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    百家精英高‘As the door closed, a furious passion of hate burned up in me for this woman who had ruined my life—who had not only ruined it, but who was still blocking out any chance of happiness I might have had. And also I furiously and jealously hated Felix for being the cause, however innocent, of my loss. And then suddenly I felt as if—perhaps I should say I felt that—a devil had entered and taken possession of me. I became deadly cold and I had the strange feeling that I myself was not really there, but that I was watching some one else. I slipped out my key, noiselessly opened the door, and followed my wife into the drawing-room. Her calm, nonchalant walk across the room roused me to still wilder fury. How well I knew her every motion. This was the way she would have turned to greet me when I arrived from the works, with cold politeness—when it might have been so different. . . .


    ‘I will tell you, monsieur. He first called up some one that I took to be his valet, and said he was going unexpectedly to Belgium, and that he wanted something left at the Gare du Nord for him—I did not catch what it was. Then he called up some other place and gave the same message, simply that he was going to Belgium for a couple of days. That was all, monsieur.’
    ‘Quite so,’ cried Lefarge eagerly, ‘it all works in. I believe we are beginning to see light. And we must not forget Suzanne’s evidence about the note. It is clear Madame and Felix had an understanding for that night. At least, we know of messages passing between them and the reply of Felix points to an assignation.’
    ‘I can tell you that because I book off duty at 5.15, and I waited five minutes after that to finish the business. He left at 5.20 exactly.’


    1.‘Ah, of course,’ rejoined M. Thévenet. ‘There is, then, really such a man? I rather doubted it at the time, you know, for our advice card of the despatch of the cask was returned marked, “Not known,” and I then looked him up in the London directory and could not find him. Of course, as far as we were concerned, we had the money and it did not matter to us.’
    2.‘Sawdust,’ returned the other, in a pleased and important tone. ‘See here,’—he traced a circle on the floor—‘sawdust has been spilled over all this, and there’s where the cask stood beside it. I tell you, Burnley, mark my words, we are on to it now. That’s where the cask stood while Felix, or Boirac, or both of them together, packed the body into it.’
    3.But as he thought over it he saw that this was indeed far from being the fact. There was still the alibi. As long as that stood, a clever counsel would insist on Boirac’s innocence. To a jury the thing would be conclusive. And this ex-policeman’s evidence could be discredited. In fact, the very thing that had enabled them to get hold of it—the man’s dislike of the official force—would minimise its value. It would be argued that Hill had invented the scar to upset the police case. By itself, a jury might not accept this suggestion, but the alibi would give it weight, in fact, would make it the only acceptable theory.
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