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sects. They just spring up. They have a
kind of emotional appeal but sometimes I
have very grave doubts as to whether there is any true religious feeling behind them
"You think your friend is being victimised
by a sect of this kind ?"
"I do. Oh! I certainly do. The Flock of
the Shepherd, they call themselves. Their
headquarters is in Devonshire--a very
lovely estate by the sea. The adherents go
there for what they term a Retreat. That
is a period of a fortnight -- with religious
services and rituals. And there are three
big Festivals in the year, the Coming of
the Pasture, the Full Pasture, and the
Reaping of the Pasture.3'
"Which last is stupid," said Poirot.
"Because one does not reap pasture."
"The whole thing is stupid,n said Miss
Camaby with warmth. "The whole sect
centres round the head of the movement,
the Great Shepherd, he is called. A Dr.
Andersen. A very handsome-looking man, I believe, with a presence.35
"Which is attractive to the women, yes?35
"I am afraid so," Miss Camaby sighed.
"My father was a very handsome man.
Sometimes, it was most awkward in the LOH24
359 parish. The rivalry in embroidering vestments
-- and the division of church
She shook her head reminiscently.
"Are the members of the Great Flock
mostly women ?39
"At least three quarters of them, I
gather. What men there are, are mostly cranks\ It is upon the women that the
success of the movement depends and -and on the funds they supply.33
"Ah," said Poirot. "Now we come to it.
Frankly, you think the whole thing is a
"Frankly, M. Poirot, I do. And another
thing worries me. I happen to know that
my poor friend is so bound up in this
religion that she has recently made a will
leaving all her property to the movement.39
Poirot said sharply:
"Was that -- suggested to her ?"
"In all fairness, no. It was entirely her
own idea. The Great Shepherd had shown her a new way of life -- so all that she had
was to go on her death to the Great Cause.
What really worries me is -- "
"Yes -- go on -- "
"Several very wealthy women have been
among the devotees. In the last year three of them, no less, have died.5'
"Leaving all their money to this sect ?"
'Their relations have made no protest ?
I should have thought it likely that there
might have been litigation."
"You see, M. Poirot, it is usually lonely women who belong to this gathering.
People who have no very near relations or
Poirot nodded thoughtfully. Miss
Camaby hurried on:
"Of course I've no right to suggest anything
at all. From what I have been able
to find out, there was nothing wrong about
any of these deaths. One, I believe, was pneumonia following influenza and another
was attributed to gastric ulcer. There were
absolutely no suspicious circumstances, if
you know what I mean, and the deaths did
not take place at Green Hill...
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