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    AG澳门网站It happened that at the same moment the attention of the other men was concentrated on a quartet of casks which was being slung up through the hatches, the nervousness caused by the slip not having yet subsided. None of them therefore saw what had taken place, and Broughton and Harkness had picked up the coins before any of them turned round. Six sovereigns had come out, and the clerk added them to the five he already had, while he and his companion unostentatiously searched for others. Not finding any, they turned back to the cask deeply mystified.


    ‘Yes, monsieur. I put their luggage into the carriages, and I saw all three in the train as it was starting.’
    ‘We know how you brought out the cask to Mr. Felix’s about eight o’clock last night, and how, when you had left it there, you thought you’d go back and see what chances there were of getting hold of it again. We know how you hid the dray in a field close by, and then went back down the lane and waited to see if anything would turn up. We know how you learnt the house was empty and that after Mr. Felix left you brought the dray back. We know all about your getting over the wall with the barrel loader, and forcing the coach-house door with the wheel-cap wrench. You see, we know the whole thing, so there’s not the slightest use in your pretending ignorance.’
    ‘That is quite true,’ admitted the Chief, ‘but it didn’t seem to me so very important. The crucial point, to my mind, is the hour at which Boirac says he returned home—a few minutes past one. That is confirmed by Fran?ois and by Suzanne, and I think we may accept their statement. But we have a further rather convincing incident. You may recollect Boirac stated that when he was halfway home from the Gare Quai d’Orsay it began to rain? You very properly tried to check even so small a point by asking Fran?ois if his master’s coat was wet. He replied that it was. Now, I made inquiries, and I find that night was perfectly fine till almost one o’clock, when a thick, wetting rain began to fall. We know, therefore, quite definitely that Boirac was out until the time he said. Therefore he could not have done the deed before 1.15. Also, we know that he could not have done it after that hour, because the lady was gone, and also the butler and maid were about. Therefore, if Boirac did it at all, it must have been after that night.’


    1.‘Eh, what? What’s that you say?’
    2.‘He did, monsieur.’
    3.‘Certainly, monsieur. Will you step this way?’
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