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Unformatted text preview: ing with pleasurable excitement.
"Armstrong, for instance, and that other
man -- I can't remember his name -- and
then Crippen, of course. I've always wondered
if Ethel Le Neve was in it with him
or not. Of course, Jean Moncrieffe is a
very nice girl, I'm sure ... I wouldn't like
to say she led him on exactly -- but men
do get rather silly about girls, don't they ?
And, of course, they were thrown very
Poirot did not speak. He looked at her
with an innocent expression of inquiry
calculated to produce a further spate of
conversation. Inwardly he amused himself
by counting the number of times the words
"of course" occurred.
"And, of course, with a postmortem and all that, so much would be bound to come out, wouldn't it? Servants and all
that. Servants always know so much, don't they ? And, of course, it's quite impossible
to keep them from gossiping, isn't it? The Oldfields' Beatrice was dismissed
almost immediately after the funeral
-- and I've always thought that was odd
-- especially with the difficulty of getting
maids nowadays. It looks as though Doctor
Oldfield was afraid she might know something." "It certainly seems as though there were
grounds for an inquiry," said Poirot
Miss Leatheran gave a little shiver of
"One does so shrink from the idea," she
said. "Our dear quiet little village-dragged into the newspapers -- all the publicity!"
"It appals you ?" asked Poirot.
"It does a little. I'm old-fashioned, you
"And, as you say, it is probably nothing
"Well -- I wouldn't like conscientiously
to say that. You know, I do think it's so
true--the saying that there's no smoke without fire."
"I myself was thinking the same thing,33 said Poirot.
(c! can tmst your discretion. Mademoiselle
"Oh, of course\ I shall not say a word to anybody. 33
Poirot smiled and took his leave.
On the doorstep he said to the little
maid who handed him his hat and coat:
"I am down here to inquire into the
circumstances of Mrs. Oldfield's death,
but I shall be obliged if you will keep that
strictly to yourself.33
Miss Leatheran's Gladys nearly fell
backward into the umbrella stand. She
^Oh sir, then the doctor did do her in ?33
"You've thought so for some time, haven't you ?33
"Well, sir, it wasn't me. It was Beatrice.
She was up there when Mrs. Oldfield died.33
"And she thought there had been33-Poirot selected the melodramatic words
deliberately -- " 'foul play' ?33
Gladys nodded excitedly. "Yes, she did. And she said so did
Nurse that was up there. Nurse Harrison.
Ever so fond of Mrs. Oldfield Nurse was, and ever so distressed when she died, and Beatrice always
said as how Nurse
Harrison knew something about it because
she turned right round against the doctor
afterwards and she wouldn't of done that
unless there was something wrong, would
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