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Unformatted text preview: r me, sir ?"
Hercule Poirot smiled. He said, murmuring
cc ^air like wings of gold.' Yes, I think
this is the third Labour of Hercules. . . .
If I remember rightly, that happened in
Hercule Poirot looked thoughtfully at the
sheet of paper on which Ted Williamson
had laboriously inscribed a name and
Miss Valetta, 17 Upper Renfrew Lane,
He wondered if he would learn anything
at that address. Somehow he fancied not.
But it was the only help Ted could give
No. 17 Upper Renfrew Lane was a
dingy but respectable street. A stout woman with bleary eyes opened the door to
"Miss Valetta ?33
"Gone away a long time ago, she has."
Poirot advanced a step into the doorway
just as the door was about to close.
"You can give me, perhaps, her
"Couldn't say, I'm sure. She didn't
"When did she go away ?33
"Last summer it was.33
"Can you tell me exactly when ?33
A gentle clinking noise came from
Poirot's right hand where two half-crowns
jostled each other in friendly fashion.
The bleary-eyed woman softened in an
almost magical manner. She became
"Well, I'm sure I'd like to help you, sir.
Let me see now. August, no, before that
—July—yes, July it must have been.
About the first week in July. Went off
m a hurry, she did. Back to Italy, I believe.33 "She was an Italian, then ?33
'That's right, sir.33
"And she was at one time lady's-maid
to a Russian dancer, was she not ?33
'That's right. Madame Semoulina or
some such name. Danced at the Thespian
in this Bally everyone's so wild about.
One of the stars, she was."
"Do you know why Miss Valetta left
her post ?"
The woman hesitated a moment before
"I couldn't say, I'm sure."
"She was dismissed, was she not ?"
"Well -- I believe there was a bit of a
dust up! But mind you. Miss Valetta
didn't let on much about it. She wasn't one
to give things away. But she looked wild
about it. Wicked temper she had--real
Eyetalian--her black eyes all snapping
and looking as if she'd like to put a knife
into you. I wouldn't have crossed her
when she was in one of her moods!"
"And you are quite sure you do not know Miss Valetta's present address ?"
The half-crowns clinked again encouragingly. The answer rang true enough.
"I wish I did, sir. I'd be only too glad
to tell you. But there -- she went off in a
hurry and there it is!"
Poirot said to himself thoughtfully:
"Yes, there it is ..."
Ambrose Vandel, diverted from his
enthusiastic account of the decor he was
designing for a forthcoming ballet, supplied
information easily enough.
"Sanderfield ? George Sanderfield ? Nasty
fellow. Rolling in money but they say he's
a crook. Dark horse! Affair with a dancer ?
But of course, my dear -- he had an affair
with Katrina. Katrina Samoushenka. You must have seen her? Oh, my dear--too
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