فصل 14

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فصل 14

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CHAPTER FOURTEEN

The Shadow of Suspicion

‘There, that’s over,’ said Norman Gale, as he finished filling the woman’s tooth. ‘And you’ll come back next Tuesday, so I can do the other fillings?’

His patient explained that she was going abroad suddenly, and must cancel her next appointment. She would let him know when she got back. Then she hurried out of the surgery.

‘Well,’ said Gale, ‘that’s all for today.’

‘Lady Higginson rang up to cancel her appointment next week,’ said Nurse Ross. ‘And Colonel Blunt can’t come on Thursday.’

Every day it was the same. Cancelled appointments. Excuses. ”I’ve got a cold. I’m going away.” Norman had seen the panic in his last patient’s eye as he reached for the drill. He could hear her thinking; ‘He was in that aeroplane when that woman was murdered… You do hear of people going mad and committing crimes for no particular reason. It isnt safe. Murderers look the same as other people, I’ve heard…’

‘I’m afraid it will be quiet next week, Miss Ross,’ he sighed.

‘Well, you need a rest. You’ve been working so hard.’

The telephone rang and she left the room to answer it.

Norman began to clean his medical equipment. ‘It’s funny,’ he thought. ‘Murder affects all sorts of things you’d never think of… What would happen if they arrested Lady Horbury? Would my patients come back? Oh, I don’t care. Yes, I do, because of Jane. She’s so lovely. And I can’t have her - yet.’ He smiled. ‘She cares about me, though. She’ll wait. Damn it. I will go to Canada - yes, and I’ll make money there.’

Nurse Ross returned. ‘Mrs Lorrie…’

‘… is going to Timbuktu,’ laughed Norman, bitterly. ‘You’d better look for another job, Nurse Ross. If the murderer isn’t found soon, this dental practice is finished.’


That evening, as Jane had dinner with Norman, she noticed the worried expression on his face. ‘Norman, are things going badly?’ she asked, at last.

‘It’s a bad time of year.’

‘Don’t be silly! I can see that you’re worried to death!’

‘I’m not. I’m just annoyed.’

‘Are people scared…’

‘… of having their teeth fixed by a possible murderer? Yes.’

‘How unfair!’

‘It is, isn’t it?’

‘Somebody ought to do something.’

‘I’d like to. If I was a young man in a book, I’d follow someone until I found a clue.’

Suddenly, Jane pulled his sleeve. ‘Look, there’s Mr Clancy - you know, the crime author - sitting over there by himself. He was on the plane. If you want to follow someone, why don’t we follow him? You never know. We might discover something.’


When Mr Clancy went out into Dean Street, Norman and Jane were close behind him. He walked quickly, and it was not clear where he was going. He seemed to be wandering about in circles.

‘He’s afraid that someone might be following him,’ whispered Jane. ‘He’s trying to confuse them.’

They turned a corner and discovered Mr Clancy standing in front of a butcher’s shop. The shop was shut, but something seemed to have caught his attention.

‘Perfect,’ he said aloud. He took out a notebook and wrote something down. Then he walked off towards the nearby streets of Bloomsbury.

As he stopped by some traffic lights and waited to cross a busy road, Norman and Jane came up beside him. He was talking to himself, and they heard him saying; ‘Why doesn’t she speak? There must be a reason…’ The lights went green, and they all crossed the road together. As they reached the opposite pavement he said, ‘Of course! That’s why she’s got to be silenced!’

He walked on, and they continued to follow him, until suddenly, he stopped at a house, opened the front door and went in.

‘It’s his own house,’ said Norman, disappointed. ‘47 Cardington Square. The address he gave at the inquest.’

‘Oh, well,’ sighed Jane, ‘perhaps he’ll come out again. Anyway, we have heard something. A woman is going to be silenced!’

A voice came out of the darkness. ‘Good evening.’ A magnificent moustache appeared. ‘A fine night for hunting, is it not?’ said Hercule Poirot.

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