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Unformatted text preview: Diana's house, she
had at once rung up Admiral Chandler, and they had forthwith gone over to Lyde
Manor where they had found tea waiting
on the long terrace. And with the tea,
three men. There was Admiral Chandler,
white haired, looking older than his years,
his shoulders bowed as though by an overheavy
burden, and his eyes dark and brooding.
A contrast to him was his friend
Colonel Frobisher, a dried-up, tough, little man with reddish hair turning grey
at the temples. A restless, irascible, snappy, little man, rather like a terrier -- but the
possessor of a pair of extremely shrewd eyes. He had a habit of drawing down his
brows over his eyes and lowering his head,
thrusting it forward, whilst those same
shrewd little eyes studied you piercingly.
The third man was Hugh.
"Fine specimen, eh?53 said Colonel Frobisher.
He spoke in a low voice, having noted
Poirot's close scrutiny of the young man.
Hercule Poirot nodded his head. He and
Frobisher were sitting close together. The
other three had their chairs on the far side
of the tea-table and were chatting together
in an animated but slightly artificial
Poirot murmured: "Yes, he is magnificent
-- magnificent. He is the young Bull
--yes, one might say the Bull dedicated
to Poseidon. ... A perfect specimen of
"Looks fit enough, doesn't he ?"
Frobisher sighed. His shrewd little eyes
stole sideways, considering Hercule Poirot.
Presently he said:
"I know who you are, you know.^
"Ah that, it is no secretp?
Poirot waved a royal hand. He was not incognito, the gesture seemed to say. He
was travelling as Himself.
After a minute or two Frobisher asked:
"Did the girl get you down--over this
business ?" "The business -- ?"
"The business of young Hugh. . . . Yes,
I see you know all about it. But I can't
quite see why she went to you.... Shouldn't
have thought this sort of thing was in your
line--meantersay it's more a medical show."
"All kinds of things are in my line. . . .
You would be surprised."
"I mean I can't see quite what she expected
you could do.^
"Miss Maberly," said Poirot, "is a
Colonel Frobisher nodded a warm assent. "Yes, she's a fighter all right. She's a
fine kid. She won't give up. All the same, you know, there are some things that you can't fight. . . ."
His face looked suddenly old and tired.
Poirot dropped his voice still lower. He
"There is -- insanity, I understand, in
the family ?"
"Only crops up now and again,3' he
murmured. "Skips a generation or two. Hugh's grandfather was the last."
Poirot threw a quick glance in the
direction of the other three. Diana was
holding the conversation well, laughing
and bantering Hugh. You would have said
that the three of them had not a care in
"What form did the madness take?"
Poirot asked softly.
"The old boy became pretty violent...
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