فصل 18

مجموعه: کارآگاه هرکول پوآرو / کتاب: قاتل راجر آکروید / فصل 18

فصل 18

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Chapter eighteen

An Untruth

Our drive back to the village was filled with Raglan’s complaints. ‘All those alibis are useless! We’ve got to start again and find out what everyone was doing from nine-thirty onwards. Nine- thirty - that’s the time we’ve got to focus on.’

We arrived back at my house and I hurried in to my surgery patients, leaving Poirot to walk to the police station with the inspector.

When I had seen the last patient, I went into the little room at the back of the house. I call this my workshop and I am rather proud of the wireless set I made there. I was just adjusting the inside of an alarm clock when the door opened and my sister Caroline came in.

‘Monsieur Poirot wants to see you.’

‘Well,’ I said, ‘bring him in here.’

Caroline returned in a moment or two with Poirot, and then left, shutting the door.

‘Aha, my friend,’ said Poirot. Coming forward, he sat down and looked at me.

‘You know,’ I said, throwing down the screwdriver I was holding, ‘it’s extraordinary. The whole case has changed entirely.’

Poirot smiled. ‘Surely it is obvious?’ he murmured.

‘According to you everything is obvious. But it’s not obvious to me. It’s as if you have left me walking about in a fog.’

Poirot shook his head. ‘No, my friend. Take the matter of Mademoiselle Flora. The inspector was surprised - but you were not.’

‘I never dreamed of her being the thief! But I’ve felt that Flora was hiding something - so the truth, when it came, was almost expected. It upset Inspector Raglan very much indeed, poor man.’

‘Ah yes! But I made good use of his unhappiness and persuaded him to help me in a small matter.’

Poirot took a sheet of writing paper from his pocket and read aloud. ‘The police have, for some days, been searching for Captain Ralph Paton, the stepson of Mr Ackroyd of Fernly Park, whose tragic death occurred last Friday. Captain Paton has been found in Liverpool, where he was about to sail for America.’

Poirot folded up the piece of paper again. ‘That, my friend, will be in the newspapers tomorrow morning.’

I stared at him. ‘But - but it isn’t true! He isn’t in Liverpool!’

Poirot smiled with pleasure. ‘You have such quick intelligence! I assured Inspector Raglan that very interesting results would follow the appearance of this report in the newspaper, so he agreed.’

‘I still do not understand’, I said, ‘what you expect to get out of this.’

‘You should use your little grey cells,’ said Poirot seriously. He got to his feet and came across to the bench. ‘I see you love machinery, my friend.’

Pleased by his attention, I showed Poirot my home-made wireless and one or two little inventions of my own - small things, but useful in the house.

‘Decidedly,’ said Poirot, ‘you should be an inventor, not a doctor.’

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