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Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair at Styles
CHAPTER 5. "IT ISN'T STRYCHNINE, IS IT?" (continued)
"Only the doctors can tell us that, Mr. Mace."
"Yes, exactly--of course----" The young man hesitated, and then his agitation was too much for him. He clutched Poirot by the arm, and sank his voice to a whisper: "Just tell me this, Mr. Poirot, it isn't--it isn't strychnine, is it?"
I hardly heard what Poirot replied. Something evidently of a non-committal nature. The young man departed, and as he closed the door Poirot's eyes met mine.
"Yes," he said, nodding gravely. "He will have evidence to give at the inquest."
We went slowly upstairs again. I was opening my lips, when Poirot stopped me with a gesture of his hand.
"Not now, not now, mon ami. I have need of reflection. My mind is in some disorder--which is not well."
For about ten minutes he sat in dead silence, perfectly still, except for several expressive motions of his eyebrows, and all the time his eyes grew steadily greener. At last he heaved a deep sigh.
"It is well. The bad moment has passed. Now all is arranged and classified. One must never permit confusion. The case is not clear yet--no. For it is of the most complicated! It puzzles me. Me, Hercule Poirot! There are two facts of significance."
"And what are they?"
"The first is the state of the weather yesterday. That is very important."
"But it was a glorious day!" I interrupted. "Poirot, you're pulling my leg!"
"Not at all. The thermometer registered 80 degrees in the shade. Do not forget that, my friend. It is the key to the whole riddle!"
"And the second point?" I asked.
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