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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter seventeen

Poirot now seemed friendly and relaxed as he sat down. ‘In a few days - after the medical examination - we will know if Mrs Boynton died of an overdose of digitalin or not. But it is better to know the truth tonight, before the murderer can escape!

‘So now we return to my list of facts - and why the first two points do not fit together. Mrs Boynton was taking a medicine containing digitalin and Dr Gerard’s syringe was missing. It is a clever idea to kill Mrs Boynton with digitalin, as she was already taking the drug in her medicine. But why would someone in her family inject the poison with a syringe? It would be much easier to add the poison to Mrs Boynton’s medicine! Sooner or later Mrs Boynton would take her medicine and die, and even if the digitalin was discovered in the bottle it could have been an accident - or a mistake by the chemist who prepared it. Nothing could be proved!

‘So why was Dr Gerard’s syringe taken? If the murderer could not poison the medicine, he was an outsider - and not a member of the Boynton family. This puzzled me, because all the Boyntons acted as if they were guilty. But what if they were really innocent?

‘So now I considered how the murder could have been committed by an outsider - someone who did not know Mrs Boynton well enough to enter her cave or touch her medicine bottle.’

He paused. ‘There are three people here who are outsiders, but who are still involved in the case.

‘Mr Cope is a family friend. Did he have a motive to kill Mrs Boynton? I do not think so, since Mrs Boynton’s death has ended his hopes with Nadine Boynton.’

Mr Cope said with dignity, ‘I had no opportunity to commit this crime, Monsieur Poirot - and I don’t agree with the taking of human life.’

‘You certainly seem to be innocent,’ said Poirot. ‘In a detective story you would definitely be the obvious suspect!’

He turned a little in his chair. ‘Now, Miss King had a motive and medical knowledge, but since she left the camp at three- fifteen and did not return until six, it is difficult to see when she could have committed the crime.

‘Next we must consider Dr Gerard, and think carefully about when the murder was actually committed. Lennox Boynton says that his mother was dead at four thirty-five. According to Lady Westholme and Miss Pierce, she was alive at four-fifteen when they started their walk. That leaves exactly twenty minutes. Now, as the two ladies walked away from the camp, Dr Gerard passed them going towards it. No one knows what Dr Gerard did when he reached the camp - he could have committed the crime then. Since he is a doctor, he could easily pretend to have malaria. Perhaps he killed Mrs Boynton to save the young and beautiful Ginevra from mental illness.’

‘Your ideas,’ said Dr Gerard, ‘are unbelievable!’

Without taking any notice, Poirot continued. ‘But if Dr Gerard killed Mrs Boynton, why did he tell Colonel Carbury about the digitalin and the syringe? It was thought that Mrs Boynton died of natural causes, but it was Dr Gerard who first suggested the possibility of murder. That, my friends,’ said Poirot, ‘does not make sense!’

‘It doesn’t seem to,’ agreed Colonel Carbury.

‘There is one more possibility,’ said Poirot. ‘Nadine Boynton said that Ginevra could not have killed her mother - because she knew Mrs Boynton was already dead. But Ginevra Boynton was at the camp all afternoon. And there was just time for her to commit the crime - when Lady Westholme and Miss Pierce were walking away from the camp and before Dr Gerard returned.’ Ginevra looked at Poirot with an innocent, puzzled stare. ‘You think I did it?’ Then suddenly, with a quick and beautiful movement, she sat at Dr Gerard’s feet and looked passionately up into his face. ‘No, no, it’s not true! I never did anything! They are my enemies - they want to put me in prison. You must help me!’

‘There, there, my child.’ Gently the doctor patted Ginevra’s head. ‘What you say is nonsense,’ he said to Poirot. ‘If Ginevra had killed her mother she would have done it boldly, with drama. This crime was very clever and well planned.’

Poirot smiled. ‘I agree with you,’ he said smoothly.

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