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Unformatted text preview: technique. The Swan of
Tuolela--you must have seen that? My
decor! And that other thing of Debussy
or is it Mannine 'La Biche au Bois' ? She
danced it with Michael Novgin. He's so marvellous, isn't he ?" "And she was a friend of Sir George
"Yes, she used to weekend with him
at his house on the river. Marvellous
parties I believe he gives."
"Would it be possible, mon cher, for you
to introduce me to Mademoiselle Samoushenka
"But, my dear, she isn't here any longer.
She went to Paris or somewhere quite
suddenly. You know, they do say that she was a Bolshevik spy or something--not
that I believed it myself--you know
people love saying things like that. Katrina
always pretended that she was a White
Russian--her father was a Prince or a
Grand Duke--the usual thing! It goes down so much better." Vandel paused and
returned to the absorbing subject of himself.
"Now as I was saying, if you want
to get the spirit of Bathsheba you've got
to steep yourself in the Semitic tradition.
I express it by -- "
He continued happily.
The interview that Hercule Poirot managed
to arrange with Sir George Sanderfield did not start too auspiciously.
The "dark horse," as Ambrose Vandel
had called him, was slightly ill at ease.
Sir George was a short square man with
dark coarse hair and a roll of fat in his
"Well, M. Poirot, what can I do for you ?
Er -- we haven't met before, I think ?"
''N0, we have not met."
"Well, what is it? I confess, I'm quite
"Oh, it is very simple — a mere matter
The other gave an uneasy laugh.
"Want me to give you some inside dope,
eh? Didn't know you were interested in
"It is not a matter of les affaires. It is a
question of a certain lady."
"Oh, a woman." Sir George Sanderfield
leant back in his armchair. He seemed
to relax. His voice held an easier note.
Poirot said: "You were acquainted, I think, with
Mademoiselle Katrina Samoushenka ?"
"Yes. An enchanting creature. Pity she's
"Why did she leave London ?"
"My dear fellow, / don't know. Row
with the management, I believe. She was
temperamental, you know — very Russian
in her moods. I'm sorry that I can't help
you but I haven't the least idea where she
is now. I haven't kept up with her at all."
There was a note of dismissal in his voice
as he rose to his feet.
"But it is not Mademoiselle Samoushenka
that I am anxious to trace."
"It isn't ?"
"No, it is a question of her maid."
"Her maid ?" Sanderfield stared at him.
"Do you -- perhaps -- remember her
All Sanderfield's uneasiness had returned.
He said awkwardly: "Good Lord, no, how should I? I
remember she had one, of course. ... Bit
of a bad lot, too, I should say. Sneaking, prying sort of girl. If I were you I shouldn't
put any faith in a wor...
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