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Unformatted text preview: A. Miss Camaby clasped her hands
fervently round her handbag and leaned
forward, peering anxiously into Poirot's
face. As usual, she sounded breathless.
Hercule Poirot's eyebrows rose.
She said anxiously:
"You do remember me, don't you ?"
Hercule Poirot's eyes twinkled. He said: "I remember you as one of the most
successful criminals that I have ever
"Oh dear me, M. Poirot, must you really
say such things ? You were so kind to me.
Emily and I often talk about you, and if
we see anything about you in the paper we
cut it out at once and paste it in a book.
As for Augustus, we have taught him a new
trick. We say, "Die for Sherlock Holmes,
die for Mr. Fortune, die for Sir Henry
Merrivale, and then die for M. Hercule
Poirot' and he goes down and lies like a
log—lies absolutely still without moving
until we say the word!39
"I am gratified,5' said Poirot. "And how
is ce cher Auguste ?35
Miss Camaby clasped her hands and
became eloquent in praise of her Pekinese.
"Oh, M. Poirot, he's cleverer than ever.
He knows everything. Do you know, the
other day I was just admiring a baby in a
pram and suddenly I felt a tug and there
was Augustus trying his hardest to bite through his lead. Wasn't that clever ?33
Poirot's eyes twinkled. He said:
"It looks to me as though Augustus
shared these criminal tendencies we were
speaking of just now!33
Miss Camaby did not laugh. Instead,
her nice plump face grew worried and sad.
She said in a kind of gasp:
"Oh, M. Poirot. I'm so worried3'1
Poirot said kindly: "What is it ?"
"Do you know, M. Poirot, I'm afraid —
I really am afraid—that I must be a
hardened criminal—if I may use such a
term. Ideas come to me!"
"What kind of ideas ?"
"The most extraordinary ideas! For
instance, yesterday, a really most practical scheme for robbing a post office came into
my head. I wasn't thinking about it--it
just came! And another very ingenious way
for evading custom duties. ... I feel convinced
-- quite convinced -- that it would
"It probably would," said Poirot dryly.
"That is the danger of your ideas."
"It has worried me, M. Poirot, very much. Having been brought up with strict
principles, as I have been, it is most disturbing
that such lawless -- such really wicked--ideas should come to me. The
trouble is partly, I think, that I have a good
deal of leisure time now. I have left Lady
Hoggin and I am engaged by an old lady
to read to her and to write her letters
every day. The letters are soon done
and the moment I begin reading she
goes to sleep, so I am left just sitting
there -- with an idle mind -- and we
all know the use the devil has for idleness.35 "Tcha, tcha," said Poirot.
"Recently I have read a book -- a very
modem book, translated from the German.
It throws a most interesting light on
criminal tendencies. One must, so I understand,
sublimate one's impulses! Tha...
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