Lord Edgware Dies
‘He was stabbed, not shot,’ said Poirot.
Martin laid the paper down slowly.
‘I’m afraid this does no good,’ he said regretfully. ‘Jane didn’t go to that dinner.’
‘How do you know?’
‘I forget. Somebody told me.’
‘That is a pity,’ said Poirot thoughtfully.
Japp looked at him curiously.
‘I can’t make you out, Moosior. Seems now as though you don’t want the young woman to be guilty.’
‘No, no, my good Japp. I am not the partisan you think. But frankly, the case as you present it, revolts the intelligence.’
‘What do you mean, revolts the intelligence? It doesn’t revolt mine.’
I could see words trembling on Poirot’s lips. He restrained them.
‘Here is a young woman who wishes, you say, to get rid of her husband. That point I do not dispute. She told me so frankly. Eh bien, how does she set about it? She repeats several times in the loud clear voice before witnesses that she is thinking of killing him. She then goes out one evening, calls at his house, has herself announced, stabs him and goes away. What do you call that, my good friend? Has it even the common sense?’
‘It was a bit foolish, of course.’
‘Foolish? It is the imbecility!’
‘Well,’ said Japp, rising. ‘It’s all to the advantage of the police when criminals lose their heads. I must go back to the Savoy now.’
‘You permit that I accompany you?’
Japp made no demur and we set out. Bryan Martin took a reluctant leave of us. He seemed to be in a great state of nervous excitement. He begged earnestly that any further development might be reported to him.
‘Nervy sort of chap,’ was Japp’s comment on him.
At the Savoy we found an extremely legal-looking gentleman who had just arrived, and we proceeded all together to Jane’s suite. Japp spoke to one of his men.
‘Anything?’ he inquired laconically.
‘She wanted to use the telephone!’
‘Who did she telephone to?’ inquired Japp eagerly.
‘Jay’s. For mourning.’
Japp swore under his breath. We entered the suite. The widowed Lady Edgware was trying on hats in front of the glass. She was dressed in a filmy creation of black and white. She greeted us with a dazzling smile.
‘Why, M. Poirot, how good of you to come along. Mr Moxon,’ (this was to the solicitor) ‘I’m so glad you’ve come. Just sit right by me and tell what questions I ought to answer. This man here seems to think that I went out and killed George this morning.’
‘Last night, madam,’ said Japp.
‘You said this morning. Ten o’clock.’
‘I said ten p.m.’
‘Well, I can never tell which is which—a.m.’s and p.m.’s.’
‘It’s only just about ten o’clock now,’ added the inspector severely.
Jane’s eyes opened very wide.
‘Mercy,’ she murmured. ‘It’s years since I’ve been awake as early as this. Why, it must have been early dawn when you came along.’
‘One moment, Inspector,’ said Mr Moxon in his ponderous legal voice. ‘When am I to understand that this—er—regrettable—most shocking—occurrence took place?’
‘Round about ten o’clock last night, sir.’
‘Why, that’s all right,’ said Jane sharply. ‘I was at a party—Oh!’ She covered her mouth up suddenly. ‘Perhaps I oughtn’t to have said that.’
Her eyes sought the solicitor’s in timid appeal.
‘If, at ten o’clock last night, you were—er—at a party, Lady Edgware, I—er—I can see no objection to your informing the inspector of the fact—no objection whatever.’
‘That’s right,’ said Japp. ‘I only asked you for a statement of your movements yesterday evening.’
‘You didn’t. You said ten something m. And anyway you gave me the most terrible shock. I fainted dead away, Mr Moxon.’