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|The Mysterious Affair at Styles||Agatha Christie|
IX. Dr. Bauerstein
|Page 7 of 9||
"Look here," I said, "I may be altogether wrong. And, remember, all this is in confidence."
"Oh, of course--that goes without saying."
We had walked, as we talked, and now we passed through the little gate into the garden. Voices rose near at hand, for tea was spread out under the sycamore-tree, as it had been on the day of my arrival.
Cynthia was back from the hospital, and I placed my chair beside her, and told her of Poirot's wish to visit the dispensary.
"Of course! I'd love him to see it. He'd better come to tea there one day. I must fix it up with him. He's such a dear little man! But he *IS funny. He made me take the brooch out of my tie the other day, and put it in again, because he said it wasn't straight."
"It's quite a mania with him."
"Yes, isn't it?"
We were silent for a minute or two, and then, glancing in the direction of Mary Cavendish, and dropping her voice, Cynthia said:
"After tea, I want to talk to you."
Her glance at Mary had set me thinking. I fancied that between these two there existed very little sympathy. For the first time, it occurred to me to wonder about the girl's future. Mrs. Inglethorp had made no provisions of any kind for her, but I imagined that John and Mary would probably insist on her making her home with them--at any rate until the end of the war. John, I knew, was very fond of her, and would be sorry to let her go.
John, who had gone into the house, now reappeared. His good-natured face wore an unaccustomed frown of anger.
"Confound those detectives! I can't think what they're after! They've been in every room in the house--turning things inside out, and upside down. It really is too bad! I suppose they took advantage of our all being out. I shall go for that fellow Japp, when I next see him!"
"Lot of Paul Prys," grunted Miss Howard.
Lawrence opined that they had to make a show of doing something.
Mary Cavendish said nothing.
After tea, I invited Cynthia to come for a walk, and we sauntered off into the woods together.
"Well?" I inquired, as soon as we were protected from prying eyes by the leafy screen.
With a sigh, Cynthia flung herself down, and tossed off her hat. The sunlight, piercing through the branches, turned the auburn of her hair to quivering gold.
"Mr. Hastings--you are always so kind, and you know such a lot."
It struck me at this moment that Cynthia was really a very charming girl! Much more charming than Mary, who never said things of that kind.
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