Unformatted text preview: ell — if you say so. You have such
a tiresome habit of being right. But if it's
all a mare's nest we shan't be pleased with
you, you know."
Hercule Poirot smiled to himself. He
"No, / shall be the one who is pleased."
"What's that you say ? Can't hear."
"Nothing. Nothing at all."
He rang off.
Emerging into the post office he leaned
across the counter. He said in his most
"Can you by any chance tell me,
Madame, where the maid who was formerly
with Doctor Oldfield -- Beatrice her
Christian name was -- now resides ?"
"Beatrice King? She's had two places
since then. She's with Mrs. Marley over the Bank now.3'
Poirot thanked her, bought two postcards, a book of stamps and a piece of local
pottery. During the purchase, he contrived
to bring the death of the late Mrs.
Oldfield into the conversation. He was
quick to note the peculiar furtive expression
that stole across the postmistress's
face. She said:
"Very sudden, wasn't it ? It's made a lot
of talk as you may have heard."
A gleam of interest came into her eyes
as she asked:
"Maybe that's what you'd be wanting
to see Beatrice King for? We all thought
it odd the way she was got out of there all
of a sudden. Somebody thought she knew
something--and maybe she did. She's
dropped some pretty broad hints."
Beatrice King was a short rather slylooking
girl with adenoids. She presented
an appearance of stolid stupidity but her
eyes were more intelligent than her manner
Jft would have led one to expect. It seemed,
however, that there was nothing to be got
out of Beatrice King. She repeated:
"I don't know nothing about anything.
. . . It's not for me to say what went on
up there ... I don't know what you mean
by overhearing a conversation between
the doctor and Miss Moncrieffe. I'm not
one to go listening to doors, and you've
no right to say I did. I don't know
"Have you ever heard of poisoning by
A nicker of quick furtive interest came
into the girl's sullen face.
"So that's what it was in the medicine
"What medicine bottle ?"
"One of the bottles of medicine what
that Miss Moncrieffe made up for the
Missus. Nurse was all upset—I could
see that. Tasted it, she did, and smelt it, and
then poured it away down the sink and filled up the bottle with plain water from
the tap. It was white medicine like water,
anyway. And once, when Miss Moncrieffe
took up a pot of tea to the Missus, Nurse
brought it down again and made it fresh
—said it hadn't been made with boiling
water but that was just my eye, that was!
I thought it was just the sort of fussing
way nurses have at the time—but I
dunno—it may have been more than
Poirot nodded. He said:
"Did you like Miss Moncrieffe,
"I didn't mind her.... A bit standoffish.
Of course, I always knew as she was sweet
on the doctor. You'd only to see the way
she looked at him."...
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