Murder Of Roger Ackroyd By Agatha Christie

When the old lady with the breton cap opened the door

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Unformatted text preview: s I opened the front door, 'you might tell him about the boots.' It was a most subtle parting shot. I wanted dreadfully to understand the enigma of the boots. When the old lady with the Breton cap opened the door to me, I found myself asking ifM. Poirot was in, quite automatically. Poirot sprang up to meet me, with every appearance of pleasure. 'Sit down, my good friend,' he said. 'The big chair? This small one? The room is not too hot, no?' I thought it was stifling, but refrained from saying so. The windows were closed, and a large fire burned in the grate. 'The English people, they have a mania for the fresh air,' declared Poirot. 'The big air, it is all very well outside, where " belongs. Why admit it to the house? But let us not discuss ^ch banalities. You have something for me, yes?' 'Two things,' I said. 'First - this - from my sister.' I handed over the pot of medlar jelly. 'How kind of Mademoiselle Caroline. She has remembered her promise. And the second thing?' 'Information - of a kind.' And I told him of my interview with Mrs Ackroyd. He listened with interest, but not much excitement. 'It clears the ground,' he said thoughtfully. 'And it has a certain value as confirming the evidence of the housekeeper. She said, you remember, that she found the silver table lid open and closed it down in passing.' 'What about her statement that she went into the drawing-room to see if the flowers were fresh?' 'Ah! we never took that very seriously, did we, my friend? It was patently an excuse, trumped up in a hurry, by a woman who felt it urgent to explain her presence - which, by the way, you would probably never have thought of questioning. I considered it possible that her agitation might arise from the fact that she had been tampering with the silver table, but I think now that we must look for another cause.' 'Yes,' I said. 'Whom did she go out to meet? And why?' 'You think she went to meet someone?' 'I do.' Poirot nodded. 'So do I,' he said thoughtfully. There was a pause. 'By the way,' I said, 'I've got a message for you from my sister. Ralph Paton's boots were black, not brown.' I was watching him closely as I gave the message, and I fancied that I saw a momentary flicker of discomposure. If so, it passed almost immediately. 'She is absolutely positive they are not brown?' 'Absolutely.' 'Ah!' said Poirot regretfully. 'That is a pity.' And he seemed quite crestfallen. He entered into no explanations, but at once started a new subject of conversation. 'The housekeeper. Miss Russell, who came to consult you on that Friday morning - is it indiscreet to ask what passed at the interview - apart from the medical details, I mean?' 'Not at all,' I said. 'When the professional part of the conversation was over, we talked for a few minutes about poisons, and the ease or difficulty of detecting them, and about drug-taking and drug-takers.' 'With special reference to cocaine?' asked Poirot. 'How did you know?' I asked, somewhat surprised. For answer, the little man rose and crossed the room to wh...
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This note was uploaded on 07/28/2011 for the course LITERATURE 101 taught by Professor Agathachristie during the Spring '11 term at Heritage.

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