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Unformatted text preview: well have it now.' And then and there I narrated the whole events
of the evening as I have set them down here. The inspector listened keenly, occasionally interjecting a
'Most extraordinary story I ever heard,' he said, when I had finished. 'And you say that letter has
It looks bad - it looks very bad indeed. It gives us what we've been looking for - a motive for the
murder.' I nodded.
'I realize that.' 'You say that Mr Ackroyd hinted at a suspicion he had that some member of his household was involved? Household's rather an elastic term.' 'You don't think that Parker himself might
be the man we're after?' I suggested.
'It looks very like it. He was obviously listening at the door when you came out. Then Miss Ackroyd
came across him later bent on entering the study. Say he tried again when she was safely out of the way.
He stabbed Ackroyd, locked the door on the inside, opened the window, and got out that way, and
went round to a side door which he had previously left open. How's that?' 'I want to see if Mr Raymond
can tell us anything about this dagger,' he explained.
Locking the outer door behind us again, we made our way to the billiard room, where we found Geoffrey
Raymond. The inspector held up his exhibit.
'Ever seen this before, Mr Raymond?' 'Why -1 believe - I'm almost sure that is a curio given to Mr
Ackroyd by Major Blunt. It comes from Morocco - no, Tunis. So the crime was committed with that?
What an extraordinary thing. It seems almost impossible, and yet there could hardly be two daggers the
same. May I fetch Major Blunt?' Without waiting for an answer, he hurried off.
'Nice young fellow that,' said the inspector. 'Something honest and ingenuous about him.' I agreed. In the
two years that Geoffrey Raymond has been secretary to Ackroyd, I have never seen him ruffled or out of
temper. And he has been, I know, a most efficient secretary.
In a minute or two Raymond returned, accompanied by Blunt.
'I was right,' said Raymond excitedly. 'It is the Tunisian dagger.' 'Major Blunt hasn't looked at it yet,'
objected the inspector.
'Saw it the moment I came into the study,' said the quiet man.
'You recognized it, then?' Blunt nodded.
'You said nothing about it,' said the inspector suspiciously.
'Wrong moment,' said Blunt. 'Lot of harm done by blurting out things at the wrong time.' He returned the
inspector's stare placidly enough.
The latter grunted at last and turned away. He brought the dagger over to Blunt.
'You're quite sure about it, sir. You identify it positively?'
'Absolutely. No doubt whatever.' 'Where was this - er - curio usually kept? Can you tell me that, sir?' It
was the secretary who answered.
'In the silver table in the drawing-room.' 'What?' I exclaimed.
The others looked at me.
'Yes, doctor?' said the inspector encouragingly.
'It's nothing,' said the inspector again, still encouragingly.
'It's so trivial,' I explained apologetically. 'Only that when I arrived last night for dinner I heard the lid of the silver table being shut d...
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