Poirot proved to be perfectly right in his premises. Young Bleibner, some years ago, in a fit of drunken merriment, had made a jocular will, leaving “my cigarette case you admire so much and everything else of which I die possessed which will be principally debts to my good friend Robert Ames who once saved my life from drowning.”
Pres-i-dent’s son, Capt. Rob-ert Lin-coln, of Grant’s staff, came home that morn, and told the tale of the last scene at Ap-po-mat-tox.
Jorgenson glowered. That was his reaction as a person. Then he gestured to the cave around him. There was a pile of dried-out seaweed for sleeping purposes.
From this out I recovered rapidly, and soon was myself again and back in my Company with full rank as Lieutenant. There was no fighting now of any importance, and we wondered what the next move would be. But our spies and the deserters brought us in no news of value, and on the last day of September we lay down while our out-posts watched those of the enemy, their fires burning as usual across the valley; but in the morning we thought it strange we heard no drums and saw no movement, and then it dawned upon us that their whole army had withdrawn during the night, and now were in full retreat by way of Rome.
A bearded goat eyed the Boyar Chef sardonically, jaw working. "Look at that long-nosed son!" The goat gave a derisive bleat and took another mouthful of ripe grain.
Some years ago I was on the staff of a paper where I had for a colleague a dark blue-eyed young man who was our crime specialist. He had just come from the provinces, and had not even a rudimentary notion of how to write. He knew he couldn’t write; he boasted of it. And he cared nothing for newspapers or books or anything even remotely connected with literature. But he had an 111amazing talent for sniffing out crime. I remember a great jewel robbery which he got wind of half-a-day before anyone else, and, in a way known only to himself, he obtained full particulars of the affair, writing a half-column “story” before any other paper in the kingdom even knew there was a story to write. He entertained me vastly, and I used to go with him sometimes at night when he called at Scotland Yard for news. Scotland Yard never gives away news unless it is in its own interest to do so. But I am very much inclined to believe that it was somewhere in Scotland Yard that he obtained his most valuable information. We would walk down wide corridors there together, sit ten minutes in a waiting-room, interview an official who invariably said: “Nothing doing to-night,” and come away. But that was quite enough for my friend. “I must go to Poplar straight away,” he would say, as we came away; or perhaps: “I can just catch the last train to Guildford”; or “There is nothing at all in the rumour of that murder in Battersea.” I used to look at him in amazement and exclaim: “But how do you know?” “Ah!” he would reply; “they say that walls have ears. But much more frequently they have tongues.”
He could see no difference; but perhaps, he thought, he could smell one. The unpleasant halogen odor from the grating was surely stronger now. He stood there, perplexed.
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