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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»
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متن انگلیسی فصل
Chapter twenty one
The Person - K.
Lazarus came quickly to her side. ‘My dear,’ he said. ‘My dear.’ Poirot went to the small table, poured out a glass of wine and brought it to her, standing over her while she drank it. She handed the glass back to him and smiled. ‘I’m all right now,’ she said. ‘What - what should we do next?’
She looked at Japp, but he shook his head. ‘I’m on holiday, Mrs Rice. Just helping an old friend. The St Loo police are in charge of the case.’
‘Monsieur Poirot,’ said Nick. ‘Can’t we keep it quiet? After all - I’m the centre of all this. And there will be no more attacks on me now.’
‘That is true, but…’
‘You’re thinking of Maggie. But, Monsieur Poirot, nothing will bring Maggie back to life again! If you make all this public, you’ll only bring a terrible lot of suffering and publicity on Frederica - and she doesn’t deserve it.’
‘So that is what you wish, Mademoiselle? To keep it quiet?’
‘Yes. Please, dear Monsieur Poirot.’
Poirot looked slowly round the room. ‘What do you all say?’
‘I agree,’ I said, as Poirot looked at me.
‘I, too,’ said Lazarus.
‘It’s the best thing to do,’ said Challenger.
‘Let’s forget everything that’s happened in this room tonight.’ This came from Croft.
‘You would say that!’ exclaimed Japp.
‘Don’t be hard on me, dear,’ his wife said to Nick. Nick made no reply.
‘Me and William won’t say a word, Sir.’
‘And you, Monsieur Vyse?’
‘A thing like this can’t be kept quiet,’ said Charles Vyse. ‘The police must be told.’
Poirot gave a sudden laugh. ‘So you are seven to one. The good Japp is neutral.’
‘I’m on holiday,’ said Japp, with a wide smile.
‘Seven to one,’ said Poirot. ‘You know, Monsieur Vyse, you are an honest man. I, too, am for the truth. Mademoiselle - you forced me into the case. I came into it at your wish. You cannot silence me now.’
He lifted a threatening forefinger in a way that I knew well. ‘Sit down - all of you - and I will tell you the truth. I have a list here of the people connected with the crime. I numbered them with the letters of the alphabet including the letter J. J. was for a person unknown - linked to the crime by one of the others. I did not know who J. was until tonight. But yesterday, I suddenly realized that I had made a serious mistake. I added another letter to my list. The letter K - for a person who should have been included in the original list, but who was forgotten.’
He touched Frederica on the shoulder. ‘You can be sure, Madame, that your husband was not guilty of murder. It was the person K. who shot Mademoiselle Maggie!
‘But who is K.?’
Poirot nodded to Japp who stepped forward.
‘On instructions from him, I arrived here early in the evening and was taken secretly into the house by Monsieur Poirot. I hid myself behind the curtains in the living room. When everyone was sitting in this room, a young lady entered the living room and went to the fireplace and opened a small cupboard in the wooden panels. She took out a pistol. With this in her hand she left the room. I followed her and, by opening the door just a little, I was able to watch what she did. Coats had been left in the hall by the visitors when they arrived. The young lady carefully cleaned the pistol with a handkerchief and then placed it in the pocket of a grey coat, the property of Mrs Rice…’
‘No!’ Nick cried. ‘This is not true - every word of it is a lie!’
Poirot pointed a hand at her. ‘See!’ he said. ‘The person K! It was Mademoiselle Nick who shot her cousin, Maggie Buckley.’
‘Are you mad?’ cried Nick. ‘Why should I kill Maggie?’
‘In order to inherit the money left to her by Michael Seton! Maggie’s name, too, was Magdala Buckley, not Margaret as I had believed. At first I thought Maggie was a short form of Margaret - but it was to her Michael Seton was engaged, not to you.’
‘You - you!’
She stood there shaking - unable to speak. Poirot turned to Japp. ‘You telephoned the police?’
‘Yes, they are waiting in the hall now. They’ve got the warrant for her arrest.’
‘You’re all mad!’ cried Nick. She moved quickly to Frederica’s side. ‘Freddie, give me your watch as - as a souvenir, will you?’
Slowly Frederica took the watch from her wrist and handed it to Nick.
‘Thanks. And now - I suppose we must carry on with this perfectly stupid comedy.’
‘The comedy you planned and produced in End House,’ said Poirot. ‘Yes - but you should not have given the star part to Hercule Poirot. That, Mademoiselle, was your very serious mistake.’
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