Unformatted text preview: ened and Hawker and Sheila Grant
came in. They were in hunting kit and
Sheila had a streak of mud on her cheek.
"Hullo, people, we've come in for a
drink. Tony's flask is dry."
"Talk of the angels — "
Pam Grant snapped:
"Devils, you mean."
Poirot said sharply:
"Is it like that ?"
Beryl Larkin had come forward. She
"Here you are. Tony. Tell me about
the run ? Did you draw Gelert's Copse ?"
She drew him away skilfully to a sofa
near the fireplace. Poirot saw him turn
his head and glance at Sheila before he
Sheila had seen Poirot. She hesitated
a minute, then came over to the two in the window. She said abruptly:
"So it was you who came to the house
"Did your father tell you ?"
She shook her head.
"Abdul described you. I — guessed."
Pam exclaimed: "You went to see
"Ah—yes. We have—some mutual
Pam said sharply:
"I don't believe it."
"What do you not believe? That your
father and I could have a mutual friend ?"
The girl flushed.
"Don't be stupid. I meant — that wasn't
really your reason — "
She turned on her sister.
"Why don't you say something, Sheila ?"
Sheila started. She said:
"It wasn't — it wasn't anything to do
with Tony Hawker ?"
"Why should it be ?" asked Poirot. Sheila flushed and went back across the
room to the others.
Pam said with sudden vehemence but
in a lowered voice:
"I don't like Tony Hawker. There—
there's something sinister about him — and
about her — Mrs. Larkin, I mean. Look
at them now."
Poirot followed hex glance.
Hawker's head was close to that of his
hostess. He appeared to be soothing her.
Her voice rose for a minute.
cc — but I can't wait. I want it now\"
Poirot said with a little smile:
"Les femmes — whatever it is — they
always want it now, do they not ?"
But Pam Grant did not respond. Her face
was cast down. She was nervously pleating
and repleating her tweed skirt.
Poirot murmured conversationally:
"You are quite a different type from your
She flung her head up, impatient of
banalities. She said:
"M. Poirot. What's the stuff Tony's been giving Sheila ? What is it that's been
making her — different ?"
He looked straight at her. He asked:
"Have you ever taken cocaine. Miss
She shook her head.
"Oh no! So that's it? Cocaine? But
isn't that very dangerous ?55
Sheila Grant had come over to them,
a fresh drink in her hand. She said:
"What's dangerous ?"
"We are talking of the effects of drugtaking.
Of the slow death of the mind and
spirit — the destroying of all that is true
and good in a human being.35
Sheila Grant caught her breath. The
drink in her hand swayed and spilled on
the floor. Poirot went on:
"Dr. Stoddart has, I think, made clear
to you just what that death in life entails.
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