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Unformatted text preview: They told me all about his having been there, and the
questions he had asked.
He must think Ralph did it.' 'That's a change of mind from last night, if so,' I said slowly. 'He doesn't
believe in Davis's theory that it was Parker then?' 'Parker indeed,' said my sister, and snorted.
Flora came forward and laid her hand on my arm.
'Oh! Dr Sheppard, let us go at once to this M. Poirot. He will find out the truth.' 'My dear Flora,' I said
gently, laying my hand on hers.
'Are you quite sure it is the truth we want?' She looked at me, nodding her head gravely.
'You're not sure,' she said. 'I am. I know Ralph better than you do.' 'Of course he didn't do it,' said
Caroline, who had been keeping silent with great difficulty. 'Ralph may be extravagant, but he's a dear
boy, and has the nicest manners.' I wanted to tell Caroline that large numbers of murderers have had nice
manners, but the presence of Flora restrained me. Since the girl was determined, I was forced to give in
to her and we started at once, getting away before my sister was able to fire off any more
pronouncements beginning with her favourite words, 'Of course.' An old woman with an immense Breton
cap opened the door of The Larches to us. M. Poirot was at home, it seemed.
We were ushered into a little sitting-room arranged with formal precision, and there, after a lapse of a
minute or so, my friend of yesterday came to us.
'Monsieur Ie docteur,' he said, smiling. 'Mademoiselle.' He bowed to Flora.
'Perhaps,' I began, 'you have heard of the tragedy which occurred last night.' His face grew grave.
'But certainly I have heard. It is horrible. I offer mademoiselle all my sympathy. In what way can I serve
you?' 'Miss Ackroyd,' I said, 'wants you to - to ' 'To find the murderer,' said Flora in a clear voice.
'I see,' said the little man. 'But the police will do that, will they not?' 'They might make a mistake,' said
Flora. 'They are on their way to make a mistake now, I think. Please, M.
Poirot, won't you help us? If- if it is a question of money -' Poirot held up his hand.
'Not that, I beg of you, mademoiselle. Not that I do not care for money.' His eyes showed a momentary
'Money, it means much to me and always has done. No, if I go into this, you must understand one thing
clearly. I shall go through with it to the end. The good dog, he does not leave the scent, remember! You may wish that, after all, you had left it to the local police.' 'I want the truth,' said Flora, looking him
straight in the eyes.
'All the truth?' 'All the truth.' 'Then I accept,' said the little man quietly. 'And I hope you will not regret
those words. Now, tell me all the circumstances.'
'Dr Sheppard had better tell you,' said Flora. 'He knows more than I do.' Thus enjoined, I plunged into a
careful narrative, embodying all the facts I have previously set down. Poirot listened carefully, inserting a
question here and there, but for the most part sitting in silence, his eyes on the ceiling.
I brought my story to a close with the departure of the inspector and myse...
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