ABC谋杀案 33

时间:2024-01-30 08:51:52


Conference again.
The Assistant Commissioner1, Inspector2 Crome, Poirot and myself.
The AC was saying:
“A good tip that of yours, M. Poirot, about checking a large sale of stockings.”
Poirot spread out his hands.
“It was indicated. This man could not be a regular agent. He sold outright3 instead of touting4 fororders.”
“Got everything clear so far, inspector?”
“I think so, sir.” Crome consulted a file. “Shall I run over the position to date?”
“Yes, please.”
“I’ve checked up with Churston, Paignton and Torquay. Got a list of people where he went andoffered stockings. I must say he did the thing thoroughly5. Stayed at the Pitt, small hotel near TorreStation. Returned to the hotel at 10:30 on the night of the murder. Could have taken a train fromChurston at 9.57, getting to Torre at 10.20. No one answering to his description noticed on train orat station, but that Friday was Dartmouth Regatta and the trains back from Kingswear were prettyfull.
“Bexhill much the same. Stayed at the Globe under his own name. Offered stockings to about adozen addresses, including Mrs. Barnard and including the Ginger6 Cat. Left hotel early in theevening. Arrived back in London about 11.30 the following morning. As to Andover, sameprocedure. Stayed at the Feathers. Offered stockings to Mrs. Fowler, next door to Mrs. Ascher, andto half a dozen other people in the street. The pair Mrs. Ascher had I got from the niece (name ofDrower)—they’re identical with Cust’s supply.”
“So far, good,” said the AC.
“Acting on information received,” said the inspector, “I went to the address given me byHartigan, but found that Cust had left the house about half an hour previously7. He received atelephone message, I’m told. First time such a thing had happened to him, so his landlady8 toldme.”
“An accomplice9?” suggested the Assistant Commissioner.
“Hardly,” said Poirot. “It is odd that—unless—”
We all looked at him inquiringly as he paused.
He shook his head, however, and the inspector proceeded.
“I made a thorough search of the room he had occupied. That search puts the matter beyonddoubt. I found a block of notepaper similar to that on which the letters were written, a largequantity of hosiery and—at the back of the cupboard where the hosiery was stored—a parcel muchthe same shape and size but which turned out to contain—not hosiery—but eight new A B Crailway guides!”
“Proof positive,” said the Assistant Commissioner.
“I’ve found something else, too,” said the inspector—his voice becoming suddenly almosthuman with triumph. “Only found it this morning, sir. Not had time to report yet. There was nosign of the knife in his room—”
“It would be the act of an imbecile to bring that back with him,” remarked Poirot.
“After all, he’s not a reasonable human being,” remarked the inspector. “Anway, it occurred tome that he might just possibly have brought it back to the house and then realized the danger ofhiding it (as M. Poirot points out) in his room, and have looked about elsewhere. What place in thehouse would he be likely to select? I got it straight away. The hall stand—no one ever moves ahall stand. With a lot of trouble I got it moved out from the wall—and there it was!”
“The knife?”
“The knife. Not a doubt of it. The dried blood’s still on it.”
“Good work, Crome,” said the AC approvingly. “We only need one thing more now.”
“What’s that?”
“The man himself.”
“We’ll get him, sir. Never fear.”
The inspector’s tone was confident.
“What do you say, M. Poirot?”
Poirot started out of a reverie.
“I beg your pardon?”
“We were saying that it was only a matter of time before we got our man. Do you agree?”
“Oh, that—yes. Without a doubt.”
His tone was so abstracted that the others looked at him curiously10.
“Is there anything worrying you, M. Poirot?”
“There is something that worries me very much. It is the why? The motive11.”
“But, my dear fellow, the man’s crazy,” said the Assistant Commissioner impatiently.
“I understand what M. Poirot means,” said Crome, coming graciously to the rescue. “He’s quiteright. There’s got to be some definite obsession12. I think we’ll find the root of the matter in anintensified inferiority complex. There may be a persecution13 mania14, too, and if so he may possiblyassociate M. Poirot with it. He may have the delusion15 that M. Poirot is a detective employed onpurpose to hunt him down.”
“H’m,” said the AC. “That’s the jargon16 that’s talked nowadays. In my day if a man was mad hewas mad and we didn’t look about for scientific terms to soften17 it down. I suppose a thoroughlyup-to-date doctor would suggest putting a man like A B C in a nursing home, telling him what afine fellow he was for forty-five days on end and then letting him out as a responsible member ofsociety.”
Poirot smiled but did not answer.
The conference broke up.
“Well,” said the Assistant Commissioner. “As you say, Crome, pulling him in is only a matterof time.”
“We’d have had him before now,” said the inspector, “if he wasn’t so ordinary-looking. We’veworried enough perfectly18 inoffensive citizens as it is.”
“I wonder where he is at this minute,” said the Assistant Commissioner.



1 commissioner gq3zX     
  • The commissioner has issued a warrant for her arrest.专员发出了对她的逮捕令。
  • He was tapped for police commissioner.他被任命为警务处长。
2 inspector q6kxH     
  • The inspector was interested in everything pertaining to the school.视察员对有关学校的一切都感兴趣。
  • The inspector was shining a flashlight onto the tickets.查票员打着手电筒查看车票。
3 outright Qj7yY     
  • If you have a complaint you should tell me outright.如果你有不满意的事,你应该直率地对我说。
  • You should persuade her to marry you outright.你应该彻底劝服她嫁给你。
4 touting 4d75f17b3549c92164bbfc96b4ef2275     
v.兜售( tout的现在分词 );招揽;侦查;探听赛马情报
  • He's been touting his novel around publishers for years. 他几年来一直到处找出版商兜售自己的小说。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Technology industry leaders are touting cars as a hot area for growth. 科技产业领袖吹捧为增长热点地区的汽车。 来自互联网
5 thoroughly sgmz0J     
  • The soil must be thoroughly turned over before planting.一定要先把土地深翻一遍再下种。
  • The soldiers have been thoroughly instructed in the care of their weapons.士兵们都系统地接受过保护武器的训练。
6 ginger bzryX     
  • There is no ginger in the young man.这个年轻人没有精神。
  • Ginger shall be hot in the mouth.生姜吃到嘴里总是辣的。
7 previously bkzzzC     
  • The bicycle tyre blew out at a previously damaged point.自行车胎在以前损坏过的地方又爆开了。
  • Let me digress for a moment and explain what had happened previously.让我岔开一会儿,解释原先发生了什么。
8 landlady t2ZxE     
  • I heard my landlady creeping stealthily up to my door.我听到我的女房东偷偷地来到我的门前。
  • The landlady came over to serve me.女店主过来接待我。
9 accomplice XJsyq     
  • She was her husband's accomplice in murdering a rich old man.她是她丈夫谋杀一个老富翁的帮凶。
  • He is suspected as an accomplice of the murder.他涉嫌为这次凶杀案的同谋。
10 curiously 3v0zIc     
  • He looked curiously at the people.他好奇地看着那些人。
  • He took long stealthy strides. His hands were curiously cold.他迈着悄没声息的大步。他的双手出奇地冷。
11 motive GFzxz     
  • The police could not find a motive for the murder.警察不能找到谋杀的动机。
  • He had some motive in telling this fable.他讲这寓言故事是有用意的。
12 obsession eIdxt     
  • I was suffering from obsession that my career would be ended.那时的我陷入了我的事业有可能就此终止的困扰当中。
  • She would try to forget her obsession with Christopher.她会努力忘记对克里斯托弗的迷恋。
13 persecution PAnyA     
n. 迫害,烦扰
  • He had fled from France at the time of the persecution. 他在大迫害时期逃离了法国。
  • Their persecution only serves to arouse the opposition of the people. 他们的迫害只激起人民对他们的反抗。
14 mania 9BWxu     
  • Football mania is sweeping the country.足球热正风靡全国。
  • Collecting small items can easily become a mania.收藏零星物品往往容易变成一种癖好。
15 delusion x9uyf     
  • He is under the delusion that he is Napoleon.他患了妄想症,认为自己是拿破仑。
  • I was under the delusion that he intended to marry me.我误认为他要娶我。
16 jargon I3sxk     
  • They will not hear critics with their horrible jargon.他们不愿意听到评论家们那些可怕的行话。
  • It is important not to be overawed by the mathematical jargon.要紧的是不要被数学的术语所吓倒.
17 soften 6w0wk     
  • Plastics will soften when exposed to heat.塑料适当加热就可以软化。
  • This special cream will help to soften up our skin.这种特殊的护肤霜有助于使皮肤变得柔软。
18 perfectly 8Mzxb     
  • The witnesses were each perfectly certain of what they said.证人们个个对自己所说的话十分肯定。
  • Everything that we're doing is all perfectly above board.我们做的每件事情都是光明正大的。