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Unformatted text preview: ything. Poirot keeps his own counsel.' Wise man,' said the
colonel with a chuckle. 'He doesn't give himself away. But they're wonderful fellows, these foreign
detectives. Up to all sorts of dodges, I believe.' 'Pung,' said Miss Gannett, in a tone of quiet triumph.
'And Man Jong.' The situation became more strained. It was annoyance at Miss Gannett's going Mah
Jong for the third time running which prompted Caroline to say to me as we built a fresh wall: 'You are
too tiresome, James. You sit there like a deadhead, and say nothing at all!' 'But, my dear,' I protested, 'I
have really nothing to say that is, of the kind you mean.' 'Nonsense,' said Caroline, as she sorted her
hand. 'You must know something interesting.' I did not answer for a moment. I was overwhelmed and
intoxicated. I had read of there being such a thing as The Perfect Winning - going Mah Jong on one's original hand. I had never hoped to hold the hand myself.
With suppressed triumph I laid my hand face upwards on the table.
'As they say in the Shanghai Club,' I remarked - Tin-ho - the Perfect Winning!' The colonel's eyes nearly
bulged out of his head.
'Upon my soul,' he said. 'what an extraordinary thing. I never saw that happen before!' It was then that I
went on, goaded by Caroline's gibes, and rendered reckless by my triumph.
'And as to anything interesting,' I said. 'What about a gold wedding ring with a date and "From R."
inside.' I pass over the scene that followed. I was made to say exactly where this treasure was found. I
was made to reveal the date.
'March 13th,' said Caroline. 'Just six months ago. Ah!' Out of a babel of excited suggestions and
suppositions three theories were evolved: 1. That of Colonel Carter: that Ralph was secretly harried to
Flora. The first or most simple solution.
2. That of Miss Gannett: that Roger Ackroyd had been secretly married to Mrs Ferrars.
3. That of my sister: that Roger Ackroyd had married his housekeeper. Miss Russell.
A fourth or super-theory was propounded by Caroline later as we went up to bed.
'Mark my words,' she said suddenly, 'I shouldn't be at all surprised if Geoffrey Raymond and Flora
weren't married.' 'Surely it would be "From G," not "From R" then,' I suggested.
'You never know. Some girls call men by their surnames.
And you heard what Miss Gannett said this evening - abouts Flora's carryings on.' Strictly speaking, I
had not heard Miss Gannett say anything of the kind, but I respected Caroline's knowledge of
'How about Hector Blunt?' I hinted. 'If it's anybody ' 'Nonsense,' said Caroline. 'I dare say he admires
her may even be in love with her. But depend upon it a girl isn't going to fall in love with a man old
enough to be her father when there's a good-looking secretary about. She may encourage Major Blunt
just as a blind. Girls are very artful.
But there's one thing I do tell you, James Sheppard. Flora Ackroyd does not care a penny piece for
Ralph Paton, and never has. You can take it from me.' I took it from her meekly....
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