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Unformatted text preview: t, she admitted,
quite nice. . . . Indeed, they were not
respectable! And some of the photographs taken, they too, had not been very nice.
But these things, they had told her, were
necessary for "advertisement" -- and
Senor Ramon himself had always been
In answer to questioning she declared
that the name of Mrs. Ferrier had never
been mentioned and that she had had no
idea that it was that lady she was supposed
to be understudying. She had meant no
harm. She identified certain photographs
which were shown to her as having been
taken of her in Paris and on the Riviera.
There was the hall mark of absolute
honesty about Thelma Andersen. She was
quite clearly a pleasant, but slightly stupid
woman. Her distress at the whole thmg, now that she understood it, was patent to
The defence was unconvincing. A frenzied
denial of having any dealings with the
woman Andersen. The photos in question
had been brought to the London office and
had been believed to be genuine. Sir
Mortimer's closing speech roused enthusiasm.
He described the whole thing as a dastardly political plot, formed to discredit
the Prime Minister and his wife. All
sympathy would be extended to the unfortunate
The verdict, a foregone conclusion, was
given amidst unparallelled scenes. Damages
were assessed at an enormous figure. As
Mrs. Ferrier and her husband and father
left the court they were greeted by the
appreciative roars of a vast crowd.
Edward Ferrier grasped Poirot warmly by
"I thank you, M. Poirot, a thousand
times. Well, that finishes the X-ray News. Dirty little rag. They're wiped out completely.
Serves them right for cooking up
such a scurrilous plot. Against Dagmar, too, the kindliest creature in the world.
Thank goodness you managed to expose
the whole thing for the wicked ramp it
was. . . . What put you on to the idea that
they might be using a double ?33
"It is not a new idea,33 Poirot reminded
him. "It was employed successfully in the
case of Jeanne de la Motte when she impersonated Marie Antoinette.33
"I know. I must re-read The Queen's Necklace. But how did you actually find the woman they were
"I looked for her in Denmark, and I
found her there."
"But why Denmark ?"
"Because Mrs. Ferrier's grandmother
was a Dane, and she herself is a markedly
Danish type. And there were other
"The resemblance is certainly striking.
What a devilish idea! I wonder how the
little rat came to think of it ?"
"But he did not."
He tapped himself on the chest.
"I thought of it!"
Edward Ferrier stared.
"I don*t understand. What do you
"We must go back to an older story than
that of The Queen's Necklace--to the
cleansing of the Augean Stables. What
Hercules used was a river -- that is to say one of the great forces of Nature. Modernise
that! What is a great force of Nature ?
Sex, is it not ? It is the sex angle that sells
stories, that makes news. Give people
scandal allied to sex...
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