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Unformatted text preview: moment or two devoted to the
game. 'Was she with anyone?' 'Very much so,' said Miss Gannett.
The eyes of the two ladies met, and seemed to exchange ^formation.
'Really,' said Caroline interestedly. 'Is that it? Well, it doesn't surprise me in the least.' 'We're waiting for
you to discard. Miss Caroline,' said the colonel. He sometimes affects the pose of the bluff male, intent
on the game and indifferent to gossip. But nobody is deceived.
'If you ask me,' said Miss Gannett. ('Was that a Bamboo you discarded, dear? Oh! no, I see now - it
was a Circle.) As I was saying, if you ask me. Flora's been exceedingly lucky.
Exceedingly lucky she's been.' 'How's that. Miss Gannett?' asked the colonel. 'I'll Pung that Green
Dragon. How do you make out that Miss Flora's been lucky? Very charming girl and all that, I know.' 'I
mayn't know very much about crime,' said Miss Gannett, with the air of one who knows everything there
is to know, 'but I can tell you one thing. The first question that's always asked is "Who last saw the
deceased alive?" And the person who did is regarded with suspicion. Now, Flora Ackroyd last saw her
uncle alive. It might have looked very nasty for her - very nasty indeed. It's my opinion - and I give it for
what it's worth, that Ralph Paton is staying away on her account, to draw suspicion away from her.'
'Come, now,' I protested mildly, 'you surely can't suggest that a young girl like Flora Ackroyd is capable
of stabbing her uncle in cold blood?' 'Well, I don't know,' said Miss Gannett. 'I've just been reading a
book from the library about the underworld of Paris, and it says that some of the worst women criminals
are young girls with the faces of angels.' 'That's in France,' said Caroline instantly.
'Just so,' said the colonel. 'Now, I'll tell you a very curious thing - a story that was going round the
Bazaars in India...' The colonel's story was one of interminable length, and of curiously little interest. A
thing that happened in India many years ago cannot compare for a moment with an event that took place
in King's Abbot the day before yesterday.
It was Caroline who brought the colonel's story to a close by fortunately going Mah Jong. After the slight
unoleasantness always caused by my corrections of Caroline's somewhat faulty arithmetic, we started a
'East Wind passes,' said Caroline. 'I've got an idea of my own about Ralph Paton. Three Characters. But
I'm keeping it to myself for the present.' 'Are you, dear?' said Miss Gannett. 'Chow - I mean Pung.'
'Yes,' said Caroline firmly.
'Was it all right about the boots?' asked Miss Gannett.
'Their being black, I mean?' 'Quite all right,' said Caroline.
'What was the point, do you think?' asked Miss Gannett.
Caroline pursed up her lips, and shook her head with an air of knowing all about it.
'Pung,' said Miss Gannett. 'No - Unpung. I suppose that now the doctor's in with M. Poirot he knows all
the secrets?' 'Far from it,' I said.
'James is so modest,' said Caroline. 'Ah! A conceal...
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