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Unformatted text preview: o me as though you'd ever been on a
horse in your life!"
"The horses, Madame, are symbolic.
They were the wild horses who ate human
"How very unpleasant of them. I always
do think these ancient Greeks and Romans
are very unpleasant. I can't think why
clergymen are so fond of quoting from the
classics -- for one thing one never understands what they mean and it always seems
to me that the whole subject matter of the
classics is very unsuitable for clergymen.
So much incest, and all those statues with
nothing on -- not that I mind that myself
but you know what clergymen are -- quite
upset if girls come to church with no
stockings on -- let me see, where was I ?"
cc! am not quite sure.53
"I suppose, you wretch, you just won't
tell me if Mrs. Larkin murdered her husband
? Or perhaps Anthony Hawker is the
Brighton trunk murderer ?"
She looked at him hopefully, but Hercule
Poirot's face remained impassive.
"It might be forgery," speculated Lady
Carmichael. cc! did see Mrs. Larkin in the
bank the other morning and she'd just
cashed a fifty pound cheque to self--it
seemed to me at the time a lot of money to
want in cash. Oh no, that's the wrong way
round -- if she was a forger she would be
paying it in, wouldn't she ? Hercule Poirot, if you sit there looking like an owl and
saying nothing, I shall throw something at you."
"You must have a little patience," said
Ashley Lodge, the residence of General
Grant, was not a large house. It was situated
on the side of a hill, had good stables, and
a straggling, rather neglected, garden.
Inside, it was what a house agent would
have described as "fully furnished". Crosslegged
Buddhas leered down from convenient
niches, brass Benares trays and
tables encumbered the floor space. Processional
elephants garnished the mantelpieces
and more tortured brasswork
adorned the walls.
In the midst of this Anglo-Indian home
from home. General Grant was ensconced
in a large, shabby armchair with his leg, swathed in bandages, reposing on another
"Gout," he explained. "Ever had the
gout, Mr. -- er -- Poirot ? Makes a feller
damned bad tempered! All my father's
fault. Drank port all his life -- so did my
grandfather. It's played the deuce with me. Have a drink? Ring that bell, will you, for that feller of mine ?"
A turbaned servant appeared. General
Grant addressed him as Abdul and ordered
him to bring whisky and soda. When it
came he poured out such a generous portion
that Poirot was moved to protest.
"Can't join you, I'm afraid, Mr.
Poirot." The General eyed the tantalus
sadly. "My doctor wallah says it's poison
to me to touch the stuff. Don't suppose
he knows for a minute. Ignorant chaps
doctors. Spoil-sports. Enjoy knocking a
man off his food and drink and putting
him on some pap like steamed fish.
Steamed fish -- pah I"
In his indignation the General incautiously
moved his bad foot and uttered
a yelp of agony at the twinge that ensued.
He apologised for his language.
"Like a bear with a sore head, that's
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