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Unformatted text preview: ws rose a little.
"And do you not agree ?"
"I don't know. . . . What is being mad,
after all ? Everyone is a little mad."
"It has been said so," Poirot agreed
"It's only when you begin thinking
you're a poached egg or something that
they have to shut you up."
"And your fiance has not reached that
Diana Maberly said:
"I can't see that there's anything wrong
with Hugh at all. He's, oh, he's the sanest
person I know. Sound — dependable — "
"Then why does he think he is going
Poirot paused a moment before going on.
"Is there, perhaps, madness in his
Reluctantly Diana jerked her head in assent. She said:
"His grandfather was mental, I believe
— and some great-aunt or other. But what
I say is, that every family has got someone
queer in it. You know, a bit half-witted
or extra clever or something^
Her eyes were appealing.
Hercule Poirot shook his head sadly. He
"I am very sorry for you. Mademoiselle."
Her chin shot out. She cried:
(c! don't want you to be sorry for me!
I want you to do something!"
"What do you want me to do ?"
cc! don't know—but there's something
"Will you tell me Mademoiselle, all
about your fiance ?"
Diana spoke rapidly:
"His name's Hugh Chandler. He's
twenty-four. His father is Admiral
Chandler. They live at Lyde Manor. It's
been in the Chandler family since the time
of Elizabeth. Hugh's the only son. He went into the Navy—all the Chandlers are
sailors — it's a sort of tradition — ever
since Sir Gilbert Chandler sailed with Sir
Walter Raleigh in fifteen-something-orother.
Hugh went into the Navy as a
matter of course. His father wouldn't have
heard of anything else. And yet -- and yet, it was his father who insisted on getting
him out of it!33
"When was that ?"
''Nearly a year ago. Quite suddenly."
"Was Hugh Chandler happy in his
"There was no scandal of any land ?"
"About Hugh? Absolutely nothing. He
was getting on splendidly. He--he
couldn't understand his father."
"What reason did Admiral Chandler
himself give ?"
Diana said slowly:
"He never really gave a reason. Oh! he
said it was necessary Hugh should learn
to manage the estate -- but -- but that was
only a pretext. Even George Frobisher
realised that." "Who is George Frobisher ?"
"Colonel Frobisher. He's Admiral
Chandler's oldest friend and Hugh's godfather.
He spends most of his time down
at the Manor."
"And what did Colonel Frobisher think
of Admiral Chandler's determination that
his son should leave the Navy ?" LOH17
247 "He was dumbfounded. He couldn't
understand it at all. Nobody could.59
"Not even Hugh Chandler himself?"
Diana did not answer at once. Poirot
waited a minute, then he went on:
"At the time, perhaps, he, too, was
astonished. But now ? Has he said nothing
-- nothing at all...
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