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room. Chandler went in. Hugh asleep on bed — dead asleep — in his clothes. Blood
on the clothes. Basin in the room full of
blood. His father couldn't wake him. Next
morning heard about sheep being found
with their throats cut. Questioned Hugh.
Boy didn't know anything about it. Didn't
remember going out — and his shoes found
by the side door caked in mud. Couldn't
explain the blood in the basin. Couldn't
explain anything. Poor devil didn't know,
"Charles came to me, talked it over.
What was the best thing to be done ? Then
it happened again—three nights later.
After that — well, you can see for yourself.
The boy had got to leave the service. If he
was here, under Charles' eye, Charles
could watch over him. Couldn't afford to
have a scandal in the Navy. Yes, it was the
only thing to be done." Poirot asked: "And since then?" Frobisher said fiercely, "I'm not answering
any more questions. Don't you think
Hugh knows his own business best ?"
Hercule Poirot did not answer. He was
always loath to admit that anyone could know better than Hercule Poirot.
As they came into the hall, they met
Admiral Chandler coming in. He stood
for a moment, a dark figure silhouetted
against the bright light outside.
He said in a low, gruff voice:
"Oh there you both are. M. Poirot, I
would like a word with you. Come into my
Frobisher went out through the open
door, and Poirot followed the Admiral. He
had rather the feeling of having been summoned
to the quarter-deck to give an
account of himself.
The Admiral motioned Poirot to take
one of the big easy chairs and himself sat
down in the other. Poirot, whilst with
Frobisher, had been impressed by the
other's restlessness, nervousness and irritability
-- all the signs of intense mental
strain. With Admiral Chandler he felt a
sense of hopelessness, of quiet, deep
despair. . . .
With a deep sigh. Chandler said: "I can't help being sorry Diana has brought
you into this. . . . Poor child, I know how
hard it is for her. But -- well -- it is our
own private tragedy, and I think you will
understand, M. Poirot, that we don't want
"I can understand your feeling, certainly.35 "Diana, poor child, can't believe it. ...
/ couldn't at first. Probably wouldn't
believe it now if I didn't know -- 3?
"Know what ?"
"That it's in the blood. The taint, I
"And yet you agreed to the engagement
Admiral Chandler flushed.
"You mean, I should have put my foot
down then? But at the time I'd no idea.
Hugh takes after his mother--nothing
about him to remind you of the Chandlers.
I hoped he'd taken after her in every way.
From his childhood upwards, there's never been a trace of abnormality about him
until now. I couldn't know that--dash
it all, there's a trace of insanity in nearly
every old family!39
Poirot said softly: "You have not consulted
a doctor ?"
Chandler roared: &qu...
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