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OaipnsM 4 chblsth CHAPTER FIFTEEN * * * Poirot looked with intrest at the long, sensitive face of Roderick Wel man. Roddy’s nerves were in a pitiable condition. His hands twitched, his eyes were bloodshot, his voice was husky and irritable. He said, looking down at the card: “Of course, I know your name, M. Poirot. But I don’t see what Dr. Lord thinks you can do in this matter! And, anyway, what business is it of his? He attended my aunt, but otherwise he’s a com plete stranger. Elinor and I had not even met him until we went down there this June. Surely it is Seddon’s business to attend to all this sort of thing?” Hercule Poirot said: “Technically that is correct.” Roddy went on unhappily: “Not that Seddon gives me much confi dence. He’s so confoundedly gloomy.” “It is a habit, that, of lawyers.” “Still,” said Roddy, cheering up a little, “we’ve briefed Bulmer. He’s supposed to be pretty well at the top of the tree, isn’t he?” Hercule Poirot said: “He has a re putation for leading forlorn hopes.” Roddy winced palpably. Poirot said: “It does not displease you, I hope, that I should endeavor to be of assistance to Miss Elinor Carlisle?” “No, no, of course not. But—” “But what can I do? It is that, that you would aSk?” A quick smile flashed across Rod dy’s worried face—a smile so sudden ly charming that Hercule Poirot un derstood that subtle attraction of the man. Roddy said apolegitically: “It sounds a flattie rude, put like that. But, really, of course, that is the point. I won’t beat about the bjush. What can you do, M. Poirot?” Poirot said: “I can search for the truth.” “Yes.” Roddy sounded a little doubtful. Poirot said: “I might discover facts that would be helpful to the ac cused.” Roddy sighed. “If you only couldl” Hercule Poirot went on: “It is my earnest desire to be helpful. Will you assist me by telling me just exactly what you think of the whole busi ness?" Rody got up and walked restlessly up and down. “What can I say? The whole thing’s so absurd—so fantas tic! The mere idea of Elinor—Elinor, whom I’ve known since she was a child—actually doing such a melo dramatic thing as poisoning some one. It’s quite laughable, of course! But how on earth explain that to a ' jury?” Poirot asked Rody: “You consider i it quite impossible that Miss Carlisle 1 should have done such a thing?” * “Oh quite! That goes without say ing! Elinor’s an exquisite creature— 1 beautifully poised and balanced—no violence in her nature. She’s intellec- 1 tual, sensitive and altogether devoid ( of animal passions. But get twelve fat-headed fools in a jury box, and Lord knows what they can be made ' to believe! After all, let’s be reason- 1 able: they’re not there to judge char acter; they’re there to sift evidence. * Facts—facts—facts! And the facts ' are unfortunate!” _ 1 Hercule Poirot nodded thoughtfil ly. He said: “You are a person, Mr. 1 Welman, of sensibility and intelli gence. The facts condemn Miss Car- 1 lisle. YoUr knowledge of her acquits : her. What, then, really happened? * What could have happened?” Roddy spread out his hands in ex asperation. “That’s the devil of it all! I suppose the nurse couldn’t have * done it?” “She was never near the sandwich es—oh, I have made the inquiries very minutely—and she could not have poisoned the tea without poison ing herself as well. I have made quite sure of that. Moreover, why should she wish to kill Mary Ger rard?” Roddy cried out: “Why should any one wish to kill Mary Gerrard?” “That,” said Poirot, “seems to be the unanswerable question in this case. No one wished to kill Mary Ger rard.” (He added in his own mind: “Except Elinor Carlisle.”) “There fore, the next step logically would seem to be: Mary Gerrard was not killed! But that, alas, is not so. She was killed!” He added, slightly melodramatical ly: “But she is in her grave, and oh, The difference to me!” “I beg your pardon,” said Roddy. Hercule Poirot explained: “Words worth. I read him much. Those lines express, perhaps, what you feel?” “I?” Roddy looked stiff and unap proachable. - Poirot said: “I apologize—l apol ogize deeply! It is hard—to be a de tective, and also a pukka sahib. As ft is so well expressed in your lang uage, there are things that one does not say. But, alas, a detective is forc ed to say them! He must ask ques tions: about people’s private affairs, about their feelings!” Roddy said: “Surely all this is quite unnecessary?” Poirot said quickly and humbly: “If I might just understand the position; then we will pass from the unpleasant subject and not refer to it again. It is fairly widely known, Mr. Welman, that you—admired Mary Gerrard? That is, I think, true?” Roddy got up and stood by the win dow. He played with the shade tassel. He said: “Yes.” “You fell in love with her?” “I suppose so.” “Ah, and you are now heartbroken by her death—” “I—l suppose—l mean —well, real ly, M. Poirot —” He turned—a ner vous, irritable, sensitive creature at bay. Hercule Poirot said: “If you could just tell me—just show me clearly— then it would be finished with.” Roddy Welman sat down in a chair. He did not look at the other man. He spoke in a series of jerks. “It’s very difficult to explain. Must we go into it?” Poirot said: “One cannot always turn aside and pass by from the un pleasantness of life, Mr. Welman! You say you suppose you cared for this girl. You are not sure, then?” Roddy said: “I don’t know... She was so lovely. Like a dream.. .That’s what it seems like now. A dream! Not real! All that—my seeing her first—my—well, my infatuation for her! A kind of madness! And now everything is finished—gone as though—as though it had never hap pened.” Poirot nodded his head. He said: “Yes, I understand ...” And added: You were not in England yourself at the time of her death?” “No, I went abroad on July 9th and returned on August Ist. Elinor’s tel egram followed me about from place to place. I hurried home as soon as I got the news.” Poirot said: “It must have been a great shock to you. You had cared for the girl very much.” Roddy said, and there were bitter ness and exasperation in his voice: “Why should these things happen to one? It’s not as though one wished them to happen! It is contrary to all —to all one’s ordered expectation of life!” Hercule Poirot said: “Ah, but life is like that! It does not permit you to arrange and order it as you will. It will not permit you to escape emotion, to live by the intellect and by reason! You cannot say, ‘I will feel so much and no more.’ Life, Mr. Welman, whatever else it is, is not reason able!” Roderick Welman murmured: “So it seems ...” Poirot said: “A spring morning, a gril’s face—and the well-ordered se quence of existence is routed.” Roddy winced and Poirot went on: “Sometimes it is little more than that —a face. What did you really know of Mary Gerrard, Mr. Welman?” Roddy said heavily: “What did 1 1 know? So little; I see that now. She was sweet, I think, and gentle; but j really, I know nothing—nothing at all ‘ .... That’s why, I suppose, I don’t miss her...” His antagonism and resentment were gone now. He spoke naturally and simply. Hercule Poirot, as he had a knack of doing, had penetrated the other’s defenses. Reddy seemed to feel a certain relief in unburdening himself. He said: “Sweet—gentle— not very clever. Sensitive, I think, and kind. She had a refinement— that you would not expect to find in a girl of her class.” “Was she the kind of girl who would make enemies unconsciously?” Rody shook his head vigorously, “No, no, I can’t imagine any one dis liking her, I mean. Spite is different. Poirot said quickly: “Spite? So there was spite, you think?” Tombstones And Monuments If we of today leave no record to show that those we loved have lived, what is to be expected of tomor row’s generations who will not know—nor care. Pocomoke Marble Works C. K. HOWARD, Prop. Pocomoke City, Md. WORCESTER DEMOCRAT, POCOMOKE CITY, MARYLAND Roddy said absently: “Must have been—to account for that letter.” Poirot said sharply: “What letter?” Roddy flushed and looked annoyed. He said: “Oh, nothing important.” Poirot repeated: “What letter?” “An anonymous letter.” Roddy spoke reluctantly. “When did it come? To whom was it written?” Rather unwillingly Roddy explain ed. Hercule Poirot murmured: “It is interesting, that. Can I see it, this letter?” “Afraid you can’t. As a, matter of fact, I burned it.” “Now, why did you do that, Mr. Welman?” Roddy said rather stiffly: “It seem ed the natural thing to do at the time.” Poirot said: “And in consequence of this letter, you and Miss Carlisle went hurriedly down to Hunter bury?” “We went down, yes. I don’t know about hurriedly.” “But you were a little uneasy, were you not ? Perhaps, even a little alarm ed?” Roddy said even more stiffly: “I won’t admit that.” Hercule Poirot cried: “But surely that was only natural! Your inheri tance —that which was promised you was in jeapordy! Surely it is natural that you should be unquiet about the matter! Money, it is very important!” “Not as important as you make out.” Poirot said: “Such unworldliness is indeed remarkable!” Roddy flushed. He said: “Oh, of course, the money did matter to us. We weren’t completely indifferent to it. But our main object was to—to see my aunt and make sure she was all right.” Poirot said: “You went down there with Miss Carlisle. At that time your aunt had not made a will. Shortly afterwards she had another attack of her illness. She then wishes to make awill, but, conveniently for Miss Car lisle, perhaps, she dies that night be fore that will can be made.” “Look here, what are you hinting at?” Roddy’s face was wrathful. Poirot answered him like a flash: “You have told me, Mr. Welman, as regards the death of Mary Gerrard, that the motive attributed to Elinor Carlisle is absurd—that she was, em phatically, not that kind of a person. But there is now another interpreta tion. Elinor Carlisle had reason to fear that she might be disinherited in favor of an outsider. The letter has warned her—her aunt’s broken murmurings confirm that fear. In the hall below is an attache case with various drugs and medical supplies. It is easy to abstract a tube of mor phine. And afterwards, so I have learned, she sits in the sickroom a lone with her aunt while you and the nurses are at dinner ” Roddy cried: “Good Lord, M. Poir ot, what are you suggesting now? That Elinor killed Aunt Laura? Of SELECT YOUR CHRISTMAS GREETING CARDS OUR NEW SAMPLES ARE IN—MAKE YOUR SELECTION NOW. WE WILL DELIVER WHEN DESIRED YOUR NAME IMPRINTED FREE ON ALL ORDERS OF 25 OR MORE 60 —Exclusive Designs—6o Ranging In Price From 5c to 25c Also A SPLENDID LINE OF GOOD WILL BUSINESS CARDS ‘Worcester ‘Democrat PHONE 236 Anglo-U. S. Romance WHS T* v •-• JPI $P Mgm^^ r ■>%ss | Robert Ames and Norah McMullen First American to be accepted in Britain’s civilian technical train- ' ing corps, Robert Ames of Utica, i N. Y., finds romance in England. The girl is Norah McMullen, who works in the post office at Bourne mouth, England. The two met when he called for mail. Ames’ great grandfather, Cornelius Whitelead, was aboard Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar. all the ridiculous ideas!” Poirot said: “But you know, do you not, that an order to exhume Mrs. Welman’s body has been applied for?” “Yes, I know. But they won’t find anything!” “Suppose they do?” “They won’t!” Roddy spoke posi tively. Poirot shook his head. “I am not so sure. And there was only one person, you realize, who would benefit by Mrs. Welman’s dying at that mo ment ....”• Roddy sat down. His face was white, and he was shaking a little. He stared at Poirot. Then he said: “I thought—you were on her side ...” Hercule Poriot said: “Whatever side one is on, one must face facts! I think, Mr. Welman, that you have so far preferred in life to avoid facing an awkward truth whenever it is pos sible.” ’Roddy said: “Why harrow oneself by looking on the worst side?” Hercule Poirot replied gravely: “Because it is sometimes necessary.” He paused a minute and then said: “Let us face the possibility that your aunt’s death may be foufid to be due to the administration of morphine. What then?” Roddy shook his head helplessly. I don’t know.” “But you must try to think. Who could have given it to her? You must admit that Elinor Carlisle had the best opportunity to do so?” “What about the nurses?” “Either of them could have done so, certainly. But Nurse Hppkins was concerned about the disappearance of the tube at the time and mentioned it openly. There was no need for her to do so. The death certificate had been signed. Why call attention to the missing morphine if she were guilty ? It will probably bring her censure for carelessness as it is, and if she pois oned Mrs. Welman it was surely idiot ic to draw attention to the morphine. Besides, what could she gain by Mrs. Welman’s death? Nothing. The same applies to Nurse O’Brien. She could have administered morphine, could have taken it from Nurse Hopkins’ case; but, then again—why should she?” Roddy shook his head. “All that’s true enough.” Poirot said: “Then there is your self.” Roddy started like a nervous horse. “Me?” “Certainly. You could have ab stracted the morphine. You could have given it to Mrs. Welman! You were alone with her for a short per iod that night. But, again, why should you ? If she lived to make a will, it is at least probable that you would have been mentioned in it. So again, you see, there is no motive.” “Only two people had a motive for killing Mrs. Welman,” Poirot contin ued. Roddy’s eyes brightened. “Two people ? ” “Yes. One was Elinor Carlisle.” “And the other?” Poirot said slowly: “The other was the writer of that anonymous letter.” Roddy looked incredulous. Poirot said: “Somebody wrote that letter— somebody who hated Mary Gerrard or at least disliked her—somebody who was, as they say, ‘on your side.’ Somebody, that is, who did not want Mary Gerrard to benefit at Mrs.- Wel man’s death. Now ,have you any idea Mr. Welman, who the writer of that leter could be?” Roddy shook his head. “I’ve no idea at all. It was an illiterate letter, mis spelled, cheap-looking.” Poirot waved a hand. “There is nothing much to that! It might easily have been written by an educated per son who chose to diS&uise the fact. That is why I wish you had the letter still. People who try to write in an uneducated manner usually give themselves away.” Roddy said doubtfully: “Elinor and I thought it might be one of the servants.” “Had you any idea which of them?” “No—no idea whatsoever.” “Could it, do you think, have been Mrs. Bishop, the housekeeper?” Roddy looked shocked. “Oh, no, she’s a most respectable, high-and mighty creature. Writes beautifully I CHOKE READING \ArMEW£owmias^^^^i irCDZKDm Through special arrangements with the rarfiru, magazine publishers we offer America's nil Aviv finest farm and fiction magazines—in com uu ftuy bination with our newspaper at prices B Listed that simply cannot be duplicated else where! Look over this long list of favorites : lice shown YOUR selection today! ! IES ARE FOR , If EAR Zjj THIS NEWSPAPER 1 YEAH, AND*^ t Gr0wer....51.75 muMMMm MHnanniiiU) * lwul f IU,H ainel ™ 2.95 FIVE FAMOUS MAGAZINES try Journal 1.65 £ u. For bo* newspaper WJII and magazines .... 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HI Gmllemcn: I enclose s._ I am enclosing the ly) 2.95 offer deaired with a year’s subscription to your paper. ' ‘ V Sll STREET OR R.F.D OFFERS FURY CU> mUTEEDI , ►.j ..j. - : ,v involved and ornate letters with long words in them. Besides, I’m sure she would never—” As he hesitated, Poirot cut in: “She did not like Mary Gerrard!’’ “I suppose she didn’t. I never no ticed anything, though.” “But perhaps, Mr. Welman, you do not notice very much?” Roddy said slowly: “You don’t think, M. Poirot, that my aunt could have taken that morphine herself?” Poirot said: “It is an idea, yes.” Roddy said: “She hated her—her helplessness, you know. Often said she wished she could die.” Poirot said: “But, then, she could not have risen from her bed, gone downstairs and helped herself to the tube of morphine from the nurse’s case?” Roddy said slowly: “No, but some body could have got it for her.” “Who?” “Well, one of the nurses.” (To be continued) Pour cold gingerale over chilled canned fruit cocktail in sherbert glasses. Up 1-2-3 _—_ Ride up to our third floor and shop your way down to the second and first. Just as thousands of Shore women have told us, you, too, will be pleased with the homemaker helps, the travel aids, the gift ideas you will find in our third floor. It will be well worth your while to shop our third floor. Cavalcade of Christmas — Listen Sundays Mondays -r- Wednesdays Fridays —5:15 P.M. Tune In Radio Station WJJQC benJamins -SALISBURY Friday, November 21,1941 Use tomato juice instead of water with lemon-flavored gelatin. Add shredded cabbage and minced onion before gelatin sets. 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