8. Further Surprising Revelations
“Nothing would surprise me now,” said M. Bouc.
“Nothing! Even if everybody in the train proved to have been in the Armstrong household, I should not express surprise.”
“That is a very profound remark,” said Poirot. “Would you like to see what your favorite suspect, the Italian, has to say for himself?”
“You are going to make another of these famous guesses of yours?”
“It is really amost extraordinary case,” said Constantine.
“No, it is most natural.”
M. Bouc flung up his arms in comic despair. “If this is what you call natural, mon ami -” Words failed him.
Poirot had by this time requested the dining-car attendant to fetch Antonio Foscarelli.
The big Italian had a wary look in his eye as he came in. He shot nervous glances from side to side like a trapped animal.
“What do you want!” he said. “I have nothing more to tell you-nothing, do you hear? Per Dio -” He struck his hand on the table.
“Yes, you have something more to tell us,” said Poirot firmly. “The truth!”
“The truth?” He shot an uneasy glance at Poirot. All the assurance and geniality had gone out of his manner.
“Mais oui. It may be that I know it already. But it will be a point in your favour if it comes from you spontaneously.”
“You talk like the American police. ‘Come clean’-that is what they say-‘come clean.’ “
“Ah! so you have had experience of the New York police?”
“No, no, never. They could not prove a thing against me-but it was not for want of trying.”
Poirot said quietly: “That was in the Armstrong case, was it not? You were the chauffeur?”
His eyes met those of the Italian. The bluster went
out of the big man. He was like a pricked balloon.
“Since you know-why ask me?”
“Why did you lie this morning?”
“Business reasons. Besides, I do not trust the Jugo-Slav police. They hate the Italians. They would not have given me justice.”
“Perhaps it is exactly justice that theywould have given you!”
“No, no, I had nothing to do with this business last night. I never left my carriage. The long-faced Englishman, he can tell you so. It was not I who killed this pig-this Ratchett. You cannot prove anything against me.”
Poirot was writing something on a sheet of paper. He looked up and said quietly: “Very good. You can go.”
Foscarelli lingered uneasily. “You realise that it was not I? That I could have had nothing to do with it!”
“I said that you could go.”
“It is a conspiracy. You are going to frame me? All for a pig of a man who should have gone to the chair! It was an infamy that he did not. If it had been me-if I had been arrested-“
“But it was not you. You had nothing to do with the kidnapping of the child.”
“What is that you are saying? Why, that little one-she was the delight of the house. Tonio, she called me. And she would sit in the car and pretend to hold the wheel. All the household worshipped her! Even the police came to understand that. Ah, the beautiful little one!”
His voice had softened. The tears came into his eyes. Then he wheeled round abruptly on his heel and strode out of the dining-car.
“Pietro,” called Poirot.
The dining-car attendant came at a run.
“The No. 10-the Swedish lady.”
“Another?” cried M. Bouc. “Ah, no-it is not possible. I tell you it is not possible.”
“Mon cher – we have toknow. Even if in the end everybody on the train proves to have had a motive for killing Ratchett, we have to know.