This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: ot;
"Where is Nurse Harrison now ?"
"She looks after old Miss Bristow-down at the end of the village. You can't
miss it. It's got pillars and a porch."
It was a very short time afterwards that
Hercule Poirot found himself sitting opposite
to the woman who certainly must know
more about the circumstances that had
given rise to the rumours than any one
Nurse Harrison was a still handsome
woman nearing forty. She had the calm
serene features of a Madonna with big
sympathetic dark eyes. She listened to him
patiently and attentively. Then she said slowly:
'Tes, I know that there are these unpleasant
stories going about. I have done
what I could to stop them, but it's hopeless.
People like the excitement, you know.3'
"But there must have been something to give rise to these rumours ?"
He noted that her expression of distress
deepened. But she merely shook her head
"Perhaps," Poirot suggested, "Doctor
Oldfield and his wife did not get on well
together and it was that that started the
Nurse Harrison shook her head decidedly. "Oh no. Doctor Oldfield was always
extremely kind and patient with his wife."
"He was really very fond of her ?"
"No -- I would not quite say that. Mrs.
Oldfield was a very difficult woman, not
easy to please and making constant demands
for sympathy and attention which
were not always justified." "You mean," said Poirot, "that she
exaggerated her condition ?"
The nurse nodded.
"Yes -- her bad health was largely a matter other own imagination."
"And yet," said Poirot gravely, "she
"Oh, I know -- I know...."
He watched her for a minute or two;
her troubled perplexity--her palpable
He said: "I think--I am sure--that
you do know what first gave rise to all these
Nurse Harrison flushed.
"Well -- I could, perhaps, make a guess.
I believe it was the maid, Beatrice, who
started all these rumours and I think I
know what put it into her head."
Nurse Harrison said rather incoherently:
"You see, it was something I happened
to overhear--a scrap of conversation
between Doctor Oldfield and Miss Moncrieffe--and I'm pretty certain Beatrice
overheard it too, only I don't suppose she'd
ever admit it."
"What was this conversation ?"
Nurse Harrison paused for a minute as
though to test the accuracy of her own
memory, then she said:
"It was about three weeks before the
last attack that killed Mrs. Oldfield. They
were in the dining-room. I was coming
down the stairs when I heard Jean Moncrieffe
c( 'How much longer will it be ? I can't
bear to wait much longer.'
And the doctor answered her:
cc "Not much longer now, darling, I
swear it.' And she said again:
(c (I can't bear this waiting. You do
think it will be all right, don't you ?' And
he said: 'Of course. Noth...
View Full Document