Unformatted text preview: 'He has been here - how long?' 'Just on two years, I fancy.' 'His duties he fulfils punctiliously. Of that I am
sure. In what manner does he amuse himself? Does he go in for Ie sporty 'Private secretaries haven't
much time for that sort of thing,' said Colonel Melrose, smiling. 'Raymond plays golf, I believe.
And tennis in the summer time.' 'He does not attend the courses -1 should say the running of the horses?'
'Race meetings? No, I don't think he's interested in racing.' Poirot nodded and seemed to lose interest.
He glanced slowly round the study.
'I have seen, I think, all that there is to be seen here.' I, too, looked round.
'If those walls could speak,' I murmured.
Poirot shook his head. 'A tongue is not enough,' he said. They would have to have also eyes and ears. But do not be too sure
that these dead things' - he touched the top of the bookcase as he spoke - 'are always dumb. To me they
speak sometimes - chairs, tables - they have their message!' He turned away towards the door.
'What message?' I cried. 'What have they said to you today?' He looked over his shoulder and raised
one eyebrow quizzically.
'An opened window,' he said. 'A locked door. A chair that apparently moved itself. To all three I say
"Why?" and I find no answer.' He shook his head, puffed out his chest, and stood blinking at us. He
looked ridiculously full of his own importance.
It crossed my mind to wonder whether he was really any good as a detective. Had his big reputation
been built up on a series of lucky chances?' I think the same thought must have occurred to Colonel
Melrose, for he frowned.
'Anything more you want to see, M. Poirot?' he inquired brusquely.
'You would perhaps be so kind as to show me the silver table from which the weapon was taken? After
that, I will trespass on your kindness no longer.' We went to the drawing-room, but on the way the
constable waylaid the colonel, and after a muttered conversation the latter excused himself and left us
together. I showed Poirot the silver table, and after raising the lid once or twice and letting it fall, he
pushed open the window and stepped out on the terrace. I followed him.
Inspector Raglan had just turned the corner of the house, and was coming towards us. His face looked
grim and satisfied.
'So there you are, M. Poirot,' he said. 'Well, this isn't going to be much of a case. I'm sorry, too. A nice
enough young fellow gone wrong.' Poirot's face fell, and he spoke very mildly.
'I'm afraid I shall not be able to be of much aid to you, then?' 'Next time, perhaps,' said the inspector
'Though we don't have murders every day in this quiet little corner of the world.' Poirot's gaze took on an
'You have been of a marvellous promptness,' he observed.
'How exactly did you go to work, if I may ask?' 'Certainly,' said the inspector. 'To begin with - method.
That's what I always say - method!' 'Ah!' cried the other. 'That, too, is my watchword.
Method, order, and the little grey cel...
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