فصل 05

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فصل 05

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CHAPTER FIVE

After the Inquest

As Jane left the court she found Norman Gale beside her.

‘I wonder what was on that paper that the coroner wouldn’t accept,’ he said.

‘I can tell you, I think.’ They turned round, to find Monsieur Poirot smiling at them. ‘The jury accused me - Hercule Poirot! - of being the murderer. Definitely, I must work to clear my name.’ He bowed and walked away.

‘Extraordinary little man,’ said Gale. ‘Now, how about having tea with me?’

‘Thank you,’ said Jane. ‘I would like to.’ They found a teashop and sat down at a table.

‘It’s strange, this murder business.’ said Norman, as they waited for a waitress to bring them their tea.

‘I know,’ said Jane. ‘I’m worried about my job. Antoines may not want to employ a girl who’s been involved in a murder case. After all, I might actually be the person who murdered her! It wouldn’t be very nice having your hair done by someone like that.’

‘You’re not a murderer! Anyone can see that, just by looking at you,’ said Norman.

‘I’m not sure,’ said Jane. ‘I’d like to murder some of my ladies sometimes, if I could be sure no one would find out!’

‘Well, you didn’t do this particular murder. I’m sure of it!’

‘And I know you didn’t do it. But that won’t help if your patients think you did.’

Norman looked thoughtful. ‘I hadn’t thought of that. A dentist who might be a dangerous killer. It’s not a very comfortable idea. I say,’ he added, ‘you don’t mind that I’m a dentist, do you?’

Jane raised her eyebrows. ‘Why would I mind?’

‘Well, it’s not a very romantic profession.’

They both laughed, and then Norman said, ‘I feel we’re going to be friends. Do you?’

‘Yes, I do.’

‘Would you have dinner with me one night, and perhaps go to the theatre?’

‘Thank you. Yes.’

There was a pause. Then Norman said, ‘Jane, who do you think really murdered this Giselle woman?’

‘I have no idea. I didn’t realise until today that one of the others must have done it.’

‘Well, I know I didn’t do it, and I know you didn’t do it, because I was watching you most of the time.’

‘I know you didn’t do it, for the same reason. And I know I didn’t do it! So it must have been one of the others; but I don’t see how we can ever know who it was.’

‘Let’s think about them all now,’ said Norman. ‘The stewards?’

‘No.’

‘I agree. The women opposite us?’

‘I don’t believe Lady Horbury would go around killing people. And Miss Kerr is far too much of a lady, I’m sure.’

‘It can’t be Monsieur Poirot, and the doctor doesn’t seem likely, either. What about Clancy, who actually confessed to owning a blowpipe?’

‘He didn’t need to mention it,’ Jane pointed out, ‘so it looks as though he’s all right.’

‘Ryder?’

‘It might be him.’

‘And the two Frenchmen?’

‘They’re the most likely. They’ve been to foreign countries, so they could have got the poison there. And they may have had some reason we know nothing about. I thought the younger one looked nice, though; and the father was a sweet man. I hope it isn’t them.’

‘We don’t seem to be making much progress,’ sighed Norman.

‘I don’t see how we can, without knowing a lot of things about the woman. Did she have any enemies, who’s going to inherit her money, and all that.’

‘There is a good a reason for trying to solve the mystery, you know. Murder doesn’t just involve the victim and the killer. It affects other people, too. We’re innocent, but this murder has touched us. We don’t know how it may change our lives.’

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