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Unformatted text preview: om, sir,' said Parker. 'Reconstruction of
the crime they call it, do they not?' He was quite imperturbable as he stood there politely waiting on
'Ah! he knows something, the good Parker,' cried Poirot.
'He has read of these things. Now, I beg you, let us have everything of the most exact. You came from the outer hall - so. Mademoiselle was - where?' 'Here,' said Flora, taking up her stand just outside the
'Quite right, sir,' said Parker.
'I had just closed the door,' continued Flora.
'Yes, miss,' agreed Parker. 'Your hand was still on the handle as it is now.' 'Then allez,' said Poirot. 'Play
me the little comedy.' Flora stood with her hand on the door handle, and Parker came stepping through
the door from the hall, bearing the tray.
He stopped just inside the door. Flora spoke.
'Oh! Parker. Mr Ackroyd doesn't want to be disturbed again tonight.' 'Is that right?' she added in an
'To the best of my recollection, Miss Flora,' said Parker, 'but I fancy you used the word evening instead
of night.' Then, raising his voice in a somewhat theatrical fashion: 'Very good, miss. Shall I lock up as
usual?' 'Yes, please.' Parker retired through the door. Flora followed him, and started to ascend the main
'Is that enough?' she asked over her shoulder.
'Admirable,' declared the little man, rubbing his hands.
'By the way, Parker, are you sure there were two glasses on the tray that evening? Who was the second
one for?' 'I always bring two glasses, sir,' said Parker. 'Is there anything further?' 'Nothing. I thank you.'
Parker withdrew, dignified to the last.
Poirot stood in the middle of the hall frowning. Flora came down and joined us.
'Has your experiment been successful?' she asked. 'I don't quite understand, you know -' Poirot smiled
admiringly at her.
'It is not necessary that you should,' he said. 'But tell me, were there indeed two glasses on Parker's tray
that night?' Flora wrinkled her brows a minute.
'I really can't remember,' she said. 'I think there were. Is - is that the object of your experiment?' Poirot
took her hand and patted it.
'Put it this way,' he said. 'I am always interested to see if people will speak the truth.' 'And did Parker
speak the truth?' 'I rather think he did,' said Poirot thoughtfully.
A few minutes later saw us retracing our steps to the village.
'What was the point of that question about the glasses?' I asked curiously.
Poirot shrugged his shoulders.
'One must say something,' he remarked. 'That particular question did as well as any other.' I stared at
him. 'At any rate, my friend,' he said seriously, 'I know now something I wanted to know. Let us leave it at
CHAPTER 15 An Evening at Mah Jong
That night we had a little Mah Jong party. This kind of simple entertainment is very popular in King's
Abbot. The guests arrive in goloshes and waterproofs after dinner. They partake of coffee and later of
cake, sandwiches and tea.
On this particular night our guests were Miss Gannett and...
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