Unformatted text preview: jumped off the sofa and came forward
uttering a few sharp suspicious barks.
"Aha," said Poirot. "The chief actor!
I salute you, my little friend."
He bent forward, extending his hand.
The dog sniffed at it, his intelligent eyes
fixed on the man's face.
Miss Carnaby murmured faintly:
"So you know ?"
Hercule Poirot nodded.
"Yes, I know." He looked at the woman on the sofa. "Your sister, I think ?"
Miss Carnaby said mechanically: "Yes,
Emily, this — this is Mr. Poirot."
Emily Carnaby gave a gasp. She said:
Amy Carnaby said:
The Pekinese looked towards her — his
tail moved — then he resumed his scrutiny
of Poirot's hand. Again his tail moved
Gently, Poirot picked the little dog up
and sat down with Augustus on his knee.
"So I have captured the Nemean Lion.
My task is completed."
Amy Carnaby said in a hard dry
"Do you really know everything ?"
<<I think so. You organised this business
--with Augustus to help you. You took
your employees dog out for his usual walk, brought him here and went on to the Park
with Augustus. The Park Keeper saw you
with a Pekinese as usual. The nurse girl, if we ever found her, would also have agreed that you had a Pekinese with you
when you spoke to her. Then, while you
were talking, you cut the lead and Augustus,
trained by you, slipped off at once and made
a bee-line back home. A few minutes later
you gave the alarm that the dog had been
There was a pause. Then Miss Carnaby
drew herself up with a certain pathetic
dignity. She said:
"Yes. It is all quite true. I -- I have
nothing to say."
The invalid woman on the sofa began
to cry softly.
Nothing at all. Mademoiselle ?"
Miss Carnaby said:
Nothing. I have been a thief--and
now I am found out.
"You have nothing to say--in your
own defence ?35
A spot of red showed suddenly in Amy
Carnaby's white cheeks. She said: "I -- I don't regret what I did. I think
that you are a kind man, Mr. Poirot, and
that possibly you might understand. You
see, I've been so terribly afraid"
"Yes, it's difficult for a gentleman to
understand, I expect. But you see, I'm not
a clever woman at all, and I've no training
and I'm getting older--and I'm so terrified
for the future. I've not been able to
save anything--how could I with Emily
to be cared for ? -- and as I get older and
more incompetent there won't be any one
who wants me. They'll want somebody
young and brisk. I've -- I've known so
many people like I am -- nobody wants
you and you live in one room and you
can't have a fire or any warmth and not
very much to eat, and at last you can't
even pay the rent of your room. . . . There
are Institutions, of course, but it's not very
easy to get into them unless you have influential
friends, and I haven't. There are
a good many others situated like I am -45
poor companions -- untrained useless women with nothing to look forward to
but a deadly fear ..."
Her voice shook. She said:
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