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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter eight

After writing N.B. 4.40 on his paper, Poirot looked up to see Carol Boynton enter the room. As she sat down, Poirot looked with interest at Carol’s red-brown hair and nervous hands. Her face had no colour or expression.

‘Now, mademoiselle,’ Poirot said, ‘will you please tell me what you did that afternoon?’

Carol’s answer came quickly, as if she had practised it before. ‘After lunch we all went for a walk. I returned to the camp -‘ Poirot interrupted. ‘Were you all together until then?’

‘No, I was with my brother Raymond and Miss King for most of the time. Then I walked off on my own.’

‘And what time did you return to the camp?’

‘I believe it was just about ten minutes past five.’

Poirot wrote down C.B. 5.10. ‘And what then?’

‘My mother was still sitting in front of her cave,’ said Carol. ‘I went up and spoke to her, and then went on to my tent.’

‘Can you remember exactly what you both said?’

‘I just said it was very hot and that I was going to lie down. My mother said she would stay where she was.’

‘Was there anything about her that seemed unusual or different?’ asked Poirot.

‘No. At least -‘ Carol paused. ‘She was a strange colour - her face was redder than usual.’

‘She may have had a shock, perhaps?’ suggested Poirot. ‘Did she say anything about trouble with one of the servants?’

‘No - no, nothing at all.’

Poirot continued, ‘And what did you do next, mademoiselle?’

‘I went to my tent and lay down for about half an hour. Then I went down to the marquee. Lennox and Nadine were there reading. I looked at a magazine.’

‘Did you speak to your mother again on your way to the marquee?’ asked Poirot.

‘No. I went straight down - I didn’t even look at her. Then I stayed in the marquee until - until Miss King told us she was dead. That’s all I know.’

Poirot leaned forward. ‘And what did you feel, mademoiselle, when you found that your mother - pardon, your stepmother - was dead?’

Carol said uncertainly, ‘It was - a great shock.’

‘Was it?’

Carol’s face went red. She stared at Poirot helplessly, with fear in her eyes.

‘Was it such a great shock, mademoiselle? Do you remember a conversation you had with your brother Raymond one night in Jerusalem?’ His guess was right - he knew from the way her face went white. ‘How do you know about that?’ she whispered.

‘Part of your conversation was overheard.’

‘Oh!’ Carol hid her face in her hands and started to cry. Hercule Poirot waited a minute, then he said quietly, ‘You were both planning to kill your stepmother.’

Carol sobbed out brokenly, ‘We were mad - mad - that evening!’ She sat up and pushed her hair from her face. ‘You don’t understand what it was like! Travelling made it so obvious how different we were to other people. And Ginevra - mother was making her worse! Ray and I were afraid that Ginevra was going mad! That evening in Jerusalem, Ray and I were overexcited. We thought that killing mother was the right thing to do! But we didn’t really do it. The next day it seemed stupid - and wrong! Mother died naturally of heart failure. Monsieur Poirot - Ray and I had nothing to do with it.’

‘Will you swear to me, mademoiselle,’ said Poirot quietly, ‘that Mrs Boynton did not die as the result of any action of yours?’

Carol lifted her head. ‘I swear,’ she said steadily, ‘that I never harmed her.’

Poirot leaned back in his chair, and thoughtfully stroked his moustache. ‘What exactly was your plan?’ he asked. In his mind he counted the seconds before Carol answered - one, two, three.

‘We didn’t have a plan,’ said Carol at last. ‘We never got that far.’

Poirot stood up. ‘That is all, mademoiselle. Will you tell your brother to come in next?’

Carol went slowly to the door. ‘Monsieur Poirot, you do believe me?’ she said passionately. ‘I’ve told you the truth - I have!’

Hercule Poirot did not answer, and Carol Boynton went slowly out of the room.

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