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Unformatted text preview: t a patient's house. I was to ring him up from the station with the reply. Reply was "No answer."' 'It
was a clever idea,' said Poirot. 'The call was genuine. Your sister saw you take it. But there was only one
man's word as to what was actually said - your own!' I yawned.
'All this,' I said, 'is very interesting - but hardly in the sphere of practical politics.' 'You think not?
Remember what I said - the truth goes to Inspector Raglan in the morning. But, for the sake of your good
sister, I am willing to give you the chance of another way out. There might be, for instance, an overdose
of a sleeping draught. You comprehend me? But Captain Ralph Paton must be cleared - ?a va sans dire.
I should suggest that you finish that very interesting manuscript of yours - but abandoning your former
reticence.' 'You seem to be very prolific of suggestions,' I remarked.
'Are you sure you've quite finished?' 'Now that you remind me of the fact, it is true that there is one thing
more. It would be most unwise on your part to attempt to silence me as you silenced M. Ackroyd. That
kind of business does not succeed against Hercule Poirot, you understand.' 'My dear Poirot,' I said,
smiling a little, 'whatever else I may be, I am not a fool.' I rose to my feet.
'Well, well,' I said, with a slight yawn, 'I must be off home.
Thank you for a most interesting and instructive evening.' Poirot also rose and bowed with his
accustomed politeness as I passed out of the room.
CHAPTER 27 Apologia
Five a.m. I am very tired - but I have finished my task. My arm aches from writing. A strange end to my manuscript. I meant it to be published some day as the history of one ofPoirot's
Odd, how things pan out.
All along I've had a premonition of disaster, from the moment I saw Ralph Paton and Mrs Ferrars with
their heads together. I thought then that she was confiding in him, as it happened I was quite wrong there,
but the idea persisted even after I went into the study with Ackroyd that night, until he told me the truth.
Poor old Ackroyd. I'm always glad that I gave him a chance. I urged him to read that letter before it was
Or let me be honest - didn't I subconsciously realize that with a pig-headed chap like him, it was my best
chance of getting him not to read it? His nervousness that night was interesting psychologically. He knew
danger was close at hand. And yet he never suspected me.
The dagger was an afterthought. I'd brought up a very handy little weapon of my own, but when I saw
the dagger lying in the silver table, it occurred to me at once how much better it would be to use a
weapon that couldn't be traced to me.
I suppose I must have meant to murder him all along. As soon as I heard of Mrs Ferrars's death, I felt
convinced that she would have told him everything before she died. When I met him and he seemed so
agitated, I thought that perhaps he knew the truth, but that he couldn't bring himself to believe it, and was
going to give me the chance of refuting it.
So I went home and took my precautions....
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