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Unformatted text preview: t; "For a very good reason. Rosenthal has
never had the goblet in his possession!"
"How do you know ?"
"Recently there has been a merger of
oil interests. RosenthaFs interests and
mine now coincide. We are allies and not
enemies. I spoke to him frankly on the
subject and he at once assured me that the
cup had never been in his possession."
"And you believe him ?"
Poirot said thoughtfully:
"Then for nearly ten years you have been, as they say in this country, barking up the
mistaken tree ?" The financier said bitterly:
"Yes, that is exactly what I have been
"And now -- it is all to start again from
the beginning ?"
The other nodded.
"And that is where I come in ? I am the
dog that you set upon the cold scent -- a
very cold scent."
Emery Power said dryly:
"If the affair were easy it would not
have been necessary for me to send for
you. Of course, if you think it impossible
He had found the right word. Hercule
Poirot drew himself up. He said coldly:
"I do not recognise the word impossible, Monsieur! I ask myself only--is this
affair sufficiently interesting for me to
Emery Power smiled again. He said:
"It has this interest--you may name
your own fee."
The small man looked at the big man.
He said softly:
"Do you then desire this work of art so much ? Surely not!"
Emery Power said:
"Put it that I, like yourself, do not
Hercule Poirot bowed his head. He said:
"Yes -- put that way -- I understand.
Inspector Wagstaffe was interested.
"The Veratrino cup? Yes, I remember
all about it. I was in charge of the business
this end. I speak a bit of Italiano, you
know, and I went over and had a powwow
with the Macaronis. It's never turned
up from that day to this. Funny thing, that."
"What is your explanation? A private
Wagstaffe shook his head.
cc! doubt it. Of course it's remotely
possible. . . . No, my explanation is a good
deal simpler. The stuff was cached-and the only man who knew where it was
"You mean Casey ?" "Yes. He may have cached it somewhere
in Italy, or he may have succeeded
in smuggling it out of the country. But he hid it and wherever he hid it, there it
Hercule Poirot sighed.
"It is a romantic theory. Pearls stuffed
into plaster casts--what is the story-the Bust of Napoleon, is it not ? But in this
case it is not jewels -- it is a large, solid
gold cup. Not so easy to hide that, one
Wagstaffe said vaguely:
"Oh, I don't know. It could be done, I
suppose. Under the floor-boards -- something
of that kind."
"Had Casey a house of his own ?"
"Yes -- in Liverpool." He grinned. "It
wasn't under the floor-boards there. We
made sure of that."
"What about his family ?"
"Wife was a decent sort of...
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