Of course Cora was a rather unbalanced and excessively stupid woman,  nd she had been noted, even as a girl, for the embarrassing manner in  which she had blurted out unwelcome truths. At least, he didn’t mean truths–that was quite the wrong word to use. Awkward statements–that was a much better term.

Cora’s unfortunate gaffe had been forgotten. After all,

Cora had always been, if not subnormal, at any rate embarrassingly naive. She had never had any idea of what should

or should not be said. At nineteen it had not mattered so

much. The mannerisms of an enfant terrible can persist to

then, but an enfant terrible of nearly fifty is decidedly disconcerting.

To blurt out unwelcome truths– Mr. Entwhistle’s train of thought came to an abrupt check.It was the second time that that disturbing word had occurred. Truths. And why was it so disturbing ? because, of course,that had always been at the bottom of the embarrassment that Cora’s outspoken comments had caused. It was because her ave statements had been either true or had contained some grain of truth that they had been so embarrassing.

Well, the doctor had been wrong–but doctors, as they were

the first to admit themselves, could never be sure about the

individual reaction of a patient to disease. Cases given up,

unexpectedly recovered. Patients on the way to recovery,

relapsed and died. So much depended on the vitality of the

patient. On his own inner urge to live.

It made her sad to think of that, but she pushed the sadness aside

resolutely. It did one no good to dwell on the past.

A large umber of Wives with matrimonial troubles

had passed through the office of Bollard, Entwhistle, Entwhistle

and Bollard. Wives madly devoted to unsatisfactory and

often what appeared quite unprepossessing husbands, wives

contemptuous of, and bored by, apparently attractive and

impeccable husbands. What any woman saw in some particular

man was beyond the comprehension of the average intelligent

male. It just was so. A woman who could be intelligent

about everything else in the world could be a complete fool

when it came to some particular man.

At my age the chief pleasure, almost the only pleasure that still remains, is the pleasure of the table.Mercifully I have an excellent stomach.”

She had character, you see, and character is always highly individual.”

“Women are never kind,” remarked Poirot. “Though they

can sometimes be tender.

‘ Women can be fools in ninety-nine different ways but be pretty shrewd in the hundredth. Oh yes, and he said, ‘

A woman of very exceptional character, She mayhave had certain–what shall I say ?–reticences in her life.

“It’s not your place to say anything of that kind–that’s what you really mean. But there are times when one has to do violence to one’s sense of what is fitting.

“Don’t think. That is the wrong way to bring anything back. Let it go. Sooner or later it will flash into your mind. And when it does-let me know–at once.”

It was true that Miss Gilchrist did not benefit from Cora Lansquenet’s death but who was to know that ? And  besides, there were so many tales—ugly tales-of animOSity arising between women who lived together–strange pathological motives for sudden violence.

“A funeral has always been a recognised excuse for absenteeism. And this funeral is indubitably genuine. Besides,a murder always fascinates people.

“Oh no, it’s not. Perhaps your generation doesn’t do it.

Young ladies nowadays mayn’t se so much store on getting married. But it is an old custom. Put a piece of wedding cake under your pillow and you’ll dream of your future husband.”

“I sent the boys out. They do what they can–good ladsgood lads all of them, but not what they used to be in the old days. They don’t come that way nowadays. Not willing to learn, that’s what it is. Think they know everything after they’ve only been a couple of years on the job. And they work to time. Shocking the way they work to time.”

“And all this education racket. It gives them ideas. They come back and tell us what they think. They can’t think, most of them, anyway. All they know is things out of books., That’s ,n,o good in our business. Bring in the answers–that s all that s needed—no thinking.”

Never shall I forget the killing of

Lord Edgware. I was nearly defeated–yes, I, Hercule

Poirot–by the extremely simple cunning of a vacant brain. The very simple minded have often the genius to commit an uncomplicated crime and then leave it alone. Let us hope that our murderer–if there is a murderer in this affair—is intelligent and superior and thoroughly pleased with himself and unable to resist painting the Iffy.


devoted to her husband, treats him like a child. “Yes, yes, the maternal complex.”

Always thinking of something new they were, these doctors.

Look at them telling old Rogers he had a disc or some such

in his spine. Plain lumbago, that was all that was the matter

with him. Her father had been a gardener and he’d suffered

from lumbago.

Oh l it is true enough–it is an old maxim–everyone has something to hide. It is true of all of us–it is perhaps true of you, too, Madame. But I say to you, nothing can be ignored.

“How clever of you. I suppose backs are distinctive.” “Much more so than faces. Add a beard and pads in your cheeks and do a few things to your hair and nobody will know you when you come face to face with them–but beware of the moment when you walk away.”

George looked at his cousin appreciatively, lie admired the slanting planes of her face, the generous mouth, the radiant colouring. Altogether an unusual and vivid face. And he recognised in Susan that odd, indefinable quality, the quality of success.

As a cousin

he did not mind being spiteful, but he had an uneasy sense

that Susan’s feeling for her husband was a thing to be treated

with care. It had all the qualities of a dangerous explosive.

“You forget that I’m a lawyer. I see a lot of the queer,illogical side of people.

“Nothing. I only want you to be—careful, ,,Mick.” “Careful about what ? I’m always careful. -. “No,I don’t think you are. You alway thnk you can get away with things and that everyone will elieve.wha-teve, r,

you want them to.

“Things aren’t over when you’ve done them. It’s really a sort of beginning and then one’s got to arrange what to do

next, and what’s important and what is not.”

There was a quality of passive resistance about her that seemed unexpectedly strong.Had she, while apparently graceful and unconcerned, managed to impress her own reluctance upon him ?

For Hercule Poirot had a lifetime of experience behind him, and as a man who deals with pictures can recognize the artist, so Poirot believed he could recognize a likely type of the amateur criminal who will–if his own particular need arises be prepared to kill.

He had used his eyes and his ears. He had watched and listened–openly and behind doors! He had noticed affinities, antagonisms, the unguarded words that arose as always when property was to be divided. He had

engineered adroitly tte–ttes, walks upon the terrace, and

had made his deductions and observations.

“But you are a realist, Madame. Let us admit without more ado

that the world is full of the young–or even the middle-aged–who wait,

patiently or impatiently, for the death of someone whose decease will give them if not affluence –then opportunity.”

How averse human beings were ever to admit ignorance!

. More or less forgotten by all, Hercule Poirot leant back in his chair, sipped his coffee and observed, as a cat may observe, the twitterings, and comings and goings of a flock of birds. The cat is not ready yet to make its spring.

“Rather a shame to bait old Timothy,” he said. “But he really is quite unbelievable. He’s had his own way in every-thing so iong that he’s become quite pathological about it.”

“The truth is,” said George, “that one very seldom looks

properly at anyone. That’s why one gets such wildly differing

accounts of a person from different witnesses in court. You’d

be surprised. A man is often described as tall–short; thin

–stout; fair–dark; dressed in a dark–light–suit; and so

on. There’s usually one reliable observer, but one has to make

up one’s mind who that is.”

“Another queer thing,” said Susan,” is that you sometimes

catch sight of yourself in a mirror unexpectedly and don’t

know who it is. It,just looks vaguely familiar. And you say

to yourself, ‘That s somebody I know quite well.., and

then suddenly realise it’s yourself”

George said: “It would be more difficult still if you could

really see yourself—and not a mirror image.”

“Why ?” asked Rosamund, looking puzzled.

“Because, don’t you see, nobody ever sees themselves–as

they appear to other people. They always see themselves in a

glass–that is–as a reversed image.”

“She is of the generation that rises early,” said Poirot

nodding his head. “The younger ones, now they do not get

up so early ?”