Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

35 inspector hearn nodded thats a good point sir thats

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Unformatted text preview: s so easily done—so hard to undo. The person who deliberately profits from the degradation and misery of other people is a vampire preying on flesh and blood." He turned away. Behind him he heard Pam Grant's voice say: "Sheila!" and caught a whisper—a faint whisper— from Sheila Grant. It was so low he hardly heard it. "The flask . . ." Hercule Poirot said good-bye to Mrs. Larkin and went out into the hall. On the hall table was a hunting flask lying with a crop and a hat. Poirot picked it up. There were initials on it: A.H. Poirot murmured to himself: "Tony's flask is empty ?" He shook it gently. There was no sound of liquor. He unscrewed the top. Tony Hawker's flask was not empty. It was full — of white powder. . . . VI Hercule Poirot stood on the terrace of Lady CarmichaeFs house and pleaded with a girl. He said: 319 "You are very young. Mademoiselle. It is my belief that you have not known, not really known, what it is you and your sisters have been doing. You have been feeding, like the mares of Diomedes, on human flesh.3' Sheila shuddered and gave a sob. She said: "It sounds horrible, put like that. And yet it's true! I never realised it until that evening in London when Dr. Stoddart talked to me. He was so grave — so sincere. I saw then what an awful thing it was I had been doing. . . . Before that I thought it was— Oh! rather like drink after hours — something people would pay to get, but not something that really mattered very much!" Poirot said: "And now ?" Sheila Grant said: "I'll do anything you say. I — I'll talk to the others," she added. ... "I don't suppose Dr. Stoddart will ever speak to me again. . . ." "On the contrary," said Poirot. "Both Dr. Stoddart and I are prepared to help you in every way in our power to start 320 afresh. You can trust us. But one thing must be done. There is one person who must be destroyed--destroyed utterly, and only you and your sisters can destroy him. It is your evidence and your evidence alone that will convict him.33 "You mean -- my father ?33 "Not your father. Mademoiselle. Did I not tell you that Hercule Poirot knows everything? Your photograph was easily recognised in official quarters. You are Sheila Kelly--a persistent young shoplifter who was sent to a reformatory some years ago. When you came out of that reformatory, you were approached by the man who calls himself General Grant and offered this post -- the post of a 'daughter'. There would be plenty of money, plenty of fun, a good time. All you had to do was to introduce the 'snuff' to your friends, always pretending that someone else had given it to you. Your 'sisters' were in the same case as yourself.33 He paused and said: "Come now. Mademoiselle--this man must be exposed and sentenced. After that --33 "Yes, afterwards ?33 321 Poirot coughed. He said with a smile: "You shall be dedicated to the service of the Gods. ..." VII Michael Stoddart stared at Poirot in amazement. He said: "General Grant ? General Grant ?&quot...
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