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Unformatted text preview: so -- some of us -- got together
and -- and I thought of this. It was really
having Augustus that put it into my mind.
You see, to most people, one Pekinese is
very much like another. (Just as we think
the Chinese are.) Really, of course, it's
ridiculous. No one who knew could mistake
Augustus for Nanki Poo or Shan Tung
or any of the other Pekes. He's far more
intelligent for one thing, and he's much handsomer, but, as I say, to most people a
Peke is just a Peke. Augustus put it into my
head--that, combined with the fact that
so many rich women have Pekinese dogs."
Poirot said with a faint smile:
"It must have been a profitable-racket! How many are there in the -- the
gang? Or perhaps I had better ask how
often operations have been successfully
carried out ?"
Miss Carnaby said simply:
"Shang Tung was the sixteenth."
Hercule Poirot raised his eyebrows. "I congratulate you. Your organis46
ation must have been indeed excellent."
Emily Carnaby said:
"Amy was always good at organisation.
Our father -- he was the Vicar of Kellington
in Essex -- always said that Amy had
quite a genius for planning. She always
made all the arrangements for the Socials
and the Bazaars and all that."
Poirot said with a little bow:
"I agree. As a criminal. Mademoiselle, you are quite in the first rank."
Amy Carnaby cried:
"A criminal. Oh dear, I suppose I am.
But -- but it never felt like that."
"How did it feel ?"
"Of course, you are quite right. It was
breaking the law. But you see -- how can
I explain it ? Nearly all these women who
employ us are so very rude and unpleasant.
Lady Hoggin, for instance, doesn't mind what she says to me. She said her tonic
tasted unpleasant the other day and practically
accused me of tampering with it.
All that sort of thing." Miss Carnaby
flushed. "It's really very unpleasant. And
not being able to say anything or answer back makes it rankle more, if you know
what I mean."
"I know what you mean,33 said Hercule
"And then seeing money frittered away
so wastefully--that is upsetting. And
Sir Joseph, occasionally he used to describe
a coup he had made in the City -- sometimes
something that seemed to me (of
course, I know I've only got a woman's
brain and don't understand finance) downright
dishonest. Well, you know, M. Poirot,
it all -- it all unsettled me, and I felt that
to take a little money away from these
people who really wouldn't miss it and
hadn't been too scrupulous in acquiring it
--well, really it hardly seemed wrong at
"A modern Robin Hood! Tell me. Miss
Camaby, did you ever have to carry out
the threats you used in your letters ?"
"Were you ever compelled to mutilate the animals in the way you specified ?"
Miss Camaby regarded him in horror.
"Of course, I would never have dreamed
of doing such a thing! That was just-just an artistic touch.35
"Very artistic. It worke...
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