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Unformatted text preview: t, really, is why I came to you.35
"Yes ?" said Poirot.
"You see, M. Poirot. I think that it is
really not so much wickedness as a craving
for excitement! My life has unfortunately
been very humdrum. The--er--campaign of the Pekinese dogs, I sometimes
feel, was the only time I really lived. Very
reprehensible, of course, but, as my book
says, one must not turn one's back on the
truth. I came to you, M. Poirot, because
I hoped it might be possible to -- to sublimate
that craving for excitement by employing
it, if I may put it that way, on the
side of the angels."
"Aha," said Poirot. "It is then as a
colleague that you present yourself?"
Miss Carnaby blushed.
"It is very presumptuous of me, I know.
But you were so kind -- "
She stopped. Her eyes, faded blue eyes,
had something in them of the pleading of
a dog who hopes against hope that you will
take him for a walk.
"It is an idea," said Hercule Poirot
"I am, of course, not at all clever," explained
Miss Camaby. "But my powers of
-- of dissimulation are good. They have to
be -- otherwise one would be discharged
from the post of companion immediately. And I have always found that to appear
even stupider than one is, occasionally has
good results." Hercule Poirot laughed. He said:
"You enchant me. Mademoiselle."
"Oh dear, M. Poirot, what a very kind
man you are. Then you do encourage me
to hope ? As it happens, I have just received
a small legacy -- a very small one, but it
enables my sister and myself to keep and
feed ourselves in a frugal manner so that I
am not absolutely dependent on what I
"I must consider," said Poirot, "where
your talents may best be employed. You
have no idea yourself, I suppose ?"
"You know, you must really be a thought
reader, M. Poirot. I have been anxious
lately about a friend of mine. I was going
to consult you. Of course you may say it
is all an old maid's fancy--just imagin357
ation. One is prone, perhaps to exaggerate,
and to see design where there may be only
cc! do not think you would exaggerate, Miss Camaby. Tell me what is on your
''Well, I have a friend, a very dear
friend, though I have not seen very much
of her of late years. Her name is Emmeline
Clegg. She married a man in the North of
England and he died a few years ago leaving
her very comfortably off. She was unhappy
and lonely after his death and I am afraid
she is in some ways a rather foolish and
perhaps credulous woman. Religion, M.
Poirot, can be a great help and sustenance
— but by that I mean orthodox religion."
"You refer to the Greek Church?"
Miss Camaby looked shocked.
"Oh no, indeed. Church of England.
And though I do not approve of Roman
Catholics, they are at least recognised. And
the Wesleyans and Congregationalists —
they are all well-known respectable bodies.
What I am talking about are these...
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