Murder Of Roger Ackroyd By Agatha Christie

It was a somewhat lurid article written with an eye

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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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