This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: uriously. 'What about that?' Poirot raised his eyebrows.
'You do not use your little grey cells,' he remarked drily.
'The scrap of starched cambric should be obvious.' 'Not very obvious to me.' I changed the subject.
'Anyway,' I said, 'this man went to the summer-house to meet somebody. Who was that somebody?'
'Exactly the question,' said Poirot. 'You will remember that Mrs Ackroyd and her daughter came over
from Canada to live here?' 'Is that what you meant today when you accused them of hiding the truth?'
'Perhaps. Now another point. What did you think of the parlourmaid's story?' 'What story?' 'The story of
her dismissal. Does it take half an hour to dismiss a servant? Was the story of those important papers a
likely one? And remember, though she says she was in her bedroom from nine-thirty until ten o'clock,
there is no one to confirm her statement.' 'You bewilder me,' I said.
'To me it grows clearer. But tell me now your own ideas and theories.' I drew a piece of paper from my
'I just scribbled down a few suggestions,' I said apologetically.
'But excellent - you have method. Let us hear them.' I read out in a somewhat embarrassed voice.
'To begin with, one must look at the thing logically ' 'Just what my poor Hastings used to say,' interrupted
Poirot, 'but alas! he never did so.' 'Point No. 1. - Mr Ackroyd was heard talking to someone at half-past
'Point No. 2. - At some time during the evening Ralph Paton must have come in through the window, as
evidenced by the prints of his shoes.
'Point No. 3. - Mr Ackroyd was nervous that evening, and would only have admitted someone he knew.
'Point No. 4. - The person with Mr Ackroyd at nine-thirty was asking for money. We know Ralph Paton
was in a scrape.
' These four points go to show that the person with Mr Ackroyd at nine-thirty was Ralph Paton. But we
know that Mr Ackroyd was alive at a quarter to ten, therefore it was not Ralph who killed him. Ralph left
the window open. Afterwards the murderer came in that way.' 'And who was the murderer?' inquired
'The American stranger. He may have been in league with Parker, and possibly in Parker we have the
man who blackmailed Mrs Ferrars. If so, Parker may have heard enough to realize the game was up,
have told his accomplice s0, and the latter did the crime with the dagger which Parker gave him.' 'It is a
theory that,' admitted Poirot. 'Decidedly you have tells of a kind. But it leaves a good deal unaccounted
for.' 'Such as ' 'The telephone call, the pushed-out chair ' 'Do you really think that latter important?' I interrupted.
'Perhaps not,' admitted my friend. 'It may have been pulled out by accident, and Raymond or Blunt may
have shoved it into place unconsciously under the stress of emotion. Then there is the missing forty
pounds.' 'Given by Ackroyd to Ralph,' I suggested. 'He may have reconsidered his first refusal.' 'That still
leaves one thing unexplained.' 'What?' 'Why was Blunt so certain in his own mind that it was Raymond
with Mr Ackroyd at nine-thirty?' 'He explained that,' I s...
View Full Document