Unformatted text preview: oung man said in a low husky voice:
"About the car, sir, we've brought it in.
And we've got at the trouble. It's a matter
of an hour's work or so."
"What is wrong with it ?"
The young man plunged eagerly into
technical details. Poirot nodded his head
gently, but he was not listening. Perfect
physique was a thing he admired greatly.
There were, he considered, too many rats
in spectacles about. He said to himself approvingly: "Yes, a Greek god — a young
shepherd in Arcady."
The young man stopped abruptly. It was
then that Hercule Poirot's brows knitted
themselves for a second. His first reaction
had been aesthetic, his second mental. His
eyes narrowed themselves curiously, as he
"I comprehend. Yes, I comprehend."
He paused and then added: "My chauffeur,
he has already told me that which you have
He saw the flush that came to the others
cheek, saw the fingers grip the cap
The young man stammered:
"Yes — er — yes, sir. I know."
Hercule Poirot went on smoothly:
"But you thought that you would also
come and tell me yourself?"
"Er — yes, sir, I thought I'd better."
"That," said Hercule Poirot, "was very
conscientious of you. Thank you."
There was a faint but unmistakable note 106
of dismissal in the last words but he did
not expect the other to go and he was
right. The young man did not move.
His fingers moved convulsively, crushing
the tweed cap, and he said in a still lower
"Er—excuse me, sir—but it's true,
isn't it, that you're the detective gentleman
— you're Mr. Hercules Pwarrit ?" He said
the name carefully.
Poirot said: "That is so."
Red crept up the young man's face. He
"I read a piece about you in the paper."
The boy was now scarlet. There was
distress in his eyes — distress and appeal.
Hercule Poirot came to his aid. He said
"Yes ? What is it you want to ask me ?"
The words came with a rush now.
"I'm afraid you may think it's awful
cheek of me, sir. But your coming here
by chance like this — well, it's too good to
be missed. Having read about you and the clever things you've done. Anyway, I said
as after all I might as well ask you. There's
no harm in asking, is there ?"
Hercule Poirot shook his head. He said:
"You want my help in some way ?33
The other nodded. He said, his voice
husky and embarrassed:
"Ifs—it's about a young lady. If—
if you could find her for me.33
"Find her ? Has she disappeared, then ?"
"That's right, sir.35
Hercule Poirot sat up in his chair. He
"I could help you, perhaps, yes. But the
proper people for you to go to are the
police. It is their job and they have far
more resources at their disposal than
The boy shuffled his feet. He said
"I couldn't do that, sir. It's not like
that at all. It's a...
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