Unformatted text preview: where there were exits
in plenty -- not here far above the world
in a wilderness of snow.
Something of this he tried to convey to
Inspector Drouet and the latter agreed
"But yes, it is fantastic, it does not make
"If it is a rendezvous^ why do they travel together^ No, indeed, it does not make
sense." Drouet said, his face worried:
"In that case, we have to examine a
second supposition. These three men are
members of Marrascaud's gang and they
have come here to meet Marrascaud himself.
Who then is Marrascaud ?"
"What about the staff of the hotel ?33
Drouet shrugged his shoulders.
"There is no staff to speak of. There is
an old woman who cooks, there is her old
husband Jacques -- they have been here
for fifty years I should think. There is the
waiter whose place I have taken, that is all."
"The manager, he knows of course who
you are ?"
"Naturally. It needed his cooperation."
"Has it struck you," said Hercule Poirot, "that he looks worried ?"
The remark seemed to strike Drouet. He
"Yes, that is true."
"It may be that it is merely the anxiety of
being involved in police proceedings." "But you think it may be more than
that? You think that he may--know
"It occurred to me, that is all."
Drouet said sombrely: "I wonder."
He paused and then went on:
"Could one get it out of him, do you
Poirot shook his head doubtfully. He
"It would be better, I think, not to let
him know of our suspicions. Keep your eye
on him, that is all." Drouet nodded. He turned towards the
"You've no suggestions, M. Poirot ? I -I know your reputation. We have heard of
you in this country of ours."
Poirot said perplexedly:
"For the moment I can suggest nothing.
It is the reason which escapes me -- the
reason for a rendezvous in this place. In
fact, the reason for a rendezvous at all ?"
"Money," said Drouet succinctly.
"He was robbed, then, as well as murdered, this poor fellow Salley ?"
"Yes, he had a very large sum of money on him which has disappeared."
"And the rendezvous is for the purpose of
sharing out, you think ?"
"It is the most obvious idea."
Poirot shook his head in a dissatisfied
"Yes, but why here ?" He went on slowly:
"The worst place possible for a rendezvous of criminals. But it is a place, this, where
one might come to meet a woman. ..."
Drouet took a step forward eagerly.
He said excitedly:
"You think -- ?"
"I think," said Poirot, "that Madame
Grandier is a very beautiful woman. I
think that anyone might well mount ten
thousand feet for her sake -- that is, if she
had suggested such a thing."
"You know," said Drouet, "that's interesting.
I never thought of her in...
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