arrest in your pocket now," suggested Poirot.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 46
A kind of wooden shutter of officialdom came down from Japp's expressive countenance.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 47
"Perhaps I have, and perhaps I haven't," he remarked dryly.
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 48
Poirot looked at him thoughtfully.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 49
"I am very anxious, Messieurs, that he should not be arrested."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 50
"I dare say," observed Summerhaye sarcastically.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 51
Japp was regarding Poirot with comical perplexity.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 52
"Can't you go a little further, Mr.Poirot?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 53
A wink's as good as a nod—from you.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 54
You've been on the spot—and the Yard doesn't want to make any mistakes, you know."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 55
Poirot nodded gravely.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 56
"That is exactly what I thought.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 57
Well, I will tell you this.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 58
Use your warrant: Arrest Mr.Inglethorp.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 59
But it will bring you no kudos—the case against him will be dismissed at once!
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 60
Comme ca!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 61
And he snapped his fingers expressively.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 62
Japp's face grew grave, though Summerhaye gave an incredulous snort.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 63
As for me, I was literally dumb with astonishment.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 64
I could only conclude that Poirot was mad.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 65
Japp had taken out a handkerchief, and was gently dabbing hisbrow.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 66
"I daren't do it, Mr.Poirot.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 67
I'd take your word, but there's others over me who'll be asking what the devil I mean by it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 68
Can't you give me a little more to go on?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 69
Poirot reflected a moment.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 70
"It can be done," he said at last.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 71
"I admit I do not wish it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 72
It forces my hand.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 74
And Alfred Inglethorp must not be arrested.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 75
That I have sworn, as my friend Hastings here knows.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 76
See, then, my good Japp, you go at once to Styles?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 77
"Well, in about half an hour.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 78
We're seeing the Coroner and the doctor first."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 79
"Good.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 80
Call for me in passing—the last house in the village.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 81
I will go with you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 83
Is that a bargain?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 84
"That's a bargain," said Japp heartily.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 86
So long, then, moosier.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 87
The two detectives strode away, Summerhaye with an incredulous grin on his face.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 88
"Well, my friend," cried Poirot, before I could get in a word, "what do you think?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 89
Mon Dieu!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 91
Decidedly, it was the policy of an imbecile.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 92
"H'm!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 93
There are other explanations besides that of imbecility," I remarked.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 94
"For, if the case against him is true, how could he defend himself except by silence?".
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 95
"Why, in a thousand ingenious ways," cried Poirot.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 96
"See; say that it is I who have committed this murder, I can think of seven most plausible stories!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 97
Far more convincing than Mr. Inglethorp's stony denials!".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 98
I could not help laughing.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 99
"My dear Poirot, I am sure you are capable of thinking of seventy!
3 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 101
"Why not now as much as before?
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 102
Nothing has changed.".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 103
"But the evidence is so conclusive."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 104
"Yes, too conclusive.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 105
We turned in at the gate of Leastways Cottage, and proceeded up the now familiar stairs.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 106
"Yes, yes, too conclusive," continued Poirot, almost to himself.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 107
"Real evidence is usually vague and unsatisfactory.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 108
It has to be examined—sifted.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 109
But here the whole thing is cut and dried.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 111
"How do you make that out?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 112
unit 113
unit 114
I was silent.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 115
And in a minute or two, Poirot continued: "Let us look at the matter like this.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 116
Here is a man, let us say, who sets out to poison his wife.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 117
He has lived by his wits as the saying goes.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 118
Presumably, therefore, he has some wits.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 119
He is not altogether a fool.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 120
Well, how does he set about it?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 122
He does not employ the poison that night.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 125
Bah!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 126
do not ask me to believe that any man could be so idiotic!
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 127
Only a lunatic, who wished to commit suicide by causing himself to be hanged, would act so!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 128
"Still—I do not see—" I began.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 129
"Neither do I see.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 130
I tell you, mon ami, it puzzles me.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 131
Me—Hercule Poirot!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 132
"But if you believe him innocent, how do you explain his buying the strychnine?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 133
"Very simply.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 134
He did not buy it.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 135
"But Mace recognized him!"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 138
"Then you think——" "Mon ami, do you remember the two points I laid stress upon?.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 139
Leave the first one for the moment, what was the second?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 141
"Exactly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 142
Now suppose anyone wished to pass himself off as John or Lawrence Cavendish.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 143
Would it be easy?".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 144
"No," I said thoughtfully.
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 145
"Of course an actor——".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 146
But Poirot cut me short ruthlessly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 147
"And why would it not be easy?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 148
I will tell you, my friend: Because they are both clean-shaven men.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 150
But in the case of Alfred Inglethorp, all that is changed.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 152
Now, what is the first instinct of the criminal?.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 153
To divert suspicion from himself, is it not so?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 154
And how can he best do that?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 155
By throwing it on some one else.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 156
In this instance, there was a man ready to his hand.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 157
Everybody was predisposed to believe in Mr. Inglethorp's guilt.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 159
Remember, this young Mace had never actually spoken to Mr. Inglethorp.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 161
"It may be so," I said, fascinated by Poirot's eloquence.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 162
"But, if that was the case, why does he not say where he was at six o'clock on Monday evening?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 163
"Ah, why indeed?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 164
said Poirot, calming down.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 165
"If he were arrested, he probably would speak, but I do not want it to come to that.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 166
I must make him see the gravity of his position.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 167
There is, of course, something discreditable behind his silence.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 169
"What can it be?"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 171
"Can you not guess?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 172
asked Poirot, smiling.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 173
"No, can you?"
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 174
"Oh, yes, I had a little idea sometime ago—and it has turned out to be correct.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 175
"You never told me," I said reproachfully.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 176
Poirot spread out his hands apologetically.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 177
"Pardon me, mon ami, you were not precisely sympathique. "
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 178
He turned to me earnestly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 179
"Tell me—you see now that he must not be arrested?".
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 181
Poirot, who was watching me intently, gave a sigh.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 183
"Oh, pretty much what I expected.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 184
"Did nothing strike you as peculiar about it?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 185
My thoughts flew to Mary Cavendish, and I hedged: "In what way?".
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 186
"Well, Mr. Lawrence Cavendish's evidence for instance?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 187
I was relieved.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 188
"Oh, Lawrence!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 189
No, I don't think so.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 190
He's always a nervous chap.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 192
"No, I can't say it did.
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 193
The doctors ridiculed it of course.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 194
But it was quite a natural suggestion for a layman to make.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 195
"But Monsieur Lawrence is not a layman.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 196
You told me yourself that he had started by studying medicine, and that he had taken his degree.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 197
"Yes, that's true.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 198
I never thought of that."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 199
I was rather startled.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 200
"It is odd.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 201
Poirot nodded.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 202
"From the first, his behaviour has been peculiar.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 204
If it had been Monsieur John, I could have understood it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 205
He has no technical knowledge, and is by nature unimaginative.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 206
But Monsieur Lawrence—no!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 207
And now, to-day, he puts forward a suggestion that he himself must have known was ridiculous.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 208
There is food for thought in this, mon ami!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 209
"It's very confusing," I agreed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 210
"Then there is Mrs. Cavendish," continued Poirot.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 211
"That's another who is not telling all she knows!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 212
What do you make of her attitude?".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 213
"I don't know what to make of it.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 214
It seems inconceivable that she should be shielding Alfred Inglethorp.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 215
Yet that is what it looks like."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 216
Poirot nodded reflectively.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 217
"Yes, it is queer.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 219
"And yet she is the last person one would accuse of stooping to eavesdrop!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 220
"Exactly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 221
One thing her evidence has shown me.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 222
I made a mistake.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 223
Dorcas was quite right.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 224
The quarrel did take place earlier in the afternoon, about four o'clock, as she said."
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 225
I looked at him curiously.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 226
I had never understood his insistence on that point.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 227
"Yes, a good deal that was peculiar came out to-day," continued Poirot.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 228
"Dr.Bauerstein, now, what was he doing up and dressed at that hour in the morning?
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 229
It is astonishing to me that no one commented on the fact.".
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 230
"He has insomnia, I believe," I said doubtfully.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 231
"Which is a very good, or a very bad explanation," remarked Poirot.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 232
"It covers everything, and explains nothing.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 233
I shall keep my eye on our clever Dr.Bauerstein.".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 234
"Any more faults to find with the evidence?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 235
I inquired satirically.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 236
unit 238
"Oh, come now, Poirot!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 2 weeks ago
unit 239
I won't cite Lawrence, or Mrs.Cavendish.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 240
But there's John—and Miss Howard, surely they were speaking the truth?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 241
"Both of them, my friend?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 242
One, I grant you, but both——!".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 243
His words gave me an unpleasant shock.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 246
"Do you really think so?"
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 247
I asked.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 248
"Miss Howard had always seemed to me so essentially honest—almost uncomfortably so.".
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 249
Poirot gave me a curious look, which I could not quite fathom.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 250
He seemed to speak, and then checked himself.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 251
"Miss Murdoch too," I continued, "there's nothing untruthful about her."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 252
"No.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 254
"Well, she's young.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 255
And she sleeps soundly.".
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 256
"Ah, yes, indeed!
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 257
She must be a famous sleeper, that one!".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 263
I realized the significance of this.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 264
It was up to Poirot to make his boast good.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 265
Personally, I was not sanguine.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 267
Before very long we had all trooped into the drawing-room, the door of which Japp closed.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 268
Poirot politely set chairs for every one.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 269
The Scotland Yard men were the cynosure of all eyes.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 270
unit 271
We had read of such things—now we ourselves were actors in the drama.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 274
unit 275
And now, in this house, a murder had been committed.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 276
In front of us were "the detectives in charge of the case.".
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 280
That object, it concerns Mr. Alfred Inglethorp.".
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 2 months, 1 week ago
unit 283
Inglethorp shook his head sadly.
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"My poor wife," he murmured.
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"Poor Emily!
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It is terrible.".
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unit 289
The two detectives fidgeted.
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Poirot went on.
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"Do you understand now, monsieur?"
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"No; What do you mean?"
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"I mean," said Poirot deliberately, "that you are suspected of poisoning your wife."
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A little gasp ran round the circle at this plain speaking.
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"Good heavens!"
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cried Inglethorp, starting up.
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"What a monstrous idea!
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I—poison my dearest Emily!".
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With a groan, Alfred Inglethorp sank down again and buried his face in his hands.
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Poirot approached and stood over him.
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"Speak!"
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he cried menacingly.
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With an effort, Inglethorp raised his face from his hands.
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Then, slowly and deliberately, he shook his head.
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"You will not speak?"
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"No.
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I do not believe that anyone could be so monstrous as to accuse me of what you say."
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Poirot nodded thoughtfully, like a man whose mind is made up.
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"Soit!"
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he said.
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"Then I must speak for you."
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Alfred Inglethorp sprang up again.
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"You?
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How can you speak?
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You do not know——" he broke off abruptly.
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Poirot turned to face us.
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"Mesdames and messieurs!
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I speak!
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Listen!
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There is absolutely no question as to the alibi!
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".
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POIROT PAYS HIS DEBTS.

As we came out of the Stylites Arms, Poirot drew me aside by a gentle pressure of the arm.

I understood his object. He was waiting for the Scotland Yard men.

In a few moments, they emerged, and Poirot at once stepped forward, and accosted the shorter of the two.

"I fear you do not remember me, Inspector Japp.".

"Why, if it isn't Mr. Poirot!" cried the Inspector.

He turned to the other man. "You've heard me speak of Mr. Poirot? It was in 1904 he and I worked together—the Abercrombie forgery case—you remember, he was run down in Brussels.

Ah, those were great days, moosier.

Then, do you remember 'Baron' Altara? There was a pretty rogue for you!.

He eluded the clutches of half the police in Europe.

But we nailed him in Antwerp—thanks to Mr. Poirot here.".

As these friendly reminiscences were being indulged in, I drew nearer, and was introduced to Detective-Inspector Japp, who, in his turn, introduced us both to his companion, Superintendent Summerhaye.

"I need hardly ask what you are doing here, gentlemen," remarked Poirot.

Japp closed one eye knowingly.

"No, indeed. Pretty clear case I should say.".

But Poirot answered gravely:

"There I differ from you.".

"Oh, come!" said Summerhaye, opening his lips for the first time.

"Surely the whole thing is clear as daylight.

The man's caught red-handed.

How he could be such a fool beats me!".

But Japp was looking attentively at Poirot.

"Hold your fire, Summerhaye," he remarked jocularly.

"Me and Moosier here have met before—and there's no man's judgment I'd sooner take than his.

If I'm not greatly mistaken, he's got something up his sleeve.

Isn't that so, moosier?".

Poirot smiled.

"I have drawn certain conclusions—yes.".

Summerhaye was still looking rather sceptical, but Japp continued his scrutiny of Poirot.

"It's this way," he said, "so far, we've only seen the case from the outside.

That's where the Yard's at a disadvantage in a case of this kind, where the murder's only out, so to speak, after the inquest.

A lot depends on being on the spot first thing, and that's where Mr.Poirot's had the start of us.

We shouldn't have been here as soon as this even, if it hadn't been for the fact that there was a smart doctor on the spot, who gave us the tip through the Coroner.

But you've been on the spot from the first, and you may have picked up some little hints.

From the evidence at the inquest, Mr.Inglethorp murdered his wife as sure as I stand here, and if anyone but you hinted the contrary I'd laugh in his face.

I must say I was surprised the jury didn't bring it in Wilful Murder against him right off.

I think they would have, if it hadn't been for the Coroner—he seemed to be holding them back."

"Perhaps, though, you have a warrant for his arrest in your pocket now," suggested Poirot.

A kind of wooden shutter of officialdom came down from Japp's expressive countenance.

"Perhaps I have, and perhaps I haven't," he remarked dryly.

Poirot looked at him thoughtfully.

"I am very anxious, Messieurs, that he should not be arrested."

"I dare say," observed Summerhaye sarcastically.

Japp was regarding Poirot with comical perplexity.

"Can't you go a little further, Mr.Poirot? A wink's as good as a nod—from you. You've been on the spot—and the Yard doesn't want to make any mistakes, you know."

Poirot nodded gravely.

"That is exactly what I thought. Well, I will tell you this.

Use your warrant: Arrest Mr.Inglethorp.

But it will bring you no kudos—the case against him will be dismissed at once! Comme ca!" And he snapped his fingers expressively.

Japp's face grew grave, though Summerhaye gave an incredulous snort.

As for me, I was literally dumb with astonishment.

I could only conclude that Poirot was mad.

Japp had taken out a handkerchief, and was gently dabbing hisbrow.

"I daren't do it, Mr.Poirot.

I'd take your word, but there's others over me who'll be asking what the devil I mean by it.

Can't you give me a little more to go on?"

Poirot reflected a moment.

"It can be done," he said at last.

"I admit I do not wish it.

It forces my hand.

I would have preferred to work in the dark just for the present, but what you say is very just—the word of a Belgian policeman, whose day is past, is not enough! And Alfred Inglethorp must not be arrested.

That I have sworn, as my friend Hastings here knows.

See, then, my good Japp, you go at once to Styles?"

"Well, in about half an hour. We're seeing the Coroner and the doctor first."

"Good. Call for me in passing—the last house in the village.

I will go with you. At Styles, Mr.Inglethorp will give you, or if he refuses—as is probable—I will give you such proofs that shall satisfy you that the case against him could not possibly be sustained.

Is that a bargain?".

"That's a bargain," said Japp heartily.

"And, on behalf of the Yard, I'm much obliged to you, though I'm bound to confess I can't at present see the faintest possible loop-hole in the evidence, but you always were a marvel! So long, then, moosier.".

The two detectives strode away, Summerhaye with an incredulous grin on his face.

"Well, my friend," cried Poirot, before I could get in a word, "what do you think? Mon Dieu! I had some warm moments in that court; I did not figure to myself that the man would be so pig-headed as to refuse to say anything at all.

Decidedly, it was the policy of an imbecile.".

"H'm! There are other explanations besides that of imbecility," I remarked.

"For, if the case against him is true, how could he defend himself except by silence?".

"Why, in a thousand ingenious ways," cried Poirot.

"See; say that it is I who have committed this murder, I can think of seven most plausible stories! Far more convincing than Mr. Inglethorp's stony denials!".

I could not help laughing.

"My dear Poirot, I am sure you are capable of thinking of seventy! But, seriously, in spite of what I heard you say to the detectives, you surely cannot still believe in the possibility of Alfred Inglethorp's innocence?".

"Why not now as much as before? Nothing has changed.".

"But the evidence is so conclusive."

"Yes, too conclusive.".

We turned in at the gate of Leastways Cottage, and proceeded up the now familiar stairs.

"Yes, yes, too conclusive," continued Poirot, almost to himself.

"Real evidence is usually vague and unsatisfactory.

It has to be examined—sifted. But here the whole thing is cut and dried.
No, my friend, this evidence has been very cleverly manufactured—so cleverly that it has defeated its own ends.".

"How do you make that out?".

"Because, so long as the evidence against him was vague and intangible, it was very hard to disprove. But, in his anxiety, the criminal has drawn the net so closely that one cut will set Inglethorp free."

I was silent. And in a minute or two, Poirot continued:

"Let us look at the matter like this.

Here is a man, let us say, who sets out to poison his wife.

He has lived by his wits as the saying goes.

Presumably, therefore, he has some wits.

He is not altogether a fool. Well, how does he set about it? He goes boldly to the village chemist's and purchases strychnine under his own name, with a trumped up story about a dog which is bound to be proved absurd.

He does not employ the poison that night. No, he waits until he has had a violent quarrel with her, of which the whole household is cognisant, and which naturally directs their suspicions upon him.

He prepares no defence—no shadow of an alibi, yet he knows the chemist's assistant must necessarily come forward with the facts.

Bah! do not ask me to believe that any man could be so idiotic! Only a lunatic, who wished to commit suicide by causing himself to be hanged, would act so!".

"Still—I do not see—" I began.

"Neither do I see. I tell you, mon ami, it puzzles me. Me—Hercule Poirot!".

"But if you believe him innocent, how do you explain his buying the strychnine?"

"Very simply. He did not buy it.".

"But Mace recognized him!"

"I beg your pardon, he saw a man with a black beard like Mr. Inglethorp's, and wearing glasses like Mr. Inglethorp, and dressed in Mr. Inglethorp's rather noticeable clothes.

He could not recognize a man whom he had probably only seen in the distance, since, you remember, he himself had only been in the village a fortnight, and Mrs. Inglethorp dealt principally with Coot's in Tadminster.".

"Then you think——"

"Mon ami, do you remember the two points I laid stress upon?.

Leave the first one for the moment, what was the second?".

"The important fact that Alfred Inglethorp wears peculiar clothes, has a black beard, and uses glasses," I quoted.

"Exactly. Now suppose anyone wished to pass himself off as John or Lawrence Cavendish.
Would it be easy?".

"No," I said thoughtfully. "Of course an actor——".

But Poirot cut me short ruthlessly.

"And why would it not be easy? I will tell you, my friend: Because they are both clean-shaven men.

To make up successfully as one of these two in broad daylight, it would need an actor of genius, and a certain initial facial resemblance.

But in the case of Alfred Inglethorp, all that is changed.

His clothes, his beard, the glasses which hide his eyes—those are the salient points about his personal appearance.

Now, what is the first instinct of the criminal?.

To divert suspicion from himself, is it not so?

And how can he best do that? By throwing it on some one else.

In this instance, there was a man ready to his hand.

Everybody was predisposed to believe in Mr. Inglethorp's guilt.

It was a foregone conclusion that he would be suspected; but, to make it a sure thing there must be tangible proof—such as the actual buying of the poison, and that, with a man of the peculiar appearance of Mr. Inglethorp, was not difficult.

Remember, this young Mace had never actually spoken to Mr. Inglethorp.

How should he doubt that the man in his clothes, with his beard and his glasses, was not Alfred Inglethorp?".

"It may be so," I said, fascinated by Poirot's eloquence.

"But, if that was the case, why does he not say where he was at six o'clock on Monday evening?".

"Ah, why indeed?" said Poirot, calming down.

"If he were arrested, he probably would speak, but I do not want it to come to that.

I must make him see the gravity of his position.

There is, of course, something discreditable behind his silence.

If he did not murder his wife, he is, nevertheless, a scoundrel, and has something of his own to conceal, quite apart from the murder.".

"What can it be?" I mused, won over to Poirot's views for the moment, although still retaining a faint conviction that the obvious deduction was the correct one.

"Can you not guess?" asked Poirot, smiling.

"No, can you?"

"Oh, yes, I had a little idea sometime ago—and it has turned out to be correct.".

"You never told me," I said reproachfully.

Poirot spread out his hands apologetically.

"Pardon me, mon ami, you were not precisely sympathique.

" He turned to me earnestly. "Tell me—you see now that he must not be arrested?".

"Perhaps," I said doubtfully, for I was really quite indifferent to the fate of Alfred Inglethorp, and thought that a good fright would do him no harm.

Poirot, who was watching me intently, gave a sigh.

"Come, my friend," he said, changing the subject, "apart from Mr. Inglethorp, how did the evidence at the inquest strike you?".

"Oh, pretty much what I expected.".

"Did nothing strike you as peculiar about it?".

My thoughts flew to Mary Cavendish, and I hedged:

"In what way?".

"Well, Mr. Lawrence Cavendish's evidence for instance?"

I was relieved.

"Oh, Lawrence! No, I don't think so. He's always a nervous chap.".

"His suggestion that his mother might have been poisoned accidentally by means of the tonic she was taking, that did not strike you as strange—hein?".

"No, I can't say it did.

The doctors ridiculed it of course.

But it was quite a natural suggestion for a layman to make.".

"But Monsieur Lawrence is not a layman.

You told me yourself that he had started by studying medicine, and that he had taken his degree.".

"Yes, that's true. I never thought of that." I was rather startled. "It is odd.".

Poirot nodded.

"From the first, his behaviour has been peculiar.

Of all the household, he alone would be likely to recognize the symptoms of strychnine poisoning, and yet we find him the only member of the family to uphold strenuously the theory of death from natural causes.

If it had been Monsieur John, I could have understood it.

He has no technical knowledge, and is by nature unimaginative.

But Monsieur Lawrence—no! And now, to-day, he puts forward a suggestion that he himself must have known was ridiculous.

There is food for thought in this, mon ami!".

"It's very confusing," I agreed.

"Then there is Mrs. Cavendish," continued Poirot.

"That's another who is not telling all she knows! What do you make of her attitude?".

"I don't know what to make of it. It seems inconceivable that she should be shielding Alfred Inglethorp. Yet that is what it looks like."

Poirot nodded reflectively.

"Yes, it is queer. One thing is certain, she overheard a good deal more of that 'private conversation' than she was willing to admit.".

"And yet she is the last person one would accuse of stooping to eavesdrop!".

"Exactly. One thing her evidence has shown me. I made a mistake. Dorcas was quite right. The quarrel did take place earlier in the afternoon, about four o'clock, as she said."

I looked at him curiously. I had never understood his insistence on that point.

"Yes, a good deal that was peculiar came out to-day," continued Poirot.

"Dr.Bauerstein, now, what was he doing up and dressed at that hour in the morning? It is astonishing to me that no one commented on the fact.".

"He has insomnia, I believe," I said doubtfully.

"Which is a very good, or a very bad explanation," remarked Poirot. "It covers everything, and explains nothing. I shall keep my eye on our clever Dr.Bauerstein.".

"Any more faults to find with the evidence?" I inquired satirically.

"Mon ami," replied Poirot gravely, "when you find that people are not telling you the truth—look out!.

Now, unless I am much mistaken, at the inquest to-day only one—at most, two persons were speaking the truth without reservation or subterfuge.".

"Oh, come now, Poirot! I won't cite Lawrence, or Mrs.Cavendish.

But there's John—and Miss Howard, surely they were speaking the truth?"

"Both of them, my friend? One, I grant you, but both——!".

His words gave me an unpleasant shock.

Miss Howard's evidence, unimportant as it was, had been given in such a downright straightforward manner that it had never occurred to me to doubt her sincerity.

Still, I had a great respect for Poirot's sagacity—except on the occasions when he was what I described to myself as "foolishly pig-headed.".

"Do you really think so?" I asked.

"Miss Howard had always seemed to me so essentially honest—almost uncomfortably so.".

Poirot gave me a curious look, which I could not quite fathom.

He seemed to speak, and then checked himself.

"Miss Murdoch too," I continued, "there's nothing untruthful about her."

"No. But it was strange that she never heard a sound, sleeping next door;
whereas Mrs.Cavendish, in the other wing of the building, distinctly heard the table fall.".

"Well, she's young. And she sleeps soundly.".

"Ah, yes, indeed! She must be a famous sleeper, that one!".

I did not quite like the tone of his voice, but at that moment a smart knock reached our ears, and looking out of the window we perceived the two detectives waiting for us below.

Poirot seized his hat, gave a ferocious twist to his moustache, and, carefully brushing an imaginary speck of dust from his sleeve, motioned me to precede him down the stairs; there we joined the detectives and set out for Styles.

I think the appearance of the two Scotland Yard men was rather a shock—especially to John, though of course after the verdict, he had realized that it was only a matter of time.

Still, the presence of the detectives brought the truth home to him more than anything else could have done.

Poirot had conferred with Japp in a low tone on the way up, and it was the latter functionary who requested that the household, with the exception of the servants, should be assembled together in the drawing-room.

I realized the significance of this. It was up to Poirot to make his boast good.

Personally, I was not sanguine. Poirot might have excellent reasons for his belief in Inglethorp's innocence, but a man of the type of Summerhaye would require tangible proofs, and these I doubted if Poirot could supply.

Before very long we had all trooped into the drawing-room, the door of which Japp closed.

Poirot politely set chairs for every one.

The Scotland Yard men were the cynosure of all eyes.

I think that for the first time we realized that the thing was not a bad dream, but a tangible reality.

We had read of such things—now we ourselves were actors in the drama.

To-morrow the daily papers, all over England, would blazon out the news in staring headlines:

"MYSTERIOUS TRAGEDY IN ESSEX"
"WEALTHY LADY POISONED".

There would be pictures of Styles, snap-shots of "The family leaving the Inquest"—the village photographer had not been idle!.

All the things that one had read a hundred times—things that happen to other people, not to oneself.

And now, in this house, a murder had been committed. In front of us were "the detectives in charge of the case.".

The well-known glib phraseology passed rapidly through my mind in the interval before Poirot opened the proceedings.

I think every one was a little surprised that it should be he and not one of the official detectives who took the initiative.

"Mesdames and messieurs," said Poirot, bowing as though he were a celebrity about to deliver a lecture, "I have asked you to come here all together, for a certain object.

That object, it concerns Mr. Alfred Inglethorp.".

Inglethorp was sitting a little by himself—I think, unconsciously, every one had drawn his chair slightly away from him—and he gave a faint start as Poirot pronounced his name.

"Mr.Inglethorp," said Poirot, addressing him directly, "a very dark shadow is resting on this house—the shadow of murder.".

Inglethorp shook his head sadly.

"My poor wife," he murmured. "Poor Emily! It is terrible.".

"I do not think, monsieur," said Poirot pointedly, "that you quite realize how terrible it may be—for you.".

And as Inglethorp did not appear to understand, he added: "Mr.Inglethorp, you are standing in very grave danger."

The two detectives fidgeted. I saw the official caution "Anything you say will be used in evidence against you," actually hovering on Summerhaye's lips.

Poirot went on.

"Do you understand now, monsieur?"

"No; What do you mean?"

"I mean," said Poirot deliberately, "that you are suspected of poisoning your wife."

A little gasp ran round the circle at this plain speaking.

"Good heavens!" cried Inglethorp, starting up. "What a monstrous idea! I—poison my dearest Emily!".

"I do not think"—Poirot watched him narrowly—"that you quite realize the unfavourable nature of your evidence at the inquest.

Mr.Inglethorp, knowing what I have now told you, do you still refuse to say where you were at six o'clock on Monday afternoon?"

With a groan, Alfred Inglethorp sank down again and buried his face in his hands.

Poirot approached and stood over him.

"Speak!" he cried menacingly.

With an effort, Inglethorp raised his face from his hands.

Then, slowly and deliberately, he shook his head.

"You will not speak?"

"No. I do not believe that anyone could be so monstrous as to accuse me of what you say."

Poirot nodded thoughtfully, like a man whose mind is made up.

"Soit!" he said. "Then I must speak for you."

Alfred Inglethorp sprang up again.

"You? How can you speak? You do not know——" he broke off abruptly.

Poirot turned to face us. "Mesdames and messieurs! I speak! Listen! I, Hercule Poirot, affirm that the man who entered the chemist's shop, and purchased strychnine at six o'clock on Monday last was not Mr.Inglethorp, for at six o'clock on that day Mr.Inglethorp was escorting Mrs. Raikes back to her home from a neighbouring farm.

I can produce no less than five witnesses to swear to having seen them together, either at six or just after and, as you may know, the Abbey Farm, Mrs.Raikes's home, is at least two and a half miles distant from the village.

There is absolutely no question as to the alibi!".