Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

yes said poirot you are certainly frank she gave the

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Unformatted text preview: s there any way out of this nightmare ?" "There is always a way," said Hercule Poirot. II "We are going into the country, Georges," said Hercule Poirot to his valet. "Indeed, sir?" said the imperturbable George. "And the purpose of our journey is to destroy a monster with nine heads." "Really, sir? Something after the style of the Loch Ness Monster ?" "Less tangible than that. I did not refer to a flesh and blood animal, Georges." "I misunderstood you, sir." "It would be easier if it were one. There is nothing so intangible, so difficult to pin down, as the source of a rumour." "Oh yes, indeed, sir. It's difficult to know how a thing starts sometimes." "Exactly." Hercule Poirot did not put up at Dr. 68 Oldfield's house. He went instead to the local inn. The morning after his arrival, he had his first interview with Jean Moncrieffe. She was a tall girl with copper-coloured hair and steady blue eyes. She had about her a watchful look, as of one who is upon her guard. She said: "So Doctor Oldfield did go to you . . . I knew he was thinking about it." There was a lack of enthusiasm in her tone. Poirotsaid: "And you did not approve ?" Her eyes met his. She said coldly: "What can you do?" Poirot said quietly: "There might be a way of tackling the situation." "What way?" She threw the words at him scornfully. "Do you mean to go round to all the whispering old women and say 'Really, please, you must stop talking like this. It's so bad for poor Doctor Oldfield.9 And they'd answer you and say: "Of course, / have never believed the story!" That's the worst of the whole thing -- they don't 69 say: 'My dear, has it ever occurred to you that perhaps Mrs. Oldfield's death wasn't quite what it seemed ?' No, they say: 'My dear, of course I don't believe that story about Doctor Oldfield and his wife. I'm sure he wouldn't do such a thing, though it's true that he did neglect her just a little perhaps and I don't think, really it's quite wise to have quite a young girl as his dispenser -- of course, I'm not saying for a minute that there was anything wrong between them. Oh no, I'm sure it was quite all right. . . .' " She stopped. Her face was flushed and her breath came rather fast. Hercule Poirot said: "You seem to know very well just what is being said." Her mouth closed sharply. She said bitterly: "I know all right!" "And what is your own solution ?" Jean Moncrieffe said: "The best thing for him to do is to sell his practice and start again somewhere else." "Don't you think the story might follow him?" 70 She shrugged her shoulders. "He must risk that." Poirot was silent for a minute or two. Then he said: "Are you going to marry Doctor Oldfield, Miss Moncrieffe ?" She displayed no surprise at the question. She said shortly: "He hasn...
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