Unformatted text preview: ere newspapers were filed. He brought me a
copy of the Daily Budget, dated Friday, 16th September, and showed me an article dealing with the
smuggling of cocaine. It was a somewhat lurid article, written with an eye to picturesque effect.
'That is what put cocaine into her head, my friend,' he said.
I would have catechized him further, for I did not quite understand his meaning, but at that moment the
door opened and Geoffrey Raymond was announced.
He came in fresh and debonair as ever, and greeted us both.
'How are you, doctor? M. Poirot, this is the second time I've been here this morning. I was anxious to
catch you.' 'Perhaps I'd better be off,' I suggested rather awkwardly.
'Not on my account, doctor. No, it's just this,' he went on, seating himself at a wave of invitation from
Poirot, 'I've got a confession to make.' 'En verite?' said Poirot, with an air of polite interest.
'Oh, it's of no consequence, really. But, as a matter of fact, my conscience has been pricking me ever
since yesterday afternoon. You accused us all of keeping back something, M.
Poirot. I plead guilty. I've had something up my sleeve.' 'And what is that, M. Raymond?' 'As I say, it's
nothing of consequence- just this. I was in debt - badly, and that legacy came in the nick of time. Five
hundred pounds puts me on my feet again with a little to spare.' He smiled at us both with that engaging
frankness that made him such a likeable youngster.
'You know how it is. Suspicious-looking policemen - don't like to admit you were hard up for money think it will look bad to them. But I was a fool, really, because Blunt and I were in the billiard room from
a quarter to ten onwards, so I've got a watertight alibi and nothing to fear. Still, when you thundered out
that stuff about concealing things, I felt a nasty prick of conscience, and I thought I'd like to get it off my
mind.' He got up again and stood smiling at us.
'You are a very wise young man,' said Poirot, nodding at him with approval. 'See you, when I know that
anyone is hiding things from me, I suspect that the thing hidden may be something very bad indeed. You
have done well.' 'I'm glad I'm cleared from suspicion,' laughed Raymond Til be off now.' 'So that is that,'
I remarked, as the door closed behind the young secretary.
'Yes,' agreed Poirot. 'A mere bagatelle - but if he had not been in the billiard room - who knows? After
all, many crimes have been committed for the sake of less than five hundred pounds. It all depends on
what sum is sufficient to break a man.
A question of relativity, is it not so? Have you reflected, my friend, that many people in that house stood
to benefit by Mr Ackroyd's death? Mrs Ackroyd, Miss Flora, young Mr Raymond, the housekeeper.
Miss Russell. Only one, in fact, does not. Major Blunt.' His tone in uttering that name was so peculiar that
I looked up, puzzled.
'I don't understand you,' I said. 'Two of the people I accused have given me the truth.' 'You think Major Blunt has something to conceal
also?' 'As for that,' remarked Poir...
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