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Unformatted text preview: s of various bacilli. It was his
practice, at the Festivals, to inject into his
followers a small but sufficient dose of
Cannabis Indica -- which is also known by
the names of Hashish or Blang. This gives
delusions of grandeur and pleasurable enjoyment.
It bound his devotees to him.
These were the Spiritual Joys that he
"Most remarkable," said Miss Carnaby.
"Really a most remarkable sensation."
Hercule Poirot nodded.
"That was his general stock in trade -a dominating personality, the power of
creating mass hysteria and the reactions
produced by this drug. But he had a second
aim in view.
"Lonely women, in their gratitude and fervour, made wills leaving their money to
the Cult. One by one, these women died.
They died in their own homes and apparently
of natural causes. Without being
too technical I will try to explain. It is
possible to make intensified cultures of
certain bacteria. The bacillus Coli Cornmums,
for instance, the cause of ulcerative
colitis. Typhoid bacilli can be introduced
into the system. So can the Pneumococcus.
There is also what is termed Old Tuberculin
which is harmless to a healthy person
but which stimulates any old tubercular
lesion into activity. You perceive the
cleverness of the man ? These deaths would
occur in different parts of the country, with
different doctors attending them and without
any risk of arousing suspicion. He had
also, I gather, cultivated a substance which
had the power of delaying but intensifying
the action of the chosen bacillus."
"He's a devil, if there ever was one!" said Chief Inspector Japp.
Poirot went on:
"By my orders, you told him that you were a tuberculous subject. There was Old
Tuberculin in the syringe when Cole
arrested him. Since you were a healthy
person it would not have harmed you, which is why I made you lay stress on your
tubercular trouble. I was terrified that even
now he might choose some other germ, but
I respected your courage and I had to let
you take the risk.35
"Oh, that's all right," said Miss Carnaby
brightly. cc! don't mind taking risks. I'm
only frightened of bulls in fields and things
like that. But have you enough evidence to convict this dreadful person ?"
"Plenty of evidence," he said. "We've
got his laboratory and his cultures and the
"It is possible, I think, that he has committed
a long line of murders. I may say
that it was not because his mother was a
Jewess that he was dismissed from that
German University. That merely made a
convenient tale to account for his arrival
here and to gain sympathy for him. Actually,
I fancy, he is of pure Aryan blood." Miss Carnaby sighed.
^Qu'est ce qu^ily a?" asked Poirot.
"I was thinking," said Miss Carnaby,
"of a marvellous dream I had at the First
Festival--hashish, I suppose. I arranged
the whole world so beautifully! No wars,
no poverty, no ill health, no ugliness. ..."
"It must have...
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