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Unformatted text preview: ing him. "There is one thing that
I wish you would give me. It is your mantle
of invisibility that I need. In all these cases
nobody for a moment suspected that there
was a second dog involved. Augustus
possessed the lion's skin of invisibility.53
"Of course, M. Poirot, according to the
legend, Pekinese were lions once. And they
still have the hearts of lions!"
"Augustus is, I suppose, the dog that
was left to you by Lady Hartingfield and
who is reported to have died? Were you never afraid of him coming home alone
through the traffic ?"
"Oh no, M. Poirot, Augustus is very
clever about traffic. I have trained him
most carefully. He has even grasped the
principle of One Way Streets."
"In that case," said Hercule Poirot, "he
is superior to most human beings!"
Sir Joseph received Hercule Poirot in his
study. He said:
"Well, Mr. Poirot? Made your boast
"Let me first ask you a question," said
Poirot as he seated himself. "I know who
the criminal is and I think it possible that
I can produce sufficient evidence to convict
this person. But in that case I doubt
if you will ever recover your money."
"Not get back my money ?"
Sir Joseph turned purple.
Hercule Poirot went on:
"But I am not a policeman. I am acting
in this case solely in your interests. I could,
I think, recover your money intact, if no proceedings were taken."
"Eh?" said Sir Joseph. "That needs a
bit of thinking about."
"It is entirely for you to decide. Strictly
speaking, I suppose you ought to prosecute
in the public interest. Most people would
"I dare say they would," said Sir Joseph
sharply. "It wouldn't be their money that
had gone west. If there's one thing I hate
it's to be swindled. Nobody's ever swindled
me and got away with it."
"Well then, what do you decide ?"
Sir Joseph hit the table with his fist.
"I'll have the brass! Nobody's going to
say they got away with two hundred pounds
of my money."
Hercule Poirot rose, crossed to the
writing-table, wrote out a cheque for two
hundred pounds and handed it to the other
Sir Joseph said in a weak voice:
"Well, I'm damned! Who the devil is this fellow ?"
Poirot shook his head. "If you accept the money, there must
be no questions asked."
Sir Joseph folded up the cheque and put
it in his pocket.
"That's a pity. But the money's the
thing. And what do I owe you, Mr.
"My fees will not be high. This was, as
I said, a very unimportant matter.5' He
paused--and added, "Nowadays nearly
all my cases are murder cases. ..."
Sir Joseph started slightly.
"Must be interesting ?" he said.
"Sometimes. Curiously enough, you recall
to me one of my early cases in Belgium, many years ago--the chief protagonist
was very like you in appearance. He was a
wealthy soap manufacturer. He poisoned
his wife in order to b...
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