Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

oh it has no artistic merit i agree but it is a

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Unformatted text preview: ld's disappeared. It'll be in the papers this evening. Looks as though she's been kidnapped. Daughter of a Canon down at Cranchester. King, her name is, Winnie King." He proceeded with the story. Winnie had been on her way to Paris, to join that select and high-class establishment for English and American girls -Miss Pope's. Winnie had come up from Cranchester by the early train -- had been seen across London by a member of Elder Sisters Ltd. who undertook such work as seeing girls from one station to another, had been delivered at Victoria to Miss Burshaw, Miss Pope's second-in-command, and had then, in company with eighteen other girls, left Victoria by the boat train. Nineteen girls had crossed the channel, had passed through the customs at Calais, had got into the Paris train, had lunched in the restaurant car. But when, on the outskirts of Paris, Miss Burshaw had counted heads, it was discovered that only eighteen girls could be found! "Aha," Poirot nodded. "Did the train stop anywhere ?" "It stopped at Amiens, but at that time 329 the girls were in the restaurant car and they all say positively that Winnie was with them then. They lost her, so to speak, on the return journey to their compartments. That is to say, she did not enter her own compartment with the other five girls who were in it. They did not suspect anything was wrong, merely thought she was in one of the two other reserved carriages." Poirot nodded. "So she was last seen -- when exactly ?" "About ten minutes after the train left Amiens." Japp coughed modestly. "She was last seen -- er -- entering the Toilette." Poirot murmured: "Very natural." He went on: "There is nothing else ?" "Yes, one thing." Japp's face was grim. "Her hat was found by the side of the line -- at a spot approximately fourteen miles from Amiens." "But no body ?" "No body." Poirot asked: "What do you yourself think ?" "Difficult to know what to think! As 330 r there's no sign of her body—she can't have fallen off the train." "Did the train stop at all after leaving Amiens ?" "No. It slowed up once — for a signal, but it didn't stop, and I doubt if it slowed up enough for anyone to have jumped off without injury. You're thinking that the kid got a panic and tried to run away ? It was her first term and she might have been homesick, that's true enough, but all the same she was fifteen and a half— a sensible age, and she'd been in quite good spirits all the journey, chattering away and all that." Poirot asked: "Was the train searched ?" "Oh yes, they went right through it before it arrived at the Nord station. The girl wasn't on the train, that's quite certain." Japp added in an exasperated manner: "She just disappeared—into thin air! It doesn't make sense, M. Poirot. It's crazy!" "What kind of a girl was she ?"...
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