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I dare say you hadn't the least idea she was doing it even. Men are so simple. She knows that you are in
Poirot's confidence, and she wants to find out things. Do you know what I think, James?' 'I couldn't begin
to imagine. You think so many extraordinary things.' 'It's no good being sarcastic. I think Miss Russell
knows more about Mr Ackroyd's death than she is prepared to admit.' Caroline leaned back
triumphantly in her chair.
'Do you really think so?' I said absently.
'You are very dull today, James. No animation about you.
It's that liver of yours.' Our conversation then dealt with purely personal matters.
The paragraph inspired by Poirot duly appeared in our daily paper the next morning. I was in the dark as
to its purpose, but its effect on Caroline was immense.
She began by stating, most untruly, that she had said as much all along. I raised my eyebrows, but did not
Caroline, however, must have felt a prick of conscience, for she went on: 'I mayn't have actually
mentioned Liverpool, but I knew he'd try to get away to America. That's what Crippen did.' 'Without
much success,' I reminded her.
'Poor boy, and so they've caught him. I consider, James, that it's your duty to see that he isn't hung.'
'What do you expect me to do?' 'Why, you're a medical man, aren't you? You've known him from a boy
upwards. Not mentally responsible. That's the line to take, clearly. I read only the other day that they're
very happy in Broadmoor - it's quite like a highclass club.' But Caroline's words had reminded me of
'I never knew that Poirot had an imbecile nephew?' I said curiously.
'Didn't you? Oh, he told me all about it. Poor lad. It's a great grief to all the family. They've kept him at
home so far, but it's getting to such a pitch that they're afraid he'll have to go into some kind of institution.'
'I suppose you know pretty well everything there is to know about Poirot's family by this time,' I said,
'Pretty well,' said Caroline complacently. 'It's a great relief to people to be able to tell all their troubles to
someone.' 'It might be,' I said, 'if they were ever allowed to do so spontaneously. Whether they enjoy
having confidences screwed out of them by force is another matter.' Caroline merely looked at me with
an air of a Christian martyr enjoying martyrdom.
'You are so self-contained, James,' she said. 'You hate speaking out, or parting with any information
yourself, and you think everybody else must be just like you. I should hope that I never screw confidences out of anybody. For instance, ifM. Poirot comes in this afternoon, as he said he might do, I
shall not dream of asking him who it was arrived at his house early this morning.' 'Early this morning?' I
'Very early,' said Caroline. 'Before the milk came. I just happened to be looking out of the window - the
blind was flapping. It was a man. He came in a closed car, and he was all muffled up. I couldn't get a
glimpse of his face. But I will tell you my idea, and you'll s...
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