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Unformatted text preview: may be something unimportant - trivial - which is supposed to have no bearing on the case, but there it is.
Each one of you has something to hide. Come now, am I right?' His glance, challenging and accusing,
swept round the table. And every pair of eyes dropped before his. Yes, mine as well.
'I am answered,' said Poirot, with a curious laugh. He got up from his seat. 'I appeal to you all. Tell me
the truth - the whole truth.' There was a silence. 'Will no one speak?' He gave the same short laugh again.
'C'est dommage,' he said, and went out.
CHAPTER 13 The Goose Quill
That evening, at Poirot's request, I went over to his house after dinner. Caroline saw me depart with
I think she would have liked to have accompanied me.
Poirot greeted me hospitably. He had placed a bottle of Irish whiskey (which I detest) on a small table,
with a soda water siphon and a glass. He himself was engaged in brewing hot chocolate. It was a
favourite beverage of his, I discovered later.
He inquired politely after my sister, whom he declared to be a most interesting woman.
'I'm afraid you've been giving her a swelled head,' I said drily. 'What about Sunday afternoon?' He
laughed and twinkled.
'I always like to employ the expert,' he remarked obscurely, but he refused to explain the remark.
'You got all the local gossip anyway,' I remarked. 'True, and untrue.' 'And a great deal of valuable
information,' he added quietly.
'Such as-' He shook his head.
'Why not have told me the truth?' he countered. 'In a place like this, all Ralph Paton's doings were bound
to be known. If your sister had not happened to pass through the wood that day somebody else would
have done so.' 'I suppose they would,' I said grumpily. 'What about this interest of yours in my patients?'
Again he twinkled.
'Only one of them, doctor. Only one of them.' 'The last?' I hazarded.
I ^ He held out to me the little quill. I looked at it curiously.
Then a memory of something I had read stirred in me.
Poirot, who had been watching my face, nodded.
'Yes, heroin, "snow." Drug-takers carry it like this, and sniff it up the nose.' 'Diamorphine hydrochloride,'
I murmured mechanically.
'This method of taking the drug is very common on the other side. Another proof, if we wanted one, that
the man came from Canada or the States.' 'What first attracted your attention to that summerhouse?' I asked curiously.
'My friend the inspector took it for granted that anyone using that path did so as a short cut to the house,
but as soon as I saw the summer-house, I realized that the same path would be taken by anyone using
the summer-house as a rendezvous. Now it seems fairly certain that the stranger came neither to the front
nor to the back door. Then did someone from the house go out and meet him? If so, what could be a
more convenient place than that little summerhouse?
I searched it with the hope that I might find some clue inside. I found two, the scrap of cambric and the
quill.' 'And the scrap of cambric?' I asked c...
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