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Unformatted text preview: w me your bank-book. You have a bank-book, I
presume?' 'Yes, sir, as a matter of fact, I have it with me now.' With no sign of confusion, he produced it
from his pocket.
Poirot took the slim, green-covered book and perused the entries.
'Ah! I perceive you have purchased £500 worth of National Savings Certificates this year?' 'Yes, sir. I
have already over a thousand pounds saved - the result of my connection with - er - my late master.
Major Ellerby. And I have had quite a little flutter on some horses this year - very successful. If you remember, sir, a rank outsider won the Jubilee. I was fortunate enough to back it £20.'
Poirot handed him back the book.
'I will wish you good morning. I believe that you have told me the truth. If you have not - so much the
worse for you, my friend.' When Parker had departed, Poirot picked up his overcoat once more.
'Going out again?' I asked.
'Yes, we will pay a little visit to the good M. Hammond.' 'You believe Parker's story?' 'It is credible
enough on the face of it. It seems clear that unless he is a very good actor indeed - he genuinely believes
it was Ackroyd himself who was the victim of blackmail. If so, he knows nothing at all about the Mrs
Ferrars business.' 'Then in that case - who - ?' 'Precisement\ Who? But our visit to M. Hammond will
accomplish one purpose. It will either clear Parker completely or else ' 'Well?' 'I fall into the bad habit of
leaving my sentences unfinished this morning,' said Poirot apologetically. 'You must bear with me.' 'By the
way,' I said, rather sheepishly, 'I've got a confession to make. I'm afraid I have inadvertently let out
something about that ring.' 'What ring?' 'The ring you found in the goldfish pond.' 'Ah! yes,' said Poirot,
'I hope you're not annoyed? It was very careless of me.' 'But not at all, my good friend, not at all. I laid
no commands upon you. You were at liberty to speak of it if you so wished. She was interested, your
sister?' 'She was indeed. It created a sensation. All sorts of theories are flying about.' 'Ah! And yet it is so
simple. The true explanation leapt to the eye, did it not?' 'Did it?' I said drily.
'The wise man does not commit himself,' he observed. 'Is not that so? But here we are at Mr
Hammond's.' The lawyer was in his office, and we were ushered in without any delay. He rose and
greeted us in his dry, precise manner.
Poirot came at once to the point.
'Monsieur, I desire from you certain information, that is, if you will be so good as to give it to me. You
acted, I understand, for the late Mrs Ferrars of King's Paddock?' I noticed the swift gleam of surprise
which showed in the lawyer's eyes, before his professional reserve came down once more like a mask
over his face.
'Certainly. All her affairs passed through our hands.' 'Very good. Now, before I ask you to tell me
anything, I should like you to listen to the story Dr Sheppard will relate to you. You have no objection,
have you, my friend, to repeating the conversation you had with Mr Ac...
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