Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Pursuant to your instructions i followed this lady

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Unformatted text preview: ; Again Poirot nodded his head. He went back to the inn. There he gave certain instructions to George. VI Dr. Alan Garcia, the Home Office Analyst, rubbed his hands and twinkled at Hercule Poirot. He said: "Well, this suits you, M. Poirot, I suppose ? The man who's always right." Poirot said: 89 "You are too kind." "What put you on to it ? Gossip ?3' "As you say— Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues. The following day Poirot once more took a train to Market Loughborough. Market Loughborough was buzzing like a beehive. It had buzzed mildly ever since the exhumation proceedings. Now that the findings of the autopsy had leaked out, excitement had reached fever heat. Poirot had been at the inn for about an hour and had just finished a hearty lunch of steak and kidney pudding washed down by beer when word was brought to him that a lady was waiting to see him. It was Nurse Harrison. Her face was white and haggard. She came straight to Poirot. "Is this true? Is this really true, M. Poirot ?" He put her gently into a chair. "Yes. More than sufficient arsenic to cause death has been found." Nurse Harrison cried: "I never thought — I never for one moment thought — " and burst into tears. 90 Poirot said gently: "The truth had to come out, you know." She sobbed. "Will they hang him ?" Poirot said: "A lot has to be proved still. Opportunity -- access to poison -- the vehicle in which it was administered." "But supposing, M. Poirot, that he had nothing to do with it -- nothing at all." "In that case," Poirot shrugged his shoulders, "he will be acquitted." Nurse Harrison said slowly: "There is something -- something that, I suppose, I ought to have told you before -- but I didn't think that there was really anything in it. It was just queer." "I knew there was something," said Poirot. "You had better tell it to me now." "It isn't much. It's just that one day when I went down to the dispensary for something, Jean Moncrieffe was doing something rather -- odd." "Yes ?" "It sounds so silly. It's only that she was filling up her powder compact--a pink enamel one -- " "Yes ?" 9i if "But she wasn't filling it up with powder -- with face powder, I mean. She was tipping something into it from one of the bottles out of the poison cupboard. When she saw me she started and shut up the compact and whipped it into her bag -and put back the bottle quickly into the cupboard so that I couldn't see what it was. I daresay it doesn't mean anything -but now that I know that Mrs. Oldfield really was poisoned -- " She broke off. Poirot said: "You will excuse me?" He went out and telephoned to Detective Sergeant Grey of the Berkshire Police. Hercule Poirot came back and he and Nurse Harrison sat in silence. Poirot was seeing the face of a girl with red hair and hearing a clear hard voice say: cc! don't agree." Jean Moncrieffe had not...
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