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Unformatted text preview: rot came to this door and
knocked. There was a vast iron knocker.
Then he cautiously pulled at a rusty chain
and a shrill little bell tinkled briskly inside
A small panel in the door was pushed
aside and showed a face. It was a suspicious
face, framed in starched white.
There was a distinct moustache on the
upper lip, but the voice was the voice of a
woman, it was the voice of what Hercule
Poirot called ^femme formidable.
It demanded his business.
"Is this the Convent of St. Mary and
All Angels ?"
The formidable woman said with asperity: "And what else would it be ?"
Hercule Poirot did not attempt to answer
that. He said to the dragon: cc! would like to see the Mother
The dragon was unwilling, but in the
end she yielded. Bars were drawn back, the door opened and Hercule Poirot
was conducted to a small bare room
where visitors to the Convent were received. Presently a nun glided in, her rosary
swinging at her waist.
Hercule Poirot was a Catholic by birth.
He understood the atmosphere in which
he found himself.
"I apologise for troubling you, ma
mere," he said, "but you have here, I think, a religieuse who was, in the world, Kate
The Mother Superior bowed her head.
"That is so. Sister Mary Ursula in
Hercule Poirot said: "There is a certain
wrong that needs righting. I believe that
Sister Mary Ursula could help me. She
has information that might be invaluable." The Mother Superior shook her head. Her face was placid, her voice calm and
remote. She said:
"Sister Mary Ursula cannot help you."
"But I assure you -- "
He broke off. The Mother Superior said:
"Sister Mary Ursula died two months
In the saloon bar of Jimmy Donovan's
Hotel, Hercule Poirot sat uncomfortably
against the wall. The hotel did not come
up to his ideas of what a hotel should be.
His bed was broken -- so were two of the
window panes in his room -- thereby admitting
that night air which Hercule
Poirot distrusted so much. The hot water
brought him had been tepid and the meal
he had eaten was producing curious and
painful sensations in his inside.
There were five men in the bar and they
were all talking politics. For the most part
Hercule Poirot could not understand what
they said. In any case, he did not much
care. Presently he found one of the men sitting
beside him. This was a man of slightly
different class to the others. He had the
stamp of the seedy townsman upon him.
He said with immense dignity:
"I tell you, sir. I tell you -- Pegeen's
Pride hasn't got a chance, not a chance
. . . bound to finish right down the course
--right down the course. You take my
tip ... everybody ought to take my tip.
Know who I am, shir, do you know, I
shay ? Atlas, thatsh who I am -- Atlas of
the Dublin Sun . . . been tipping winnersh
all the season. . . . Didn't I give Larry's
Girl ? Twenty-five to one -- twenty-five
to one. Follow Atl...
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