This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: quot;A nurse ? A hospital nurse ?"
"No, no—a children's nurse. Such a
sweet baby it was, too! A dear little mite.
Such lovely rosy cheeks. They say children
don't look healthy in London, but I'm
sure — M
"Ellen,33 said Mrs. Samuelson.
Miss Keble blushed, stammered, and
subsided into silence.
Mrs. Samuelson said acidly:
"And while Miss Keble was bending
over a perambulator that had nothing to do
with her, this audacious villain cut Nanki
Poo's lead and made off with him."
Miss Keble murmured tearfully:
"It all happened in a second. I looked round and the darling boy was gone-there was just the dangling lead in my
hand. Perhaps you'd like to see the lead, Mr. Poirot ?33
"By no means,33 said Poirot hastily. He
had no wish to make a collection of cut dog
leads. "I understand,33 he went on, "that
shortly afterwards you received a letter ?33
The story followed the same course
exactly -- the letter -- the threats of violence
to Nanki Poo's ears and tail. Only two
things were different -- the sum of money
demanded--£300--and the address to
which it was to be sent, this time it was to
Commander Blackleigh, Harrington Hotel, 76 Clonmel Gardens, Kensington.
Mrs. Samuelson went on:
"When Nanki Poo was safely back again,
I went to the place myself, Mr. Poirot.
After all, three hundred pounds is three
"Certainly it is.33
"The very first thing I saw was my
letter enclosing the money in a kind of rack
in the hall. Whilst I was waiting for the
proprietress I slipped it into my bag.
36 Poirot said: "Unfortunately, when you
opened it it contained only blank sheets of
"How did you know ?" Mrs. Samuelson
turned on him with awe.
Poirot shrugged his shoulders.
"Obviously, chore Madame, the thief
would take care to recover the money
before he .returned the dog. He would then
replace the notes with blank paper and
return the letter to the rack in case its
absence should be noticed."
"No such person as Commander Blackleigh
had ever stayed there."
"And of course, my husband was extremely
annoyed about the whole thing. In
fact, he was livid -- absolutely lividV
Poirot murmured cautiously:
"You did not -- er -- consult him before
dispatching the money ?"
"Certainly not," said Mrs. Samuelson
Poirot looked a question. The lady
explained. "I wouldn't have risked it for a moment.
Men are so extraordinary when it's a
question of money. Jacob would have
insisted on going to the police. I couldn't
risk that. My poor darling Nanki Poo. Anything might have happened to him! Of
course, I had to tell my husband afterwards, because I had to explain why I was
overdrawn at the Bank."
"Quite so -- quite so."
"And I have really never seen him so
angry. Men," said Mrs. Samuelson, rearranging
her handsome diamond bracelet
and turning her rings on her fingers,
"think of nothing but money."
Hercule Poirot went up in the lift to Sir
Joseph Hoggin's office. He sent in his card
View Full Document