فصل 15

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Diamonds!

‘Are you sure, Suzanne?’

‘Oh, yes, my dear. I’ve seen rough diamonds before - this is what diamonds look like when they are taken from the ground. It’s only after they have been cut and polished that they become the glittering beauties we love. And these are excellent diamonds. I think there’s a story behind them.’

‘The story we heard tonight,’ I cried. ‘Colonel Race’s story. It can’t be a coincidence. He told it for a reason.’

‘To see its effect, you mean?’

I nodded. ‘Who is Colonel Race?’

‘That’s a good question,’ said Suzanne. ‘He’s well known as a big-game hunter and often travels to Africa. But this is the first time I have met him. There’s a general idea that he does Secret Service work. I don’t know if it’s true.’

‘I have two more questions. How is Colonel Race involved in this business? And what became of the other young man? Not Eardsley - Lucas! The one who disappeared during the War. We only know he was missing in action. It was never confirmed that he was dead.’

‘We have some answers,’ Suzanne said. ‘We know that these people want the diamonds. That’s why “the Man in the Brown Suit” killed Nadina.’

‘He did not kill her,’ I said quickly.

‘Of course he killed her. Who else could have done so?’

‘I don’t know. But he didn’t kill her.’

‘He went into the house three minutes after her, then came out looking as if he’d seen a ghost.’

‘Because he found her dead.’

‘But nobody else went in.’

‘Then the murderer got in another way. There was no need for him to walk past the lodge, he could have climbed over the wall.’

Suzanne looked at me. “‘The Man in the Brown Suit,”’ she said thoughtfully. ‘He was the “doctor” in the Tube and he followed the woman to Marlow. But what did he do when he left Marlow?’

I said nothing.

‘Nadina was murdered in Sir Eustace Pedler’s house. And it was his secretary, Rayburn, who was stabbed and came into your cabin to hide. Two connections! I wonder, is it possible that the “doctor” had some control over Sir Eustace? That he made Sir Eustace bring him as his secretary, so he could get out of England safely? That in fact, Rayburn is “the Man in the Brown Suit”. Rayburn’s got a scar, I know - but a scar can easily be created with make-up. He’s the right height. I think he had already read the paper that he dropped. He saw the dot as you did, so he tried to reach Cabin 17 at one o’clock on the 22nd. On the way there somebody stabbed him…’

‘Who?’

‘Chichester. Yes, it all fits. Send a telegram to Lord Nasby to say you have found “the Man in the Brown Suit”, and you will make your fortune, Anne!’

I felt myself shaking.

Suzanne’s eyes searched mine. Then she said gently, ‘It will save time and trouble if you tell me all about it.’

‘I’m not ashamed.’ I said slowly. ‘It’s something that just happened. You can’t be ashamed of that. He was rude and ungrateful, but I think I understand why. It’s like a dog that’s been badly treated - it will bite anybody. That’s what he was like - bitter and angry. I don’t know why I care - but I do. Just seeing him has turned my whole life upside-down. I love him. I want him, and I will make him love me. I’d die for him. There - now you know!’

Suzanne looked at me for a long time. ‘I’ve never met anybody who was so practical and so passionate at the same time,’ she said at last. ‘So you will not send a telegram to Lord Nasby?’

I shook my head.

‘And you believe Rayburn is innocent?’

‘Yes, and I also believe that innocent people can have a rope put around their neck and be hanged until they are dead.’

‘But, Anne dear, face the facts. Despite all you say, he may have murdered this woman.’

‘No,’ I said. ‘He did not. He might have followed her there with the idea of killing her. But not with a rope, never! Taking a rope meant it was a planned and cold-blooded murder. Rayburn is not that type of man. If he had killed her, he would have strangled her with his hands. It would have been a crime of passion.’

Suzanne gave a little shiver. She said, with approval. Anne, I am beginning to see why you find this young man of yours so attractive!’

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