Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

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Unformatted text preview: ty, is she not? People feel it." He excused himself as he went over to speak to someone at another table. Poirot, left alone with the severe Alice, felt slightly embarrassed as he met the cold blue of her eyes. He recognised that she was actually quite good-looking, but he found her distinctly alarming. "I do not yet know your last name,35 he murmured. "Cunningham. Dr. Alice Cunningham. You have known Vera in past days, I understand ?" "Twenty years ago it must be.35 "I find her a very interesting study,53 said Dr. Alice Cunningham. ''Naturally I am interested in her as the mother of the man I am going to marry, but I am interested in her from the professional standpoint as well.35 435 "Indeed ?" "Yes. I am writing a book on criminal psychology. I find the night life of this place very illuminating. We have several criminal types who come here regularly. I have discussed their early life with some of them. Of course you know all about Vera's criminal tendencies -- I mean that she steals ?35 "Why, yes -- I know that," said Poirot, slightly taken aback. "I call it the Magpie complex myself. She takes, you know, always glittering things. Never money. Always jewels. I find that as a child she was petted and indulged but very much shielded. Life was unendurably dull for her -- dull and safe. Her nature demanded drama--it craved for punishment. That is at the root of her indulgence in theft. She wants the importance, the notoriety of being punished}" Poirot objected, "Her life can surely not have been safe and dull as a member of the ancien regime in Russia during the Revolution ?" A look of faint amusement showed in Miss Cunningham^s pale blue eyes. "Ah," she said. "A member of the 436 ancien regime^ She has told you that?" "She is undeniably an aristocrat," said Poirot staunchly, fighting back certain uneasy memories of the wildly varying accounts of her early life told him by the Countess herself. "One believes what one wishes to believe," remarked Miss Cunningham, casting a professional eye on him. Poirot felt alarmed. In a moment, he felt, he would be told what was his complex. He decided to carry the war into the enemy's camp. He enjoyed the Countess RossakofTs society partly because of her aristocratic provenance, and he was not going to have his enjoyment spoiled by a spectacled little girl with boiled gooseberry eyes and a degree in psychology! "Do you know what I find astonishing ?" he asked. Alice Cunningham did not admit in so many words that she did not know. She contented herself with looking bored but indulgent. Poirot went on: "It amazes me that you--who are young, and who could look pretty if you took the trouble -- well, it amazes me that 437 you do not take the trouble! You wear the heavy coat and skirt with the big pockets as though you were going to play the game of golf. But it is not here the golf links, it is the u...
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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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