The Mysterious Affair at Styles
10. The Arrest
To my extreme annoyance, Poirot was not in, and the old Belgian who answered
my knock informed me that he believed he had gone to London.
I was dumbfounded. What on earth could Poirot be doing in London! Was it a
sudden decision on his part, or had he already made up his mind when he parted
from me a few hours earlier?
I retraced my steps to Styles in some annoyance. With Poirot away, I was
uncertain how to act. Had he foreseen this arrest? Had he not, in all probability,
been the cause of it? Those questions I could not resolve. But in the meantime
what was I to do? Should I announce the arrest openly at Styles, or not? Though
I did not acknowledge it to myself, the thought of Mary Cavendish was weighing
on me. Would it not be a terrible shock to her? For the moment, I set aside utterly
any suspicions of her. She could not be implicated--otherwise I should have
heard some hint of it.
Of course, there was no possibility of being able permanently to conceal Dr.
Bauerstein's arrest from her. It would be announced in every newspaper on the
morrow. Still, I shrank from blurting it out. If only Poirot had been accessible, I
could have asked his advice. What possessed him to go posting off to London in
this unaccountable way?
In spite of myself, my opinion of his sagacity was immeasurably heightened. I
would never have dreamt of suspecting the doctor, had not Poirot put it into my
head. Yes, decidedly, the little man was clever.
After some reflecting, I decided to take John into my confidence, and leave him
to make the matter public or not, as he thought fit.
He gave vent to a prodigious whistle, as I imparted the news.
"Great Scot! You were right, then. I couldn't believe it at the time."
"No, it is astonishing until you get used to the idea, and see how it makes
everything fit in. Now, what are we to do? Of course, it will be generally known to-
"Never mind," he said at last, "we won't say anything at present. There is no
need. As you say, it will be known soon enough."
But to my intense surprise, on getting down early the next morning, and eagerly
opening the newspapers, there was not a word about the arrest! There was a
column of mere padding about "The Styles Poisoning Case," but nothing further.
It was rather inexplicable, but I supposed that, for some reason or other, Japp
wished to keep it out of the papers. It worried me just a little, for it suggested the
possibility that there might be further arrests to come.
After breakfast, I decided to go down to the village, and see if Poirot had returned
yet; but, before I could start, a well-known face blocked one of the windows, and
the well-known voice said:
"Bon jour, mon ami!"