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Unformatted text preview: cant, vicious face. She called out:
"I've got insects crawling all over me.
... I have. I swear I have. I'm going mad.
. . . For God's sake, give me a shot of
Dr. Stoddart stood by the bed, his tone
was soothing -- professional.
Hercule Poirot went quietly out of the
room. There was another door opposite
him. He opened that.
It was a tiny room -- a mere slip of a
room--plainly furnished. On the bed a
slim, girlish figure lay motionless.
Hercule Poirot tip-toed to the side of
the bed and looked down upon the girl.
Dark hair, a long, pale face--and-yes, young -- very young....
A gleam of white showed between the
girl's lids. Her eyes opened, startled, frightened eyes. She stared, sat up, tossing
her head in an effort to throw back the
thick mane of blue-black hair. She looked
like a frightened filly—she shrank away
a little—as a wild animal shrinks when
it is suspicious of a stranger who offers it food.
She said—and her voice was young
and thin and abrupt:
"Who the hell are you ?"
"Do not be afraid. Mademoiselle."
"Where's Dr. Stoddart ?"
That young man came into the room at
that minute. The girl said with a note of
relief in her voice:
"Oh! there you are! Who's this ?"
"This is a friend of mine, Sheila. How
are you feeling now ?"
The girl said:
"Awful. Lousy. . . . Why did I take that
Stoddart said dryly:
"I shouldn't do it again, if I were you."
"I — I shan't."
Hercule Poirot said:
"Who gave it to you ?"
Her eyes widened, her upper lip twitched
a little. She said:
"It was here — at the party. We all tried
it. It — it was wonderful at first."
Hercule Poirot said gently:
299 "But who brought it here ?"
She shook her head.
"I don't know. ... It might have been
Tony — Tony Hawker. But I don't really
know anything about it."
Poirot said gently:
"Is it the first time you have taken
cocaine. Mademoiselle ?"
"You'd better make it the last," said
"Yes — I suppose so — but it was rather
"Now look here, Sheila Grant," said
Stoddart. "I'm a doctor and I know what
I'm talking about. Once start this drugtaking
racket and you'll land yourself in
unbelievable misery. I've seen some and
I know. Drugs ruin people, body and soul.
Drink's a gentle little picnic compared to
drugs. Cut it right out from this minute.
Believe me, it isn't funny! What do you
think your father would say to tonight's
"Father?" Sheila Grant's voice rose. "Father?" She began to laugh. "I can
just see Father's face! He mustn't know
about it. He'd have seven fits!"
"And quite right too," said Stoddart. "Doctor -- doctor -- " the long wail of
Mrs. Grace's voice came from the other
Stoddart muttered something uncomplimentary
under his breath and went out of
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