Hubert Kenyon, who had been gloomily listening to the conversation without attempting to join in it, drew a long breath and exhaled it in a deep sigh.
“From Middle Tennessee, you say?” he said after awhile. “Well, I guess I know every foot of it, nearly.” He laughed. “Under a little black locust tree near Murfreesboro is what is left of this,” he said, as he touched his empty coat sleeve. “I have often wanted to go back there and see some of those pretty farms and good horses and bluegrass hills when I didn’t have any guard duty to do and wasn’t looking for an enemy, but friends.”
“It is something about my husband’s insurance, is it? But must I be bothered now—so soon?”
Delane still brooded; his expression grew more and more timid. “What do you ... er ... call it ... exactly?” he ventured.
"Think how you might feel in six months' time," she persisted; "after living here in a sort of luxury, at the prospect of having to rough it again, when by simply going on you might never have to bother
“You comprehend she was left much alone in California. Her husband was amusing himself elsewhere. Mr. Rolf was handsome, he had an air about him of romance. But au fond, he is very business-like, ce monsieur! He made love to Lady Yardly, and then he blackmailed her. I taxed the lady with the truth the other night, and she admitted it. She swore that she had only been indiscreet, and I believe her. But, undoubtedly, Rolf had letters of hers that could be twisted to bear a different interpretation. Terrified by the threat of a divorce, and the prospect of being separated from her children, she agreed to all he wished. She had no money of her own, and she was forced to permit him to substitute a paste replica for the real stone. The coincidence of the date of the appearance of ‘the Western Star’ struck me at once. All goes well. Lord Yardly prepares to range himself—to settle down. And then comes the menace of the possible sale of the diamond. The substitution will be discovered. Without doubt she writes off frantically to Gregory Rolf who has just arrived in England. He soothes her by promising to arrange all—and prepares for a double robbery. In this way he will quiet the lady, who might conceivably tell all to her husband, an affair which would not suit our blackmailer at all, he will have £50,000 insurance money (aha, you had forgotten that!), and he will still have the diamond! At this point I put my finger in the pie. The arrival of a diamond expert is announced. Lady Yardly, as I felt sure she would, immediately arranges a robbery—and does it very well too! But Hercule Poirot, he sees nothing but facts. What happens in actuality? The lady switches off the light, bangs the door, throws the necklace down the passage, and screams. She has already wrenched out the diamond with pliers upstairs——”详情 ➢
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