فصل 20

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter twenty

‘Alfred?’ Craddock said over the phone. Alfred?’

Inspector Bacon said, ‘You didn’t expect that?’

‘No, not at all. In fact I thought he was the murderer!’ There was a moment’s silence. Then he asked, ‘There was a nurse in charge. How did she allow it to happen?’

‘We can’t blame her. Miss Eyelesbarrow was very tired and went to bed for a bit. The nurse had five patients to look after, and old Mr Crackenthorpe started making a big fuss, so she had to go and quieten him down and then took Alfred in some tea. He drank it and that was the end.’

‘Arsenic again?’

‘It seems so.’

‘I wonder,’ said Craddock, ‘whether Alfred was meant to be the victim?’

‘You mean the tea might have been meant for the old man.’

‘Are they sure that the arsenic was in the tea?’

‘No. The nurse washed the cups and everything. But it seems the only likely method.’

‘So,’ said Craddock, ‘one of the patients wasn’t as ill as the others? Saw his chance and poisoned the cup?’

‘Well, there won’t be any more of that,’ said Inspector Bacon. ‘I’ve got two men there. Are you coming down?’

‘As fast as I can!’

Lucy Eyelesbarrow came across the hall to meet the Inspector. She looked pale.

‘You’ve been having a bad time,’ said Craddock.

‘It’s been like a bad dream.’

‘About this curry-‘

‘It was the curry?’

‘Yes, arsenic was found in it.’

‘Then it must be one of the family who did it.’

‘There is no other possibility?’

‘No, you see, I only started making the curry late - after six o’clock - because Mr Crackenthorpe specially asked for curry.’

‘Which of them had the chance to do something to the curry while it was cooking?’

Lucy thought. ‘Anyone could have come into the kitchen while I was laying the table in the dining room.’

‘So who was here in the house? Mr Crackenthorpe, Emma, Cedric…’

‘Harold and Alfred. Oh, and Bryan Eastley. But he left just before dinner.’

‘Well, look after yourself,’ said Craddock. ‘There’s a poisoner in this house, remember, and one of your patients probably isn’t as ill as he pretends to be.’

Lucy went upstairs again after Craddock had gone and as she passed Mr Crackenthorpe’s room she heard him calling, ‘Girl - girl - come here.’

Lucy entered the room.

Mr Crackenthorpe was sitting up in bed looking very cheerful. ‘So Alfred won’t get any of the money. They’ve all been waiting for me to die - Alfred in particular. Now he’s dead. That’s rather a good joke.’ He laughed. ‘I’ll outlive them all.’

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