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The Under Dog: A Hercule Poirot Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.‘One looks for humanity in these matters’Pretty Lily Margrave, smart little black hat pinned to her golden hair, is not convinced Hercule Poirot is needed in the matter of Sir Atwell’s murder at all. At the request of her employer, the emphatic Lady Atwell, she has had to recount the precise details of what happened that evening, ten days ago in the Tower room even though the victim’s nephew is incarcerated and charged with the murder. But, Lady Atwell’s persistent bee in her bonnet drives Poirot up to the great house, Mon Repos, to see if he can look beyond the cold facts presented by Miss Margrave and look for the humanity in the matter. Poirot soon takes up residence in Mon Repos, ensconcing himself in the household and all its nooks and crannies. However, whilst at first the family are struck by his ardent endeavour to find out what befell Sir Atwell in the Tower room, their disquiet at having a ‘ferreting little spy’ going through their rooms becomes too much for some to bare. With his signature ingenuity, a scrap of material and the contents of a tiny box lead the detective to uncover who is behind this violent act. The Underdog A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright (#u7484283c-003b-5311-8c84-479a2d27a059) Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) Copyright © 2011 Agatha Christie Ltd. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books. EPub Edition © 2011 ISBN: 9780007451951 Version: 2017-04-15 Contents Cover (#u6b996966-9c6c-5ac6-a883-4df27ef1c01b) Title Page (#u059533d6-a575-508a-af27-712fc7c23649) Copyright The Underdog Related Products (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The Underdog (#ulink_79b0832b-a93d-57bc-8ac6-5b4d1fe89201) ‘The Underdog’ was first published in the USA in Mystery Magazine, 1 April 1926, then in London Magazine, October 1926. Lily Margrave smoothed her gloves out on her knee with a nervous gesture, and darted a glance at the occupant of the big chair opposite her. She had heard of M. Hercule Poirot, the well-known investigator, but this was the first time she had seen him in the flesh. The comic, almost ridiculous, aspect that he presented disturbed her conception of him. Could this funny little man, with the egg-shaped head and the enormous moustaches, really do the wonderful things that were claimed for him? His occupation at the moment struck her as particularly childish. He was piling small blocks of coloured wood one upon the other, and seemed far more interested in the result than in the story she was telling. At her sudden silence, however, he looked sharply across at her. ‘Mademoiselle, continue, I pray of you. It is not that I do not attend; I attend very carefully, I assure you.’ He began once more to pile the little blocks of wood one upon the other, while the girl’s voice took up the tale again. It was a gruesome tale, a tale of violence and tragedy, but the voice was so calm and unemotional, the recital was so concise that something of the savour of humanity seemed to have been left out of it. She stopped at last. ‘I hope,’ she said anxiously, ‘that I have made everything clear.’ Poirot nodded his head several times in emphatic assent. Then he swept his hand across the wooden blocks, scattering them over the table, and, leaning back in his chair, his fingertips pressed together and his eyes on the ceiling, he began to recapitulate. ‘Sir Reuben Astwell was murdered ten days ago. On Wednesday, the day before yesterday, his nephew, Charles Leverson, was arrested by the police. The facts against him as far as you know are: – you will correct me if I am wrong, Mademoiselle – Sir Reuben was sitting up late writing in his own special sanctum, the Tower room. Mr Leverson came in late, letting himself in with a latch-key. He was overheard quarrelling with his uncle by the butler, whose room is directly below the Tower room. The quarrel ended with a sudden thud as of a chair being thrown over and a half-smothered cry. ‘The butler was alarmed, and thought of getting up to see what was the matter, but as a few seconds later he heard Mr Leverson leave the room gaily whistling a tune, he thought nothing more of it. On the following morning, however, a housemaid discovered Sir Reuben dead by his desk. He had been struck down by some heavy instrument. The butler, I gather, did not at once tell his story to the police. That was natural, I think, eh, Mademoiselle?’ The sudden question made Lily Margrave start. ‘I beg your pardon?’ she said. ‘One looks for humanity in these matters, does one not?’ said the little man. ‘As you recited the story to me – so admirably, so concisely – you made of the actors in the drama machines – puppets. But me, I look always for human nature. I say to myself, this butler, this – what did you say his name was?’ ‘His name is Parsons.’ ‘This Parsons, then, he will have the characteristics of his class, he will object very strongly to the police, he will tell them as little as possible. Above all, he will say nothing that might seem to incriminate a member of the household. A house-breaker, a burglar, he will cling to that idea with all the strength of extreme obstinacy. Yes, the loyalties of the servant class are an interesting study.’ He leaned back beaming. ‘In the meantime,’ he went on, ‘everyone in the household has told his or her tale, Mr Leverson among the rest, and his tale was that he had come in late and gone up to bed without seeing his uncle.’ ‘That is what he said.’ ‘And no one saw reason to doubt that tale,’ mused Poirot, ‘except, of course, Parsons. Then there comes down an inspector from Scotland Yard, Inspector Miller you said, did you not? I know him, I have come across him once or twice in the past. He is what they call the sharp man, the ferret, the weasel. ‘Yes, I know him! And the sharp Inspector Miller, he sees what the local inspector has not seen, that Parsons is ill at ease and uncomfortable, and knows something that he has not told. Eh bien, he makes short work of Parsons. By now it has been clearly proved that no one broke into the house that night, that the murderer must be looked for inside the house and not outside. And Parsons is unhappy and frightened, and feels very relieved to have his secret knowledge drawn out of him. ‘He has done his best to avoid scandal, but there are limits; and so Inspector Miller listens to Parsons’ story, and asks a question or two, and then makes some private investigations of his own. The case he builds up is very strong – very strong. ‘Blood-stained fingers rested on the corner of the chest in the Tower room, and the fingerprints were those of Charles Leverson. The house-maid told him she emptied a basin of blood-stained water in Mr Leverson’s room the morning after the crime. He explained to her that he had cut his finger, and he had a little cut there, oh yes, but such a very little cut! The cuff of his evening shirt had been washed, but they found blood-stains in the sleeve of his coat. He was hard pressed for money, and he inherited money at Sir Reuben’s death. Oh, yes, a very strong case, Mademoiselle.’ He paused. ‘And yet you come to me today.’ Lily Margrave shrugged her slender shoulders. ‘As I told you, M. Poirot, Lady Astwell sent me.’ ‘You would not have come of your own accord, eh?’ The little man glanced at her shrewdly. The girl did not answer. ‘You do not reply to my question.’ Lily Margrave began smoothing her gloves again. ‘It is rather difficult for me, M. Poirot. I have my loyalty to Lady Astwell to consider. Strictly speaking, I am only her paid companion, but she has treated me more as though I were a daughter or a niece. She has been extraordinarily kind and, whatever her faults, I should not like to appear to criticize her actions, or – well, to prejudice you against taking up the case.’ ‘Impossible to prejudice Hercule Poirot, cela ne ce fait pas,’ declared the little man cheerily. ‘I perceive that you think Lady Astwell has in her bonnet the buzzing bee. Come now, is it not so?’ ‘If I must say –’ ‘Speak, Mademoiselle.’ ‘I think the whole thing is simply silly.’ ‘It strikes you like that, eh?’ ‘I don’t want to say anything against Lady Astwell –’ ‘I comprehend,’ murmured Poirot gently. ‘I comprehend perfectly.’ His eyes invited her to go on. ‘She really is a very good sort, and frightfully kind, but she isn’t – how can I put it? She isn’t an educated woman. You know she was an actress when Sir Reuben married her, and she has all sorts of prejudices and superstitions. If she says a thing, it must be so, and she simply won’t listen to reason. The inspector was not very tactful with her, and it put her back up. She says it is nonsense to suspect Mr Leverson and just the sort of stupid, pig-headed mistake the police would make, and that, of course, dear Charles did not do it.’ ‘But she has no reasons, eh?’ ‘None whatever.’ ‘Ha! Is that so? Really, now.’ ‘I told her,’ said Lily, ‘that it would be no good coming to you with a mere statement like that and nothing to go on.’ ‘You told her that,’ said Poirot, ‘did you really? That is interesting.’ His eyes swept over Lily Margrave in a quick comprehensive survey, taking in the details of her neat black suit, the touch of white at her throat and the smart little black hat. He saw the elegance of her, the pretty face with its slightly pointed chin, and the dark-blue, long-lashed eyes. Insensibly his attitude changed; he was interested now, not so much in the case as in the girl sitting opposite him. ‘Lady Astwell is, I should imagine, Mademoiselle, just a trifle inclined to be unbalanced and hysterical?’ Lily Margrave nodded eagerly. ‘That describes her exactly. She is, as I told you, very kind, but it is impossible to argue with her or to make her see things logically.’ ‘Possibly she suspects someone on her own account,’ suggested Poirot, ‘someone quite absurd.’ ‘That is exactly what she does do,’ cried Lily. ‘She has taken a great dislike to Sir Reuben’s secretary, poor man. She says she knows he did it, and yet it has been proved quite conclusively that poor Owen Trefusis cannot possibly have done it.’ ‘And she has no reasons?’ ‘Of course not; it is all intuition with her.’ Lily Margrave’s voice was very scornful. ‘I perceive, Mademoiselle,’ said Poirot, smiling, ‘that you do not believe in intuition?’ ‘I think it is nonsense,’ replied Lily. Poirot leaned back in his chair. ‘Les femmes,’ he murmured, ‘they like to think that it is a special weapon that the good God has given them, and for every once that it shows them the truth, at least nine times it leads them astray.’ ‘I know,’ said Lily, ‘but I have told you what Lady Astwell is like. You simply cannot argue with her.’ ‘So you, Mademoiselle, being wise and discreet, came along to me as you were bidden, and have managed to put me au courant of the situation.’ Something in the tone of his voice made the girl look up sharply. ‘Of course, I know,’ said Lily apologetically, ‘how very valuable your time is.’ ‘You are too flattering, Mademoiselle,’ said Poirot, ‘but indeed – yes, it is true, at this present time I have many cases of moment on hand.’ ‘I was afraid that might be so,’ said Lily, rising. ‘I will tell Lady Astwell –’ But Poirot did not rise also. Instead he lay back in his chair and looked steadily up at the girl. ‘You are in haste to be gone, Mademoiselle? Sit down one more little moment, I pray of you.’ He saw the colour flood into her face and ebb out again. She sat down once more slowly and unwillingly. ‘Mademoiselle is quick and decisive,’ said Poirot. ‘She must make allowances for an old man like myself, who comes to his decisions slowly. You mistook me, Mademoiselle. I did not say that I would not go down to Lady Astwell.’ ‘You will come, then?’ The girl’s tone was flat. She did not look at Poirot, but down at the ground, and so was unaware of the keen scrutiny with which he regarded her. ‘Tell Lady Astwell, Mademoiselle, that I am entirely at her service. I will be at – Mon Repos, is it not? – this afternoon.’ He rose. The girl followed suit. ‘I – I will tell her. It is very good of you to come, M. Poirot. I am afraid, though, you will find you have been brought on a wild goose chase.’ ‘Very likely, but – who knows?’ He saw her out with punctilious courtesy to the door. Then he returned to the sitting-room, frowning, deep in thought. Once or twice he nodded his head, then he opened the door and called to his valet. ‘My good George, prepare me, I pray of you, a little valise. I go down to the country this afternoon.’ ‘Very good, sir,’ said George. He was an extremely English-looking person. Tall, cadaverous and unemotional. ‘A young girl is a very interesting phenomenon, George,’ said Poirot, as he dropped once more into his arm-chair and lighted a tiny cigarette. ‘Especially, you understand, when she has brains. To ask someone to do a thing and at the same time to put them against doing it, that is a delicate operation. It requires finesse. She was very adroit – oh, very adroit – but Hercule Poirot, my good George, is of a cleverness quite exceptional.’ ‘I have heard you say so, sir.’ ‘It is not the secretary she has in mind,’ mused Poirot. ‘Lady Astwell’s accusation of him she treats with contempt. Just the same she is anxious that no one should disturb the sleeping dogs. I, my good George, I go to disturb them, I go to make the dog fight! There is a drama there, at Mon Repos. A human drama, and it excites me. She was adroit, the little one, but not adroit enough. I wonder – I wonder what I shall find there?’ Into the dramatic pause which succeeded these words George’s voice broke apologetically: ‘Shall I pack dress clothes, sir?’ Poirot looked at him sadly. ‘Always the concentration, the attention to your own job. You are very good for me, George.’ When the 4.55 drew up at Abbots Cross station, there descended from it M. Hercule Poirot, very neatly and foppishly attired, his moustaches waxed to a stiff point. He gave up his ticket, passed through the barrier, and was accosted by a tall chauffeur. ‘M. Poirot?’ The little man beamed upon him. ‘That is my name.’ ‘This way, sir, if you please.’ He held open the door of the big Rolls-Royce. The house was a bare three minutes from the station. The chauffeur descended once more and opened the door of the car, and Poirot stepped out. The butler was already holding the front door open. Poirot gave the outside of the house a swift appraising glance before passing through the open door. It was a big, solidly built red-brick mansion, with no pretensions to beauty, but with an air of solid comfort. Poirot stepped into the hall. The butler relieved him deftly of his hat and overcoat, then murmured with that deferential undertone only to be achieved by the best servants: ‘Her ladyship is expecting you, sir.’ Poirot followed the butler up the soft-carpeted stairs. This, without doubt, was Parsons, a very well-trained servant, with a manner suitably devoid of emotion. At the top of the staircase he turned to the right along a corridor. He passed through a door into a little ante-room, from which two more doors led. He threw open the left-hand one of these, and announced: ‘M. Poirot, m’lady.’ The room was not a very large one, and it was crowded with furniture and knick-knacks. A woman, dressed in black, got up from a sofa and came quickly towards Poirot. ‘M. Poirot,’ she said with outstretched hand. Her eye ran rapidly over the dandified figure. She paused a minute, ignoring the little man’s bow over her hand, and his murmured ‘Madame,’ and then, releasing his hand after a sudden vigorous pressure, she exclaimed: ‘I believe in small men! They are the clever ones.’ ‘Inspector Miller,’ murmured Poirot, ‘is, I think, a tall man?’ ‘He is a bumptious idiot,’ said Lady Astwell. ‘Sit down here by me, will you, M. Poirot?’ She indicated the sofa and went on: ‘Lily did her best to put me off sending for you, but I have not come to my time of life without knowing my own mind.’ ‘A rare accomplishment,’ said Poirot, as he followed her to the settee. Lady Astwell settled herself comfortably among the cushions and turned so as to face him. ‘Lily is a dear girl,’ said Lady Astwell, ‘but she thinks she knows everything, and as often as not in my experience those sort of people are wrong. I am not clever, M. Poirot, I never have been, but I am right where many a more stupid person is wrong. I believe in guidance. Now do you want me to tell you who is the murderer, or do you not? A woman knows, M. Poirot.’ ‘Does Miss Margrave know?’ ‘What did she tell you?’ asked Lady Astwell sharply. ‘She gave me the facts of the case.’ ‘The facts? Oh, of course they are dead against Charles, but I tell you, M. Poirot, he didn’t do it. I know he didn’t!’ She bent upon him an earnestness that was almost disconcerting. ‘You are very positive, Lady Astwell?’ ‘Trefusis killed my husband, M. Poirot. I am sure of it.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Why should he kill him, do you mean, or why am I sure? I tell you I know it! I am funny about those things. I make up my mind at once, and I stick to it.’ ‘Did Mr Trefusis benefit in any way by Sir Reuben’s death?’ ‘Never left him a penny,’ returned Lady Astwell promptly. ‘Now that shows you dear Reuben couldn’t have liked or trusted him.’ ‘Had he been with Sir Reuben long, then?’ ‘Close on nine years.’ ‘That is a long time,’ said Poirot softly, ‘a very long time to remain in the employment of one man. Yes, Mr Trefusis, he must have known his employer well.’ Lady Astwell stared at him. ‘What are you driving at? I don’t see what that has to do with it.’ ‘I was following out a little idea of my own,’ said Poirot. ‘A little idea, not interesting, perhaps, but original, on the effects of service.’ Lady Astwell still stared. ‘You are very clever, aren’t you?’ she said in rather a doubtful tone. ‘Everybody says so.’ Hercule Poirot laughed. ‘Perhaps you shall pay me that compliment, too, Madame, one of these days. But let us return to the motive. Tell me now of your household, of the people who were here in the house on the day of the tragedy.’ ‘There was Charles, of course.’ ‘He was your husband’s nephew, I understand, not yours.’ ‘Yes, Charles was the only son of Reuben’s sister. She married a comparatively rich man, but one of those crashes came – they do, in the city – and he died, and his wife, too, and Charles came to live with us. He was twenty-three at the time, and going to be a barrister. But when the trouble came, Reuben took him into his office.’ ‘He was industrious, M. Charles?’ ‘I like a man who is quick on the uptake,’ said Lady Astwell with a nod of approval. ‘No, that’s just the trouble, Charles was not industrious. He was always having rows with his uncle over some muddle or other that he had made. Not that poor Reuben was an easy man to get on with. Many’s the time I’ve told him he had forgotten what it was to be young himself. He was very different in those days, M. Poirot.’ Lady Astwell heaved a sigh of reminiscence. ‘Changes must come, Madame,’ said Poirot. ‘It is the law.’ ‘Still,’ said Lady Astwell, ‘he was never really rude to me. At least if he was, he was always sorry afterwards – poor dear Reuben.’ ‘He was difficult, eh?’ said Poirot. ‘I could always manage him,’ said Lady Astwell with the air of a successful lion tamer. ‘But it was rather awkward sometimes when he would lose his temper with the servants. There are ways of doing that, and Reuben’s was not the right way.’ ‘How exactly did Sir Reuben leave his money, Lady Astwell?’ ‘Half to me and half to Charles,’ replied Lady Astwell promptly. ‘The lawyers don’t put it simply like that, but that’s what it amounts to.’ Poirot nodded his head. ‘I see – I see,’ he murmured. ‘Now, Lady Astwell, I will demand of you that you will describe to me the household. There was yourself, and Sir Reuben’s nephew, Mr Charles Leverson, and the secretary, Mr Owen Trefusis, and there was Miss Lily Margrave. Perhaps you will tell me something of that young lady.’ ‘You want to know about Lily?’ ‘Yes, she had been with you long?’ ‘About a year. I have had a lot of secretary-companions you know, but somehow or other they all got on my nerves. Lily was different. She was tactful and full of common sense and besides she looks so nice. I do like to have a pretty face about me, M. Poirot. I am a funny kind of person; I take likes and dislikes straight away. As soon as I saw that girl, I said to myself: “She’ll do”.’ ‘Did she come to you through friends, Lady Astwell?’ ‘I think she answered an advertisement. Yes – that was it.’ ‘You know something of her people, of where she comes from?’ ‘Her father and mother are out in India, I believe. I don’t really know much about them, but you can see at a glance that Lily is a lady, can’t you, M. Poirot?’ ‘Oh, perfectly, perfectly.’ ‘Of course,’ went on Lady Astwell, ‘I am not a lady myself. I know it, and the servants know it, but there is nothing mean-spirited about me. I can appreciate the real thing when I see it, and no one could be nicer than Lily has been to me. I look upon that girl almost as a daughter, M. Poirot, indeed I do.’ Poirot’s right hand strayed out and straightened one or two of the objects lying on a table near him. ‘Did Sir Reuben share this feeling?’ he asked. His eyes were on the knick-knacks, but doubtless he noted the pause before Lady Astwell’s answer came. ‘With a man it’s different. Of course they – they got on very well.’ ‘Thank you, Madame,’ said Poirot. He was smiling to himself. ‘And these were the only people in the house that night?’ he asked. ‘Excepting, of course, the servants.’ ‘Oh, there was Victor.’ ‘Victor?’ ‘Yes, my husband’s brother, you know, and his partner.’ ‘He lived with you?’ ‘No, he had just arrived on a visit. He has been out in West Africa for the past few years.’ ‘West Africa,’ murmured Poirot. He had learned that Lady Astwell could be trusted to develop a subject herself if sufficient time was given her. ‘They say it’s a wonderful country, but I think it’s the kind of place that has a very bad effect upon a man. They drink too much, and they get uncontrolled. None of the Astwells has a good temper, and Victor’s, since he came back from Africa, has been simply too shocking. He has frightened me once or twice.’ ‘Did he frighten Miss Margrave, I wonder?’ murmured Poirot gently. ‘Lily? Oh, I don’t think he has seen much of Lily.’ Poirot made a note or two in a diminutive note-book; then he put the pencil back in its loop and returned the note-book to his pocket. ‘I thank you, Lady Astwell. I will now, if I may, interview Parsons.’ ‘Will you have him up here?’ Lady Astwell’s hand moved towards the bell. Poirot arrested the gesture quickly. ‘No, no, a thousand times no. I will descend to him.’ ‘If you think it is better –’ Lady Astwell was clearly disappointed at not being able to participate in the forthcoming scene. Poirot adopted an air of secrecy. ‘It is essential,’ he said mysteriously, and left Lady Astwell duly impressed. He found Parsons in the butler’s pantry, polishing silver. Poirot opened the proceedings with one of his funny little bows. ‘I must explain myself,’ he said. ‘I am a detective agent.’ ‘Yes, sir,’ said Parsons, ‘we gathered as much.’ His tone was respectful but aloof. ‘Lady Astwell sent for me,’ continued Poirot. ‘She is not satisfied; no, she is not satisfied at all.’ ‘I have heard her ladyship say so on several occasions,’ said Parsons. ‘In fact,’ said Poirot, ‘I recount to you the things you already know? Eh? Let us then not waste time on these bagatelles. Take me, if you will be so good, to your bedroom and tell me exactly what it was you heard there on the night of the murder.’ The butler’s room was on the ground floor, adjoining the servants’ hall. It had barred windows, and the strong-room was in one corner of it. Parsons indicated the narrow bed. ‘I had retired, sir, at eleven o’clock. Miss Margrave had gone to bed, and Lady Astwell was with Sir Reuben in the Tower room.’ ‘Lady Astwell was with Sir Reuben? Ah, proceed.’ ‘The Tower room, sir, is directly over this. If people are talking in it one can hear the murmur of voices, but naturally not anything that is said. I must have fallen asleep about half past eleven. It was just twelve o’clock when I was awakened by the sound of the front door being slammed to and knew Mr Leverson had returned. Presently I heard footsteps overhead, and a minute or two later Mr Leverson’s voice talking to Sir Reuben. ‘It was my fancy at the time, sir, that Mr Leverson was – I should not exactly like to say drunk, but inclined to be a little indiscreet and noisy. He was shouting at his uncle at the top of his voice. I caught a word or two here or there, but not enough to understand what it was all about, and then there was a sharp cry and a heavy thud.’ There was a pause, and Parsons repeated the last words. ‘A heavy thud,’ he said impressively. ‘If I mistake not, it is a dull thud in most works of romance,’ murmured Poirot. ‘Maybe, sir,’ said Parsons severely. ‘It was a heavy thud I heard.’ ‘A thousand pardons,’ said Poirot. ‘Do not mention it, sir. After the thud, in the silence, I heard Mr Leverson’s voice as plain as plain can be, raised high. “My God,” he said, “my God,” just like that, sir.’ Parsons, from his first reluctance to tell the tale, had now progressed to a thorough enjoyment of it. He fancied himself mightily as a narrator. Poirot played up to him. ‘Mon Dieu,’ he murmured. ‘What emotion you must have experienced!’ ‘Yes, indeed, sir,’ said Parsons, ‘as you say, sir. Not that I thought very much of it at the time. But it did occur to me to wonder if anything was amiss, and whether I had better go up and see. I went to turn the electric light on, and was unfortunate enough to knock over a chair. ‘I opened the door, and went through the servants’ hall, and opened the other door which gives on a passage. The back stairs lead up from there, and as I stood at the bottom of them, hesitating, I heard Mr Leverson’s voice from up above, speaking hearty and cheery-like. “No harm done, luckily,” he says. “Good night,” and I heard him move off along the passage to his own room, whistling. ‘Of course I went back to bed at once. Just something knocked over, that’s all I thought it was. I ask you, sir, was I to think Sir Reuben was murdered, with Mr Leverson saying good night and all?’ ‘You are sure it was Mr Leverson’s voice you heard?’ Parsons looked at the little Belgian pityingly, and Poirot saw clearly enough that, right or wrong, Parsons’s mind was made up on this point. ‘Is there anything further you would like to ask me, sir?’ ‘There is one thing,’ said Poirot, ‘do you like Mr Leverson?’ ‘I – I beg your pardon, sir?’ ‘It is a simple question. Do you like Mr Leverson?’ Parsons, from being startled at first, now seemed embarrassed. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. 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