This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: .
Sir George burst out:
"Well, of all the damned cheek — "
But Edward Ferrier still smiling said:
"It was a compliment."
On his way downstairs, Hercule Poirot
was intercepted by a tall, fair-haired
woman. She said:
"Please come into my sitting-room, M.
He bowed and followed her.
She shut the door, motioned him to a
chair, and offered him a cigarette. She sat
down opposite him. She said quietly:
"You have just seen my husband — and
he has told you — about my father."
Poirot looked at her with attention. He
saw a tall woman, still handsome, with
character and intelligence in her face. Mrs.
Ferrier was a popular figure. As the wife
of the Prime Minister she naturally came
in for a good share of the limelight. As the 185
daughter of her father, her popularity was
even greater. Dagmar Perrier represented
the popular ideal of English womanhood.
She was a devoted wife, a fond mother, she shared her husband's love of country
life. She interested herself in just those
aspects of public life which were generally
felt to be proper spheres of womanly
activity. She dressed well, but never in an
ostentatiously fashionable manner. She
devoted much of her time and activity to
large-scale charities, she had inaugurated
special schemes for the relief of the wives of
unemployed men. She was looked up to by
the whole nation and was a most valuable
asset to the Party.
Hercule Poirot said:
"You must be terribly worried, Madame."
I am -- you don't know how much.
For years I have been dreading -- something.3' Poirot said:
"You had no idea of what was going on
She shook her head. "No -- not in the least. I only knew that
my father was not -- was not what every186
one thought him. I realised, from the time
that I was a child, that he was a -- a humbug."
Her voice was deep and bitter. She
"It is through marrying me that Edward
-- that Edward will lose everything."
Poirot said in a quiet voice:
"Have you any enemies, Madame ?"
She looked up at him, surprised.
"Enemies ? I don't think so."
Poirot said thoughtfully:
"I think you have. ..."
He went on:
"Have you courage, Madame ? There is
a great campaign afoot--against your
husband -- and against yourself. You must
prepare to defend yourself."
"But it doesn't matter about me. Only
Poirot said: "The one includes the other.
Remember, Madame, you are Caesar's
wife." He saw her colour ebb. She leaned
forward. She said:
"What is it you are trying to tell
Percy Perry, editor of the X-ray News, sat
behind his desk smoking.
He was a small man with a face like a
He was saying in a soft, oily voice:
"We'll give 'em the dirt, all right.
Lovely -- lovely! Oh boy!53
His second-in-command, a thin, spectacled
youth, said uneasily:
"You're not nervous ?"
"Expecting strong arm stuff? Not them.
Haven't got the nerve. Wouldn't do them
View Full Document