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the end. He was perfectly all right up to
thirty—normal as could be. Then he
began to go a bit queer. It was some time
before people noticed it. Then a lot of
rumours began going around. People
started talking properly. Things happened
that were hushed up. But—well," he
raised his shoulders "ended up as mad as
a hatter, poor devil! Homicidal! Had to
He paused for a moment and then
"He lived to be quite an old man, I
believe. . . . That's what Hugh is afraid
of, of course. That's why he doesn't want
to see a doctor. He's afraid of being shut 254
up and living shut up for years. Can't say
I blame him. I'd feel the same." "And Admiral Chandler, how does he
"It's broken him up completely," Frobisher
"He is very fond of his son ?"
"Wrapped up in the boy. You see, his
wife was drowned in a boating accident
when the boy was only ten years old.
Since then he's lived for nothing but the
"Was he very devoted to his wife ?"
"Worshipped her. Everybody worshipped
her. She was -- she was one of the
loveliest women I've ever known." He
paused a moment and then said jerkily, "Care to see her portrait ?"
"I should like to see it very much."
Frobisher pushed back his chair and
rose. Aloud he said:
"Going to show M. Poirot one or two
things, Charles. He's a bit of a con
The Admiral raised a vague hand. Frobisher tramped along the terrace and
Poirot followed him. For a moment Diana's
face dropped its mask of gaiety and looked
an agonised question. Hugh, too, raised
his head, and looked steadily at the small
man with the big black moustache.
Poirot followed Frobisher into the house.
It was so dim at first coming in out of the
sunlight that he could hardly distinguish
one article from another. But he realised
that the house was full of old and beautiful
Colonel Frobisher led the way to the
Picture Gallery. On the panelled walls
hung portraits of dead and gone Chandlers.
Faces stern and gay, men in court dress
or in Naval uniform. Women in satin and
Finally Probisher stopped under a
portrait at the end of the gallery.
"Painted by Orpen,33 he said gruffly.
They stood looking up at a tall woman, her hand on a greyhound's collar. A woman
with auburn hair and an expression of
"Boy's the spitting image of her," said Frobisher. "Don't you think so ?33
"In some things, yes.55
"He hasn't got her delicacy -- her femininity, of course. He's a masculine edition
-- but in all the essential things -- " He
broke off. "Pity he inherited from the
Chandlers the one thing he could well have
done without. . . ."
They were silent. There was melancholy
in the air all around them—as though
dead and gone Chandlers sighed for the
taint that lay in their blood and which,
remorselessly, from time to time, they
passed on. ....
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