Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

he leaned still a little further forward his finger

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Unformatted text preview: le Samoushenka, the exquisite dancer? Ah! she was the real thing, that little one." He kissed his fingertips. "What fire -- what abandon! She would have gone far--she would have been the Premiere Ballerina of her day -- and then suddenly it all ends -- she creeps away -- to the end of the world -- and soon, ah! so soon, they forget her." 123 "Where is she then ?" demanded Poirot. "In Switzerland. At Vagray les Alpes. It is there that they go, those who have the little dry cough and who grow thinner and thinner. She will die, yes, she will die! She has a fatalistic nature. She will surely die." Poirot coughed to break the tragic spell. He wanted information. "You do not, by chance, remember a maid she had? A maid called Nita Valetta ?" "Valetta? Valetta? I remember seeing a maid once — at the station when I was seeing Katrina off to London. She was an Italian from Pisa, was she not ? Yes, I am sure she was an Italian who came from Pisa." Hercule Poirot groaned. "In that case," he said, "I must now journey to Pisa." VII Hercule Poirot stood in the Campo Santo at Pisa and looked down on a grave. So it was here that his quest had come to an end — here by this humble mound of earth. Underneath it lay the joyous 124 creature who had stirred the heart and imagination of a simple English mechanic. Was this perhaps the best end to that sudden strange romance? Now the girl would live always in the young man's memory as he had seen her for those few enchanted hours of a June afternoon. The clash of opposing nationalities, of different standards, the pain of disillusionment, all that was ruled out for ever. Hercule Poirot shook his head sadly. His mind went back to his conversation with the Valetta family. The mother, with her broad peasant face, the upright griefstricken father, the dark hard-lipped sister. "It was sudden. Signer, it was very sudden. Though for many years she had had pains on and off. . . . The doctor gave us no choice--he said there must be an operation immediately for the appendicitis. He took her off to the hospital then and there.... Si, siy it was under the anaesthetic she died. She never recovered consciousness." The mother sniffed, murmuring: "Bianca was always such a clever girl. It is terrible that she should have died so young. ..." 125 Hercule Poirot repeated to himself: "She died young...." That was the message he must take back to the young man who had asked his help so confidingly. ^She is not for you, my friend. She died young.59 His quest had ended -- here where the leaning Tower was silhouetted against the sky and the first spring flowers were showing pale and creamy with their promise of life and joy to come. Was it the stirring of spring that made him feel so rebelliously disinclined to accept this final verdict ? Or was it something else ? Something stirring at the back of his brain -- words -- a phrase -- a name? Did not the whole thing finish too n...
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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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