Unformatted text preview: good soul. Not, of course, precisely intellectual." Hercule Poirot agreed that Miss Camaby
could not, perhaps be described as intellectual. His next proceeding was to discover the
Park Keeper to whom Miss Camaby had
spoken on the fateful afternoon. This he
did without much difficulty. The man remembered the incident in question.
"Middle-aged lady, rather stout -- in a
regular state she was -- lost her Pekinese
dog. I knew her well by sight -- brings the
dog along most afternoons. I saw her come
in with it. She was in a rare taking when she
lost it. Came running to me to know if I'd
seen any one with a Pekinese dog! Well, I
ask you! I can tell you, the Gardens is full
of dogs -- every kind -- terriers, Pekes, German sausage-dogs -- even them Borzois
--all kinds we have. Not likely as Pd
notice one Peke more than another."
Hercule Poirot nodded his head thoughtfully. He went to 38 Bloomsbury Road Square.
Nos. 383 39 and 40 were incorporated
together as the Balaclava Private Hotel.
Poirot walked up the steps and pushed
open the door. He was greeted inside by
gloom and a smell of cooking cabbage with
a reminiscence of breakfast kippers. On his
left was a mahogany table with a sad-looking
chrysanthemum plant on it. Above the
table was a big baize-covered rack into which letters were stuck. Poirot stared at
the board thoughtfully for some minutes.
He pushed open a door on his right. It led
into a kind of lounge with small tables and
some so-called easy-chairs covered with a
depressing pattern of cretonne. Three old
ladies and one fierce-looking old gentleman
raised their heads and gazed at the intruder
with deadly venom. Hercule Poirot blushed
He walked farther along the passage and
came to a staircase. On his right a passage
branched at right angles to what was evidently
A little way along this passage was a door
On this Poirot tapped. Receiving no
response, he opened the door and looked
in. There was a large desk in the room
covered with papers but there was no one
to be seen. He withdrew, closing the door
again. He penetrated to the dining-room.
A sad-looking girl in a dirty apron was
shuffling about with a basket of knives and
forks with which she was laying the tables. Hercule Poirot said apologetically:
"Excuse me, but could I see the
The girl looked at him with lacklustre
"I don't know, I'm sure."
Hercule Poirot said:
"There is no one in the office."
"Well, I don't know where she'd be, I'm
"Perhaps," Hercule Poirot said, patient and persistent, "you could find out ?"
The girl sighed. Dreary as her day's
round was, it had now been made additionally
so by this new burden laid upon
her. She said sadly:
"Well, I'll see what I can do."
Poirot thanked her and removed himself
once more to the hall, not daring to face
the malevolent glare of the occupants of
the lounge. He was stari...
View Full Document