Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

and your fiance has not reached that stage diana

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Unformatted text preview: ass over him. Those still faces, those curved beaks of noses, those long claw-like hands. . . . A page boy approached and told Mrs. LOH16 231 Rice she was wanted. She rose and followed him. At the entrance to the hotel they saw her encounter a police official in full uniform. Elsie caught her breath. "You don't think—anything's gone wrong ?" Harold reassured her quickly. "Oh no, no, nothing of that kind." But he himself knew a sudden pang of fear. He said: "Your mother's been wonderful!" "I know. Mother is a great fighter. She'll never sit down under defeat." Elsie shivered. "But it is all horrible, isn't it ?" "Now, don't dwell on it. It's all over and done with." Elsie said in a low voice: "I can't forget that — that it was I who killed him." Harold said urgently: "Don't think of it that way. It was an accident. You know that really." Her face grew a little happier. Harold added: "And anyway it's past. The past is 232 •r the past. Try never to think of it again.55 Mrs. Rice came back. By the expression on her face they saw that all was well. "It gave me quite a fright/5 she said almost gaily. "But it was only a formality about some papers. Everything's all right, my children. We're out of the shadow. I think we might order ourselves a liqueur on the strength of it." The liqueur was ordered and came. They raised their glasses. Mrs. Rice said: "To the Future!" Harold smiled at Elsie and said: "To your happiness!" She smiled back at him and said as she lifted her glass: "And to you — to your success! I'm sure you're going to be a very great man." With the reaction from fear they felt gay, almost light-headed. The shadow had lifted! All was well. . . From the far end of the terrace the two bird-like women rose. They rolled up their work carefully. They came across the stone flags. With little bows they sat down by Mrs. Rice. One of them began to speak. The 233 other one let her eyes rest on Elsie and Harold. There was a little smile on her lips. It was not, Harold thought, a nice smile. . . . He looked over at Mrs. Rice. She was listening to the Polish woman and though he couldn't understand a word, the expression on Mrs. Rice's face was clear enough. All the old anguish and despair came back. She listened and occasionally spoke a brief word. Presently the two sisters rose, and with stiff little bows went into the hotel. Harold leaned forward. He said hoarsely: ^What is it ?39 Mrs. Rice answered him in the quiet hopeless tones of despair. "Those women are going to blackmail us. They heard everything last night. And now we^ve tried to hush it ups it makes the whole thing a thousand times worse. ..." VIII Harold Waring was down by the lake. He had been walking feverishly for over an hour, trying by sheer physical energy to still the clamour of despair that had attacked him. 234 He came at last to the spot wher...
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