Murder Of Roger Ackroyd By Agatha Christie

Who then i posed my cleverest my most audacious

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Unformatted text preview: Mr Ackroyd in the study at nine-thirty. 'So we come to another and most interesting aspect of the crime. Who was it in the room with Mr Ackroyd at nine-thirty? Not Ralph Paton, who was in the summer-house with his wife. Not Charles Kent, who had already left. Who, then? I posed my cleverest - my most audacious question: Was anyone with him?' Poirot leaned forward and shot the last words triumphantly at us, drawing back afterwards with the air of one who has made a decided hit. Raymond, however, did not seem impressed, and lodged a mild protest. 'I don't know if you're trying to make me out a liar, M. Poirot, but the matter does not rest on my evidence alone except perhaps as to the exact words used. Remember, Major Blunt also heard Mr Ackroyd talking to someone. He was on the terrace outside, and couldn't catch the words clearly, but he distinctly heard the voices.' Poirot nodded. 'I have not forgotten,' he said quietly. 'But Major Blunt was under the impression that it wasyou to whom Mr Ackroyd was speaking.' For a moment Raymond seemed taken aback. Then he recovered himself. 'Blunt knows now that he was mistaken,' he said. 'Exactly,' agreed the other man. 'Yet there must have been some reason for his thinking so,' mused Poirot. 'Oh! no,' he held up his hand in protest, 'I know the reason you will give - but it is not enough. We must seek elsewhere. I will put it this way. From the beginning of the case I have been struck by one thing - the nature of those words which Mr Raymond overheard. It has been amazing to me that no one has commented on them has seen anything odd about them.' He paused a minute, and then quoted softly: '... the calb on my purse have been so frequent of late that I fear it is impossible for me to accede to your request. Does nothing strike you as odd about that?' 'I don't think so,' said Raymond. 'He has frequently dictated letters to me, using almost exactly those same words.' 'Exactly,' cried Poirot. 'That is what I seek to arrive at. Would any man use such a prase in talking to another? Impossible that that should be part of a real conversation. Now, if he had been dictating a letter ' 'You mean he was reading a letter aloud,' said Raymond slowly. 'Even so, he must have been reading to someone.' 'But why? We have no evidence that there was anyone else in the room. No other voice but Mr Ackroyd's was heard, remember.' 'Surely a man wouldn't read letters of that type aloud to himself- not unless he was - well - going balmy.' 'You have all forgotten one thing,' said Poirot softly: 'the stranger who called at the house the preceding Wednesday.' They all stared at him. 'But yes,' said Poirot, nodding encouragingly, 'on Wednesday. The young man was not of himself important. But the firm he represented interested me very much.' 'The Dictaphone Company,' gasped Raymond. 'I see it now. A dictaphone. That's what you think?' Poirot nodded. 'Mr Ackroyd had promised to invest in a dictaphone, you remember. Me, I had the curiosity to inquire of the company in que...
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