“My dear man,” Lombard shrugged eloquent shoulders. “How was I to know that last night wasn’t exactly the eventuality I was here to cope with? I lay low and told an noncommittal story.”… Lombard’s face changed. It darkened and hardened. He said: “…I believe now that I’m in the same boat as the rest of you. That hundred guineas was just Mr. Owen’s little bit of cheese to get me into the trap along with the rest of you.”

Rogers went around the table collecting the meat plates. Suddenly, with the plates held in his hands, he stopped. He said in an odd scared voice: “There’s somebody running….” They could all hear it, running—running feet along the terrace. In that minute, they knew—knew without being told….

My point is that there can be no exceptions allowed on the score of character, position, or probability. What we must now examine is the possibility of eliminating one or more persons on the facts. To put it simply, is there among us one or more persons who could not possibly have administered either cyanide to Anthony Marston, or an overdose of sleeping draught to Mrs. Rogers, and who had no opportunity of striking the blow that killed General Macarthur?

Into this relaxed atmosphere came Rogers. And Rogers was upset. He said nervously and at random: “Excuse me, sir, but does any one know what’s become of the bathroom curtain?” Lombard’s head went up with a jerk…. “It’s gone, sir, clean vanished. I was going round drawing all the curtains and the one in the lav—bathroom wasn’t there any longer.”