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Unformatted text preview: f her,
and at last I made bold to go up to the
house and ask for her. The Russian lady
was staying there all right and her maid
too, they said. Sent for her, they did,
but when she came, why, it wasn't Nita
at all! Just a dark catty-looking girl—
a bold lot if there ever was one. Marie,
they called her. 'You want to see me?'
she says, simpering all over. She must have
seen I was took aback. I said was she the
Russian lady's-maid and something about
her not being the one I'd seen before, and
then she laughed and said that the last
maid had been sent away sudden. 'Sent
away?' I said. 'What for?' She sort of
shrugged her shoulders and stretched out
her hands. 'How should I know?' she
said.(! was not there.'
"Well, sir, it took me aback. At the
moment I couldn't think of anything to
say. But afterwards I plucked up courage
and I got to see this Marie again and asked her to get me Nita's address. I didn't let
on to her that I didn't even know Nita's
last name. I promised her a present if she
did what I asked—she was the kind as
wouldn't do anything for you for nothing.
Well, she got it all right for me—an
address in North London, it was, and
I wrote to Nita there—but the letter
came back after a bit — sent back through
the post office with no longer at this address
scrawled on it."
Ted Williamson stopped. His eyes,
those deep blue steady eyes, looked across
atPoirot. He said:
"You see how it is, sir ? It's not a case
for the police. But I want to find her. And
I don't know how to set about it. If—
if you could find her for me." His colour
deepened. "I've — I've a bit put by. I
could manage five pounds — or even ten."
Poirot said gently:
"We need not discuss the financial side
for the moment. First reflect on this point
—this girl, this Nita—she knew your name and where you worked ?"
"Oh yes, sir."
"She could have communicated with you
if she had wanted to ?"
Ted said more slowly:
"Then do you not think — perhaps — "
Ted Williamson interrupted him.
"What you're meaning, sir, is that I fell
for her but she didn't fall for me ? Maybe
that's true in a way.... But she liked me —
she did like me — it wasn't just a bit of fun
to her. . . . And I've been thinking, sir,
as there might be a reason for all this. You
see, sir, it was a funny crowd she was
mixed up in. She might be in a bit of
trouble, if you know what I mean."
"You mean she might have been going
to have a child ? Your child ?"
''N01 mine, sir." Ted flushed. "There
wasn't nothing wrong between us."
Poirot looked at him thoughtfully. He
"And if what you suggest is true — you
still want to find her ?" ll3
The colour surged up in Ted Williamson's
face. He said:
"Yes, I do, and that's flat! I want to
marry her if she'll have me. And that's no
matter what kind of a jam she's in! If
you'll only try and find her fo...
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