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Unformatted text preview: my coffee. I
poured it away. And I was wise. Late that
evening a man came into my room, came in
with the easy confidence of one who knows
lhat the man whose room he is searching is drugged. He looked through my affairs and
he found the letter in my wallet — where I
had left it for him to find! The next morning
Gustave comes into my room with
my coffee. He greets me by name and
acts his part with complete assurance.
But he is anxious--horribly anxious-for somehow or other the police have got
on his track! They have learnt where he is
and that is for him a terrible disaster. It
upsets all his plans. He is caught up here
like a rat in a trap.55
"The damn fool thing was ever to come
here! Why did he?53
Poirot said gravely:
"It is not so foolish as you think. He had
need, urgent need, of a retired spot, away
from the world, where he could meet a
certain person, and where a certain happening
could take place."
"What person ?"
"Dr. Lutz ? Is he a crook too ?" "Dr. Lutz is really Dr. Lutz -- but he is not a nerve spet--not a psychoanalyst.
He is a surgeon, my friend, a
surgeon who spees in facial surgery. That is why he was to meet Marrascaud
here. He is poor now, turned out of his
country. He was offered a huge fee to meet a man here and change that man's
appearance by means of his surgical skill.
He may have guessed that that man was a
criminal, but if so, he shut his eyes to the
fact. Realise this, they dared not risk a
nursing home in some foreign country.
No, up here, where no one ever comes so
early in the season except for an odd visit,
where the manager is a man in need of
money who can be bribed, was an ideal spot.
"But, as I say, matters went wrong.
Marrascaud was betrayed. The three men,
his bodyguard, who were to meet him
here and look after him had not yet
arrived, but Marrascaud acts at once. The
police officer who is pretending to be a
waiter is kidnapped and Marrascaud takes
his place. The gang arrange for the funicular
to be wrecked. It is a matter of time. The
following evening Drouet is killed and a
paper is pinned on the dead body. It is hoped that by the time that communications
are established with the world
Drouet's body may have been buried as
that of Marrascaud. Dr. Lutz performs
his operation without delay. But one man
niust be silenced -- Hercule Poirot. So
the gang are sent to attack me. Thanks to
you, my friend -- "
Hercule Poirot bowed gracefully to
Schwartz who said:
"So you're really Hercule Poirot ?"
"And you were never fooled by that
body for a minute? You knew all along
that it wasn^t Marrascaud ?"
"Why didn't you say so ?"
Hercule Poirot's face was suddenly stern.
"Because I wanted to be quite sure of
handling the real Marrascaud over to the
He murmured below his breath:
"To capture alive the wild boar of Erymanthea. ..."...
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