Unformatted text preview: . .
Hercule Poirot turned his head to look
at his companion. George Frobisher was
still gazing up at the beautiful woman on
the wall above him. And Poirot said softly:
"You knew her well. ..."
Frobisher spoke jerkily.
"We were boy and girl together. I went
off as a subaltern to India when she was
sixteen. . . . When I got back — she was
married to Charles Chandler."
"You knew him well also ?" "Charles is one of my oldest friends. He's
my best friend — always has been."
"Did you see much of them — after the
"Used to spend most of my leaves here.
Like a second home to me, this place.
Charles and Caroline always kept my room
here—ready and waiting. . . ." He
squared his shoulders, suddenly thrust his
head forward pugnaciously. "That's why
I'm here now -- to stand by in case I'm
wanted. If Charles needs me -- I'm here."
Again the shadow of tragedy crept over
"And what do you think--about all
this ?" Poirot asked.
Frobisher stood stiffly. His brows came
down over his eyes.
"What I think is, the least said the better.
And to be frank, I don't see what you're
doing in the business, M. Poirot. I don't
see why Diana roped you in and got you
"You are aware that Diana Maberly's
engagement to Hugh Chandler has been broken off ?"
"Yes, I know that."
"And you know the reason for it ?"
Frobisher replied stiffly:
"I don't know anything about that.
Young people manage these things between
them. Not my business to butt in."
"Hugh Chandler told Diana that it was
not right that they should marry, because
he was going out of his mind."
He saw the beads of perspiration break
out on Frobisher's forehead. He said:
"Have we got to talk about the damned
thing ? What do you think you can do ?
Hugh's done the right thing, poor devil.
It's not his fault, it's heredity—germ
plasm — brain cells.... But once he knew,
well, what else could he do but break the
engagement ? It's one of those things that
just has to be done."
"If I could be convinced of that — "
"You can take it from me."
"But you have told me nothing." "I tell you I don't want to talk about it."
'Why did Admiral Chandler force his
son to leave the Navy ?"
"Because it was the only thing to be
Frobisher shook an obstinate head.
Poirot murmured softly:
"Was it to do with some sheep being
The other man said angrily:
"So you've heard about that ?"
"Diana told me."
"That girl had far better keep her mouth
"She did not think it was conclusive.55
"She doesn't know."
"What doesn't she know ?"
Unwillingly, jerkily, angrily, Frobisher
"Oh well, if you must have it. ...
Chandler heard a noise that night. Thought
it might be someone got in the house.
Went out to investigate. Light in the boy...
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