Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

53 said colonel frobisher he spoke in a low voice

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Unformatted text preview: is head. He said: "Mats non! I strive only to follow the example of my great predecessor, Hercules. Have a few hours' patience, my friend. By tomorrow I may be able to deliver you from your persecutors.55 IX Harold Waring came down the following morning to find Hercule Poirot sitting alone on the terrace. In spite of himself Harold had been impressed by Hercule Poirot's promises. He came up to him now and asked anxiously: "Well ?55 Hercule Poirot beamed upon him. "It is well.55 "What do you mean ?55 "Everything has settled itself satisfactorily.55 "But what has happened?" Hercule Poirot replied dreamily: "I have employed the castanets of bronze. Or, in modern parlance, I have caused metal wires to hum--in short 238 I have employed the telegraph! Your Stymphalean Birds, Monsieur, have been removed to where they will be unable to exercise their ingenuity for some time to come.55 "They were wanted by the police ? They have been arrested ?55 "Precisely.55 Harold drew a deep breath. "How marvellous! I never thought of that.55 He got up. "I must find Mrs. Rice and Elsie and tell them.55 "They know.55 "Oh good.55 Harold sat down again. "Tell me just what -- 55 He broke off. Coming up the path from the lake were two figures with flapping cloaks and profiles like birds. He exclaimed: "I thought you said they had been taken away!55 Hercule Poirot followed his glance. "Oh, those ladies ? They are very harmless, Polish ladies of good family, as the porter told you. Their appearance is, perhaps, not very pleasing but that is all.55 "But I don't understand^ I 239 "No, you do not understand! It is the other ladies who were wanted by the police --the resourceful Mrs. Rice and the lachrymose Mrs. Clayton! It is they who are well-known birds of prey. Those two, they make their living by blackmail, mon cher" Harold had a sensation of the world spinning round him. He said faintly: "But the man--the man who was killed ?" "No one was killed. There was no man!3' "But I saw him!53 "Oh no. The tall deep-voiced Mrs. Rice is a very successful male impersonator. It was she who played the part of the husband -- without her grey wig and suitably made up for the part." He leaned forward and tapped the other on the knee. "You must not go through life being too credulous, my friend. The police of a country are not so easily bribed--they are probably not to be bribed at all-certainly not when it is a question of murder! These women trade on the average Englishman's ignorance of foreign 240 languages. Because she speaks French or German, it is always this Mrs. Rice who interviews the manager and takes charge of the affair. The police arrive and go to her room, yes! But what actually passes? You do not know. Perhaps she says she has lost a brooch—something of that kind. Any excuse to arrange for the police to come so that you shall see them. For the rest, what ac...
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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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