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CHAPTER 5. "IT ISN'T STRYCHNINE, IS IT?" (continued)
"The important fact that Monsieur Inglethorp wears very peculiar clothes, has a black beard, and uses glasses."
"Poirot, I cannot believe you are serious."
"I am absolutely serious, my friend."
"But this is childish!"
"No, it is very momentous."
"And supposing the Coroner's jury returns a verdict of Wilful Murder against Alfred Inglethorp. What becomes of your theories, then?"
"They would not be shaken because twelve stupid men had happened to make a mistake! But that will not occur. For one thing, a country jury is not anxious to take responsibility upon itself, and Mr. Inglethorp stands practically in the position of local squire. Also," he added placidly, "I should not allow it!"
"You would not allow it?"
I looked at the extraordinary little man, divided between annoyance and amusement. He was so tremendously sure of himself. As though he read my thoughts, he nodded gently.
"Oh, yes, mon ami, I would do what I say." He got up and laid his hand on my shoulder. His physiognomy underwent a complete change. Tears came into his eyes. "In all this, you see, I think of that poor Mrs. Inglethorp who is dead. She was not extravagantly loved--no. But she was very good to us Belgians--I owe her a debt."
I endeavoured to interrupt, but Poirot swept on.
"Let me tell you this, Hastings. She would never forgive me if I let Alfred Inglethorp, her husband, be arrested now--when a word from me could save him!"
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