Unformatted text preview: ugh you couldn't believe? I may be a thief- but at any rate I'm
real now. I'm not lying any more. I'm not pretending to be the kind of girl you like, young and innocent
and simple. I don't care if you never want to see me again. I hate myself, despise myselfbut you've got to
believe one thing, if speaking the truth would have made things better for Ralph, I would have spoken
out. But I've seen all along that it wouldn't be better for Ralph - it makes the case against him blacker
than ever. I was not doing him any harm by sticking to my lie.' 'Ralph,' said Blunt. 'I see - always Ralph.'
'You don't understand,' said Flora hopelessly. 'You never will.' She turned to the inspector.
I 181 'I admit everything; I was at my wits' end for money. I never saw my uncle that evening after he left
As to the money, you can take what steps you please.
Nothing could be worse than it is now!' Suddenly she broke down again, hid her face in her hands, and
rushed from the room.
'Well,' said the inspector in a flat tone, 'so that's that.' He seemed rather at a loss what to do next.
Blunt came forward.
'Inspector Raglan,' he said quietly, 'that money was given to me by Mr Ackroyd for a special purpose.
Miss Ackroyd never touched it. When she says she did, she is lying with the idea of shielding Captain
Paton. The truth is as I said, and I am prepared to go into the witness-box and swear to it.' He made a
kind of jerky bow, then turning abruptly he left the room.
Poirot was after him in a flash. He caught the other up in the hall.
'Monsieur - a moment, I beg of you, if you will be so good.' 'Well, sir?' Blunt was obviously impatient.
He stood frowning down on Poirot.
'It is this,' said Poirot rapidly: 'I am not deceived by your little fantasy. No, indeed. It was truly Miss
Flora who took the money. All the same it is well imagined what you say - it pleases me. It is very good
what you have done there. You are a man quick to think and to act.' 'I'm not in the least anxious for your
opinion, thank you,' said Blunt coldly.
He made once more as though to pass on, but Poirot, not at all offended, laid a detaining hand on his arm.
'Ah! but you are to listen to me. I have more to say. The other day I spoke of concealments. Very well,
all along I have seen what you are concealing. Mademoiselle Flora, you love her with all your heart.
From the first moment you saw her, is it not so? Oh! let us not mind saying these things - why must one in
England think it necessary to mention love as though it were some disgraceful secret? You love
Mademoiselle Flora. You seek to conceal that fact from all the world. That is very good - that is as it
should be. But take the advice of Hercule Poirot - do not conceal it from mademoiselle herself.' Blunt
had shown several signs of restlessness whilst Poirot was speaking, but the closing words seemed to rivet
'What d'you mean by that?' he said sharply.
'You think that she loves the Capitaine Ralph Paton - but I, Hercule Poirot, tell you that that is not so.
Mademoiselle Flora accepted Ca...
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