Unformatted text preview: ptain Paton to please her uncle, and because she saw in the marriage a
way of escape from her life here which was becoming frankly insupportable to her. She liked him, and
there was much sympathy and understanding between them.
But love - no! It is not Captain Paton Mademoiselle Flora loves.' 'What the devil do you mean?' asked
I saw the dark flush under his tan.
'You have been blind, monsieur. Blind! She is loyal, the little one. Ralph Paton is under a cloud, she is
bound in honour to stick by him.' I felt it was time I put in a word to help on the good work.
'My sister told me the other night,' I said encouragingly, 'that Flora had never cared a penny piece for
Ralph Paton, and never would. My sister is always right about these things.' Blunt ignored my well-meant
offers. He spoke to Poirot.
'D'you really think -' he began, and stopped.
He is one of those inarticulate men who find it hard to put things into words.
Poirot knows no such disability.
'If you doubt me, ask her yourself, monsieur. But perhaps you no longer care to - the affair of the money
' Blunt gave a sound like an angry laugh.
'Think I'd hold that against her? Roger was always a queer chap about money. She got in a mess and
didn't dare tell him.
Poor kid. Poor lonely kid.' Poirot looked thoughtfully at the side door.
( 183 'Mademoiselle Flora went into the garden, I think,' he murmured.
'I've been every kind of a fool,' said Blunt abruptly.
'Rum conversation we've been having. Like one of those Danish plays. But you're a sound fellow, M.
Poirot. Thank you.' He took Poirot's hand and gave it a grip which caused the other to wince in anguish.
Then he strode to the side-door and passed out into the garden. 'Not every kind of a fool,' murmured Poirot, tenderly nursing the injured member. 'Only one kind - the
fool in love.'
CHAPTER 20 Miss Russell
Inspector Raglan had received a bad jolt. He was not deceived by Blunt's valiant lie any more than we
Our way back to the village was punctuated by his complaints.
'This alters everything, this does. I don't know whether you've realized it. Monsieur Poirot?' 'I think so,
yes, I think so,' said Poirot. 'You see, me, I have been familiar with the idea for some time.' Inspector
Raglan, who had only had the idea presented to him a short half-hour ago, looked at Poirot unhappily,
and went on with his discoveries.
'Those alibis now. Worthless! Absolutely worthless. Got to start again. Find out what everyone was
doing from nine-thirty onwards. Nine-thirty - that's the time we've got to hang on to. You were quite right
about the man Kent we don't release him yet awhile. Let me see now - nineforty-five at the Dog and
Whistle. He might have got there in a quarter of an hour if he ran. It's just possible that it was his voice
Mr Raymond heard talking to Mr Ackroyd asking for money which Mr Ackroyd refused. But one thing's
clear - it wasn't he who sent the telephone message.
The station is half a mile in the other direction - over a mile and a half from the Dog and Whistle, and he
was at the Dog and Whistle until about ten minutes past ten. D...
View Full Document