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Charles Lamb

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Ebook "A Caribbean Mystery"
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Tác giả: Agatha Christie
Thể loại: Trinh Thám
Biên tập: Yen
Language: English
Số chương: 37
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Số lần đọc/download: 5641 / 97
Cập nhật: 2015-01-24 12:31:11 +0700
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he big handsome Negro looked from one to the other of the men sitting at the table.
“Ah declare to God,” he said. “That's all I know. I don't know nothing but what Ah've told you.”
The perspiration stood out on his forehead.
Daventry sighed. The man presiding at the table, Inspector Weston of the St. Honorй C.I.D., made a gesture of dismissal. Big Jim Ellis shuffled out of the room.
“It's not all he knows, of course,” Weston said. He had the soft Island voice. “But it's all we shall learn from him.”
“You think he's in the clear himself?” asked Daventry.
“Yes. They seem to have been on good terms together.”
“They weren't married?”
A faint smile appeared on Lieutenant Weston's lips. “No,” he said, “they weren't married. We don't have so many marriages on the Island. They christen the children, though. He's had two children by Victoria.”
“Do you think he was in it, whatever it was, with her?”
“Probably not. I think he'd have been nervous of anything of that kind. And I'd say, too, that what she did know wasn't very much.”
“But enough for blackmail?”
“I don't know that I'd even call it that. I doubt if the girl would even understand that word. Payment for being discreet isn't thought of as blackmail. You see, some of the people who stay here are the rich playboy lot and their morals won't bear much investigation.” His voice was slightly scathing.
“We get all kinds, I agree,” said Daventry. “A woman, maybe, doesn't want it known that she's sleeping around, so she gives a present to the girl who waits on her. It's tacitly understood that the payment's for discretion.”
“But this,” objected Daventry, “wasn't anything of that kind. It was murder.”
“I should doubt, though, if the girl knew it was serious. She saw something, some puzzling incident, something to do presumably with this bottle of pills. It belonged to Mr. Dyson, I understand. We'd better see him next.”
Gregory came in with his usual hearty air.
“Here I am,” he said, “what can I do to help? Too bad about this girl. She was a nice girl. We both liked her. I suppose it was some sort of quarrel or other with a man, but she seemed quite happy and no signs of being in trouble about anything. I was kidding her only last night.”
“I believe you take a preparation, Mr. Dyson, called Serenite?”
“Quite right. Little pink tablets.”
“You have them on prescription from a physician?”
“Yes. I can show it to you if you like. Suffer a bit from high blood pressure, like so many people do nowadays.”
“Very few people seem to be aware of that fact.”
“Well, I don't go talking about it. I-well, I've always been well and hearty and I never like people who talk about their ailments all the time.”
“How many of the pills do you take?”
“Two, three times a day.”
“Do you have a fairly large stock with you?”
“Yes. I've got about half a dozen bottles. But they're locked up, you know, in a suitcase. I only keep out one, the one that's in current use.”
“And you missed this bottle a short time ago, so I hear?”
“Quite right.”
“And you asked this girl, Victoria Johnson, whether she'd seen it?”
“Yes, I did.”
“And what did she say?”
“She said the last time she'd seen it was on the shelf in our bathroom. She said she'd look around.”
“And after that?”
“She came and returned the bottle to me some time later. She said was this the bottle that was missing?”
“And you said?”
“I said 'that's it, all right, where did you find it?' And she said it was in old Major Palgrave's room. I said 'how on earth did it get there?'”
“And what did she answer to that?”
“She said she didn't know, but-” he hesitated.
“Yes, Mr. Dyson?”
“Well, she gave me the feeling that she did know a little more than she was saying, but I didn't pay much attention. After all, it wasn't very important. As I say, I've got other bottles of pills with me. I thought perhaps I'd left it around in the restaurant or somewhere and old Palgrave picked it up for some reason. Perhaps he put it in his pocket meaning to return it to me, then forgot.”
“And that's all you know about it, Mr. Dyson?”
“That's all I know. Sorry to be so unhelpful. Is it important? Why!”
Weston shrugged his shoulders. “As things are, anything may be important.”
“I don't see where pills come in. I thought you'd want to know about what my movements were when this wretched girl was stabbed. I've written them all down as carefully as I can.”
Weston looked at him thoughtfully.
“Indeed? That was very helpful of you, Mr. Dyson.”
“Save everybody trouble, I thought,” said Greg. He shoved a piece of paper across the table.
Weston studied it and Daventry drew his chair a little closer and looked over his shoulder.
“That seems very clear,” said Weston, after a moment or two. “You and your wife were together changing for dinner in your bungalow until ten minutes to nine. You then went along to the terrace where you had drinks with Seсora de Caspearo. At quarter past nine Colonel and Mrs. Hillingdon joined you and you went in to dine. As far as you can remember, you went off to bed at about half past eleven.”
“Of course,” said Greg. “I don't know what time the girl was actually killed-?”
There was a faint semblance of a question in the words. Lieutenant Weston, however, did not appear to notice it.
“Mrs. Kendal found her, I understand? Must have been a very nasty shock for her.”
“Yes. Dr. Robertson had to give her a sedative.”
“This was quite late, wasn't it, when most people had trundled off to bed?”
“Had she been dead long? When Mrs. Kendal found her, I mean?”
“We're not quite certain of the exact time yet,” said Weston smoothly.
“Poor little Molly. It must have been a nasty shock for her. Matter of fact, I didn't notice her about last night. Thought she might have a headache or something and was lying down.”
“When was the last time you did see Mrs. Kendal?”
“Oh, quite early, before I went to change. She was playing about with some of the table decorations and things. Rearranging the knives.”
“I see.”
“She was quite cheerful then,” said Greg. “Kidding and all that. She's a great girl. We're all very fond of her. Tim's a lucky fellow.”
“Well, thank you, Mr. Dyson. You can't remember anything more than you've told us about what the girl Victoria said when she returned the tablets?”
“No... It was just as I say. Asked me were these the tablets I'd been asking for. Said she'd found them in old Palgrave's room.”
“She'd no idea who put them there?”
“Don't think so-can't remember, really.”
“Thank you, Mr. Dyson.”
Gregory went out.
“Very thoughtful of him,” said Weston, gently tapping the paper with his fingernail, “to be so anxious to want us to know for sure exactly where he was last night.”
“A little over-anxious do you think?” asked Daventry.
“That's very difficult to tell. There are people, you know, who are naturally nervous about their own safety, about being mixed up with anything. It isn't necessarily because they have any guilty knowledge. On the other hand it might be just that.”
“What about opportunity? Nobody's really got much of an alibi, what with the band and the dancing and the coming and going. People are getting up, leaving their tables, coming back. Women go to powder their noses. Men take a stroll. Dyson could have slipped away. Anybody could have slipped away. But he does seem rather anxious to prove that he didn't.” He looked thoughtfully down at the paper. “So Mrs. Kendal was rearranging knives on the table,” he said. “I rather wonder if he dragged that in on purpose.”
“Did it sound like it to you?”
The other considered. “I think it's possible.”
Outside the room where the two men were sitting, a noise had arisen. A high voice was demanding admittance shrilly. “I've got something to tell. I've got something to tell. You take me in to where the gentlemen are. You take me in to where the policeman is.”
A uniformed policeman pushed open the door.
“It's one of the cooks here,” he said, “very anxious to see you. Says he's got something you ought to know.”
A frightened dark man in a cook's cap pushed past him and came into the room. It was one of the minor cooks. A Cuban, not a native of St. Honorй. “I tell you something. I tell you,” he said. “She come through my kitchen, she did, and she had a knife with her. A knife, I tell you. She had a knife in her hand. She come through my kitchen and out of the door. Out into the garden. I saw her.”
“Now calm down,” said Daventry, “calm down. Who are you talking about?”
“I tell you who I'm talking about. I'm talking about the boss's wife. Mrs Kendal. I'm talking about her. She have a knife in her hand and she go out into the dark. Before dinner that was-and she didn't come back”
A Caribbean Mystery A Caribbean Mystery - Agatha Christie A Caribbean Mystery