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Unformatted text preview: ea, wasn't it?' 'I think,' said the lawyer, 'we ought to make sure the money is there before I
leave.' 'Certainly,' agreed the secretary. 'I'll take you up now... Oh! I forgot. The door's locked.' Inquiry
from Parker elicited the information that Inspector Raglan was in the housekeeper's room asking a few
supplementary questions. A few minutes later the inspector joined the party in the hall, bringing the key
with him. He unlocked the door and we passed into the lobby and up the small staircase. At the top of
the stairs the door into Ackroyd's bedroom stood open. Inside the room it was dark, the curtains were
drawn, and the bed was turned down just as it had been last night. The inspector drew the curtains,
letting in the sunlight, and Geoffrey Raymond went to the top drawer of a rosewood bureau.
'He kept his money like that, in an unlocked drawer. Just fancy,' commented the inspector.
The secretary flushed a little.
'Mr Ackroyd had perfect faith in the honesty of all the servants,' he said hotly.
'Oh! quite so,' said the inspector hastily.
Raymond opened the drawer, took out a round leather collar-box from the back of it, and opening it, drew out a thick wallet.
'Here is the money,' he said, taking out a fat roll of notes.
'You will find the hundred intact, I know, for Mr Ackroyd put it in the collar-box in my presence last
night when he was dressing for dinner, and of course it has not been touched since.' Mr Hammond took
the roll from him and counted it. He looked up sharply.
'A hundred pounds, you said. But there is only sixty here.' Raymond stared at him.
'Impossible,' he cried, springing forward. Taking the notes from the other's hand, he counted them aloud.
Mr Hammond had been right. The total amounted to sixty pounds.
'But - I can't understand it,' cried the secretary, bewildered.
Poirot asked a question.
'You saw Mr Ackroyd put this money away last night when he was dressing for dinner? You are sure he
had not paid away any of it already?' 'I'm sure he hadn't. He even said, "I don't want to take a hundred
pounds down to dinner with me. Too bulgy."' 'Then the affair is very simple,' remarked Poirot. 'Either he
paid out that forty pounds some time last evening, or else it has been stolen.' 'That's the matter in a
nutshell,' agreed the inspector. He turned to Mrs Ackroyd. 'Which of the servants would come in here
yesterday evening?' 'I suppose the housemaid would turn down the bed.' 'Who is she? What do you
know about her?' 'She's not been here very long,' said Mrs Ackroyd. 'But ^e's a nice ordinary country
girl.' 'I think we ought to clear this matter up,' said the inspector.
'If Mr Ackroyd paid that money away himself, it may have a bearing on the mystery of the crime. The
other servants all right, as far as you know?' 'Oh, I think so.' 'Not missed anything before?' 'No.' 'None
of them leaving, or anything like that?' 'The parlourmaid is leaving.' 'When?' 'She gave notice yesterday, I
believe.' To you?' 'Oh, no. I have nothing to do with the servant...
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