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Unformatted text preview: d was told that Sir Joseph was
engaged at the moment but would see him
presently. A haughty blonde sailed out of
Sir Joseph's room at last with her hands full
of papers. She gave the quaint little man a
disdainful glance in passing.
Sir Joseph was seated behind his immense
mahogany desk. There was a trace of lipstick on his chin.
"Well, Mr. Poirot? Sit down. Got any
news for me ?"
Hercule Poirot said:
"The whole affair is of a pleasing
simplicity. In each case the money was
sent to one of those boarding houses or
private hotels where there is no porter or
hall attendant and where a large number of
guests are always coming and going,
including a fairly large preponderance of
ex-Service men. Nothing would be easier
than for any one to walk in, abstract a
letter from the rack, either take it away or
else remove the money and replace it with
blank paper. Therefore, in every case, the
trail ends abruptly in a blank wall.53
"You mean you've no idea who the
fellow is ?"
"I have certain ideas, yes. It will take a
few days to follow them up."
Sir Joseph looked at him curiously.
"Good work. Then, when you have got
anything to report — " "I will report to you at your house."
Sir Joseph said:
"If you get to the bottom of this business,
it will be a pretty good piece of work."
Hercule Poirot said:
"There is no question of failure. Hercule
Poirot does not fail."
Sir Joseph Hoggin looked at the little
man and grinned.
"Sure of yourself, aren't you?" he
"Entirely with reason.33
"Oh well.3' Sir Joseph Hoggin leaned
back in his chair. "Pride goes before a fall, you know.5'
Hercule Poirot, sitting in front of his
electric radiator (and feeling a quiet satisfaction
in its neat geometrical pattern) was
giving instructions to his valet and general
"You understand, Georges ?"
"More probably a flat or maisonette.
And it will definitely be within certain
limits. South of the Park, east of Kensington Church, west of Knightsbridge Barracks
and north of Fulham Road."
"I understand perfectly, sir."
"A curious little case. There is evidence
here of a very definite talent for organisation.
And there is, of course, the surprising
invisibility of the star performer -40
the Nemean Lion himself, if I may so style
him. Yes, an interesting little case. I could
wish that I felt more attracted to my client
-- but he bears an unfortunate resemblance
to a soap manufacturer of Liege who
poisoned his wife in order to marry a
blonde secretary. One of my early successes."
George shook his head. He said gravely:
"These blondes, sir, they're responsible
for a lot of trouble."
It was three days later when the invaluable
"This is the address, sir."
Hercule Poirot took the piece of paper
handed to him. "Excellent, my good Georges. And what
day of the week ?"
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