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|The Mysterious Affair at Styles||Agatha Christie|
XI. The Case For The Prosecution
|Page 7 of 11||
"Was the pile of underclothes under which the things were hidden heavy or light?"
"In other words, it was winter underclothing. Obviously, the prisoner would not be likely to go to that drawer?"
"Kindly answer my question. Would the prisoner, in the hottest week of a hot summer, be likely to go to a drawer containing winter underclothing. Yes, or no?"
"In that case, is it not possible that the articles in question might have been put there by a third person, and that the prisoner was quite unaware of their presence?"
"I should not think it likely."
"But it is possible?"
"That is all."
More evidence followed. Evidence as to the financial difficulties in which the prisoner had found himself at the end of July. Evidence as to his intrigue with Mrs. Raikes--poor Mary, that must have been bitter hearing for a woman of her pride. Evelyn Howard had been right in her facts, though her animosity against Alfred Inglethorp had caused her to jump to the conclusion that he was the person concerned.
Lawrence Cavendish was then put into the box. In a low voice, in answer to Mr. Philips' questions, he denied having ordered anything from Parkson's in June. In fact, on June 29th, he had been staying away, in Wales.
Instantly, Sir Ernest's chin was shooting pugnaciously forward.
"You deny having ordered a black beard from Parkson's on June 29th?"
"Ah! In the event of anything happening to your brother, who will inherit Styles Court?"
The brutality of the question called a flush to Lawrence's pale face. The judge gave vent to a faint murmur of disapprobation, and the prisoner in the dock leant forward angrily.
Heavywether cared nothing for his client's anger.
"Answer my question, if you please."
"I suppose," said Lawrence quietly, "that I should."
"What do you mean by you 'suppose'? Your brother has no children. You *WOULD inherit it, wouldn't you?"
"Ah, that's better," said Heavywether, with ferocious geniality. "And you'd inherit a good slice of money too, wouldn't you?"
"Really, Sir Ernest," protested the judge, "these questions are not relevant."
Sir Ernest bowed, and having shot his arrow proceeded.
"On Tuesday, the 17th July, you went, I believe, with another guest, to visit the dispensary at the Red Cross Hospital in Tadminster?"
"Did you--while you happened to be alone for a few seconds--unlock the poison cupboard, and examine some of the bottles?"
"I--I--may have done so."
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