Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

3 the boy shuffled his feet he said awkwardly i

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Unformatted text preview: re ?" She went out and came back again immediately with paper and sticks. She knelt down in front of the big Victorian grate and began to lay a fire. Hercule Poirot continued to stamp his 102 feet, swing his arms and blow on his fingers. He was annoyed. His car -- an expensive Messarro Gratz--had not behaved with that mechanical perfection which he expected of a car. His chauffeur, a young man who enjoyed a handsome salary, had not succeeded in putting things right. The car had staged a final refusal in a secondary road a mile and a half from anywhere with a fall of snow beginning. Hercule Poirot, wearing his usual patent leather shoes, had been forced to walk that mile and a half to reach the riverside village of Hartly Dene -- a village which, though showing every sign of animation in summertime, was completely moribund in winter. The Black Swan had registered something like dismay at the arrival of a guest. The landlord had been almost eloquent as he pointed out that the local garage could supply a car in which the gentleman could continue his journey. Hercule Poirot repudiated the suggestion. His Latin thrift was offended. Hire a car ? He already had a car--a large car--an expensive car. In that car and no other he proposed to continue his journey back to 103 town. And in any case, even if repairs to it could be quickly effected, he was not going on in this snow until next morning. He demanded a room, a fire and a meal. Sighing, the landlord showed him to the room, sent the maid to supply the fire and then retired to discuss with his wife the problem of the meal. An hour later, his feet stretched out towards the comforting blaze, Hercule Poirot reflected leniently on the dinner he had just eaten. True, the steak had been both tough and full of gristle, the brusselssprouts had been large, pale, and definitely watery, the potatoes had had hearts of stone. Nor was there much to be said for the portion of stewed apple and custard which had followed. The cheese had been hard, and the biscuits soft. Nevertheless, thought Hercule Poirot, looking graciously at the leaping flames, and sipping delicately at a cup of liquid mud euphemistically called coffee, it was better to be full than empty, and after tramping snowbound lanes in patent leather shoes, to sit in front of a fire was Paradise! There was a knock on the door and the chambermaid appeared. 104 "Please, sir, the man from the garage is here and would like to see you." Hercule Poirot replied amiably: "Let him mount." The girl giggled and retired. Poirot reflected kindly that her account of him to her friends would provide entertainment for many winter days to come. There was another knock -- a different knock -- and Poirot called: "Come in." He looked up with approval at the young man who entered and stood there looking ill at ease, twisting his cap in his hands. Here, he thought, was one of the handsomest specimens of humanity he had ever seen, a simple young man with the outward semblance of a Greek god. The y...
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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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