Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

at other times i think it would only make things

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Unformatted text preview: 3' He went towards the door. Hercule Poirot said: "I regret it also. Your case interests me. I would like to have helped you. But I cannot do anything unless I am told the whole truth." "I have told you the truth." "No...." Dr. Oldfield stopped. He wheeled round. "Why do you insist that there is a woman concerned in this ?" "Mon cher docteur I Do you not think I know the female mentality ? The village gossip, it is based always, always on the relations of the sexes. If a man poisons his wife in order to travel to the North Pole or to enjoy the peace of a bachelor 64 existence — it would not interest his fellowvillagers for a minute! It is because they are convinced that the murder has been committed in order that the man may marry another woman that the talk grows and spreads. That is elemental psychology.5' Oldfield said irritably: "I'm not responsible for what a pack of damned gossiping busybodies think!" "Of course you are not." Poirotwenton: "So you might as well come back and sit down and give me the answer to the question I asked you just now." Slowly, almost reluctantly, Oldfield came back and resumed his seat. He said, colouring up to his eyebrows: "I suppose it's possible that they've been saying things about Miss Moncrieffe. Jean Moncrieffe is my dispenser, a very fine girl indeed." "How long has she worked for you ?" "For three years." "Did your wife like her ?" "Er — well, no, not exactly." "She was jealous ?" "It was absurd!" Poirot smiled. 65 He said: "The jealousy of wives is proverbial. But I will tell you something. In my experience jealousy, however far-fetched and extravagant it may seem, is nearly always based on reality. There is a saying, is there not, that the customer is always right? Well, the same is true of the jealous husband or wife. However little concrete evidence there may be, fundamentally they are always right." Dr. Oldfield said robustly: "Nonsense. I've never said anything to Jean Moncrieffe that my wife couldn't have overheard." "That, perhaps. But it does not alter the truth of what I said." Hercule Poirot leaned forward. His voice was urgent, compelling. "Doctor Oldfield, I am going to do my utmost in this case. But I must have from you the most absolute frankness without regard to conventional appearances or to your own feelings. It is true, is it not, that you had ceased to care for your wife for some time before she died ?" Oldfield was silent for a minute or two. Then he said: "This business is killing me. I must 66 have hope. Somehow or other I feel that you will be able to do something for me. I will be honest with you, M. Poirot. I did not care deeply for my wife. I made her, I think, a good husband, but I was never really in love with her." "And this girl, Jean?" The perspiration came out in a fine dew on...
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This note was uploaded on 07/28/2011 for the course LITERATURE 101 taught by Professor Agathachristie during the Spring '11 term at Heritage.

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