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Unformatted text preview: he conveyed an impression that more was wanted.
'Thought I saw - a woman disappearing into the bushes.
Just a gleam of white, you know. Must have been mistaken.
It was while I was standing at the corner of the terrace that I heard Ackroyd's voice speaking to that
secretary of his.' 'Speaking to Mr Geoffrey Raymond?' 'Yes - that's what I supposed at the time. Seems
I was wrong.' 'Mr Ackroyd didn't address him by name?' 'Oh, no.' 'Then, if I may ask, why did you think
- ?' Blunt explained laboriously.
'Took it for granted that it would be Raymond, because he had said just before I came out that he was
taking some papers to Ackroyd. Never thought of it being anybody else.' 'Can you remember what the
words you heard were?' 'Afraid I can't. Something quite ordinary and unimportant.
Only caught a scrap of it. I was thinking of something else at the time.' 'It is of no importance,' murmured
Poirot. 'Did you move a chair back against the wall when you went into the study after the body was
discovered?' 'Chair? No, why should I?' Poirot shrugged his shoulders but did not answer. He turned to
'There is one thing I should like to know from you, mademoiselle. When you were examining the things in
the silver table with Dr Sheppard, was the dagger in its place, or was it not?' Flora's chin shot up.
'Inspector Raglan has been asking me that,' she said resentfully. 'I've told him, and I'll tell you. I'm
perfectly certain the dagger was not there. He thinks it was and that Ralph sneaked it later in the evening.
And - and he doesn't believe me. He thinks I'm saying it so - to shield Ralph.' 'And aren't you?' I asked
Flora stamped her foot.
'You, too, Dr Sheppard! Oh! it's too bad.' Poirot tactfully made a diversion.
'It is true what I heard you say. Major Blunt. There is something that glitters in this pond. Let us see if I
can reach it.' He knelt down by the pond, baring his arm to the elbow, and lowered it in very slowly, so
as not to disturb the bottom of the pond. But in spite of all his precautions the mud eddied and swirled,
and he was forced to draw his arm out again empty-handed. He gazed ruefully at the mud upon his arm. I offered him my handkerchief, which he accepted with
fervent protestations of thanks. Blunt looked at his watch.
'Nearly lunch time,' he said. 'We'd better be getting back to the house.' 'You will lunch with us, M.
Poirot?' asked Flora. 'I should like you to meet my mother. She is - very fond of Ralph.' The little man
'I shall be delighted, mademoiselle.' 'And you will stay, too, won't you, Dr Sheppard?' I hesitated.
'Oh, do!' I wanted to, so I accepted the invitation without further ceremony.
We set out towards the house. Flora and Blunt walking ahead.
'What hair,' said Poirot to me in a low tone, nodding towards Flora. 'The real gold! They will make a
pretty couple. She and the dark, handsome Captain Paton. Will they not?' I looked at him inquiringly, but
he began to fuss about a few microscopic drops of water on...
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