Unformatted text preview: not a soul to be seen."
"Then, of course, Milly confessed what
she'd done and I lost my temper a bit. However, I calmed down after a while —
after all, the thing was done and you can't
expect a woman to behave with any sense
—and I daresay I should have let the
whole thing go if it hadn't been for meeting
old Samuelson at the Club."
"Damn it all, this thing must be a
positive racket! Exactly the same thing had
happened to him. Three hundred pounds
they'd rooked his wife of! Well, that was a
bit too much. I decided the thing had got to
be stopped. I sent for you."
"But surely. Sir Joseph, the proper
thing (and a very much more inexpensive
thing) would have been to send for the
Sir Joseph rubbed his nose.
"Are you married, Mr. Poirot ?"
"Alas," said Poirot, "I have not that
"H'm," said Sir Joseph. "Don't know
about felicity, but if you were, you'd know that women are funny creatures. My wife
went into hysterics at the mere mention of
the police — she'd got it into her head that
something would happen to her precious
Shan Tung if I went to them. She wouldn't
hear of the idea—and I may say she
doesn't take very kindly to the idea of your
being called in. But I stood firm there and
at last she gave way. But, mind you, she
doesn't like it."
Hercule Poirot murmured:
"The position is, I perceive, a delicate
one. It would be as well, perhaps, if I were
to interview Madame your wife and gain
further particulars from her whilst at the
same time reassuring her as to the future
safety of her dog ?53
Sir Joseph nodded and rose to his feet.
"I'll take you along in the car right away.33
In a large, hot, ornately-furnished drawingroom
two women were sitting.
As Sir Joseph and Hercule Poirot entered, a small Pekinese dog rushed forward,
barking furiously, and circling dangerously round Poirot's ankles.
"Shan -- Shan, come here. Come here
to mother, lovey-- Pick him up. Miss
The second woman hurried forward and
Hercule Poirot murmured:
"A veritable lion, indeed."
Rather breathlessly Shan Tung's captor
"Yes, indeed, he's such a good watchdog.
He's not frightened of anything or any one.
There's a lovely boy, then.33
Having performed the necessary introduction, Sir Joseph said:
"Well, Mr. Poirot, I'll leave you to get on
with it," and with a short nod he left the
Lady Hoggin was a stout, petulantlooking
woman with dyed henna red hair.
Her companion, the fluttering Miss Carnaby, was a plump, amiable-looking creature
between forty and fifty. She treated Lady
Hoggin with great deference and was
clearly frightened to death of her.
"Now tell me. Lady Hoggin, the full circumstances of this abominable crime."
Lady Hoggin flushed.
"I'm very glad to hear you say that, Mr.
Poirot. For it was a crime. Pekinese are
terribly sensitive -- just as sensitive as
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