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CHAPTER 4. POIROT INVESTIGATES (continued)
In a few moments he had unbarred the door, and I followed him up to his room. There he installed me in a chair, and I related the whole story, keeping back nothing, and omitting no circumstance, however insignificant, whilst he himself made a careful and deliberate toilet.
I told him of my awakening, of Mrs. Inglethorp's dying words, of her husband's absence, of the quarrel the day before, of the scrap of conversation between Mary and her mother-in-law that I had overheard, of the former quarrel between Mrs. Inglethorp and Evelyn Howard, and of the latter's innuendoes.
I was hardly as clear as I could wish. I repeated myself several times, and occasionally had to go back to some detail that I had forgotten. Poirot smiled kindly on me.
"The mind is confused? Is it not so? Take time, mon ami. You are agitated; you are excited--it is but natural. Presently, when we are calmer, we will arrange the facts, neatly, each in his proper place. We will examine--and reject. Those of importance we will put on one side; those of no importance, pouf!"--he screwed up his cherub-like face, and puffed comically enough--"blow them away!"
"That's all very well," I objected, "but how are you going to decide what is important, and what isn't? That always seems the difficulty to me."
Poirot shook his head energetically. He was now arranging his moustache with exquisite care.
"Not so. Voyons! One fact leads to another--so we continue. Does the next fit in with that? A merveille! Good! We can proceed. This next little fact--no! Ah, that is curious! There is something missing--a link in the chain that is not there. We examine. We search. And that little curious fact, that possibly paltry little detail that will not tally, we put it here!" He made an extravagant gesture with his hand. "It is significant! It is tremendous!"
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