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to pay for it, M. Poirot."
Hercule Poirot said softly:
"You have no doubt heard the Spanish proverb: 'Take what you want — and pay
for it, says God.' "
For a moment the financier frowned —
a swift light of anger showed in his eyes.
He said coldly:
"You are by way of being a philosopher,
"I have arrived at the age of reflection,
"Doubtless. But it is not reflection that
will restore my goblet to me."
"You think not ?"
"I fancy action will be necessary."
Hercule Poirot nodded placidly.
"A lot of people make the same mistake.
But I demand your pardon, Mr. Power, we
have digressed from the matter in hand.
You were saying that you had bought the
cup from the Marchese di San Veratrino ?"
"Exactly. What I have now to tell you is
that it was stolen before it actually came
into my possession."
"How did that happen ?"
"The Marchese's Palace was broken
into on the night of the sale and eight or ten pieces of considerable value were
stolen, including the goblet."
"What was done in the matter ?"
Power shrugged his shoulders.
"The police, of course, took the matter
in hand. The robbery was recognised to be
the work of a well-known international
gang of thieves. Two of their number, a
Frenchman called Dublay and an Italian
called Riccovetti, were caught and tried —
some of the stolen goods were found in their
"But not the Borgia goblet ?"
"But not the Borgia goblet. There were,
as far as the police could ascertain, three
men actually engaged in the robbery—
the two I have just mentioned and a third,
an Irishman named Patrick Casey. This
last was an expert cat burglar. It was he
who is said to have actually stolen the
things. Dublay was the brains of the group
and planned their coups, Riccovetti drove
the car and waited below for the goods to
be lowered down to him."
"And the stolen goods ? Were they split up into three parts ?"
"Possibly. On the other hand, the
articles that were recovered were those of
least value. It seems possible that the more
noteworthy and spectacular pieces had
been hastily smuggled out of the country."
"What about the third man, Casey?
Was he never brought to justice ?"
"Not in the sense you mean. He was not
a very young man. His muscles were
stiffer than formerly. Two weeks later he
fell from the fifth floor of a building and
was killed instantly."
"Where was this ?"
"In Paris. He was attempting to rob the
house of the millionaire banker, Duvauglier."
the goblet has never been seen
"It has never been offered for sale ?"
"I am quite sure it has not. I may say
that not only the police, but also private
inquiry agents, have been on the look out for it." "What about the money you had paid
"The Marchese, a very...
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