Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

And that is that but they are greedy these birds of

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Unformatted text preview: ath certified as due to natural causes! It's just a question of bribing high enough -- and finding the right man -probably the Chief of Police!33 Harold smiled faintly. He said: "It's rather Comic Opera, isn't it ? Well, after all, we can but try.33 VI Mrs. Rice was energy personified. First the manager was summoned. Harold re228 mained in his room, keeping out of it. He and Mrs. Rice had agreed that the story told had better be that of a quarrel between husband and wife. Elsie's youth and prettiness would command more sympathy. On the following morning various police officials arrived and were shown up to Mrs. Rice's bedroom. They left at midday. Harold had wired for money but otherwise had taken no part in the proceedings -indeed he would have been unable to do so since none of these official personages spoke English. At twelve o'clock Mrs. Rice came to his room. She looked white and tired, but the relief on her face told its own story. She said simply: c<It'sworked /" "Thank heaven! You've really been marvellous! It seems incredible!" Mrs. Rice said thoughtfully: "By the ease with which it went, you might almost think it was quite normal. They practically held out their hands right away. It's -- it's rather disgusting, really!" Harold said dryly: "This isn't the moment to quarrel with 229 the corruption of the public services. How much ?" "The tariff's rather high.55 She read out a list of figures. The Chief of Police. The Commissaire. The Agent. The Doctor. The Hotel Manager. The Night Porter. Harold's comment was merely: "The night porter doesn't get much, does he ? I suppose it's mostly a question of gold lace." Mrs. Rice explained: "The manager stipulated that the death should not have taken place in his hotel at all. The official story will be that Philip had a heart attack in the train. He went along the corridor for air — you know how they always leave those doors open — and he fell out on the line. It's wonderful what the police can do when they try!5' "Well," said Harold. "Thank God our police force isn't like that." And in a British and superior mood he went down to lunch. 230 FR1;VII After lunch Harold usually joined Mrs. Rice and her daughter for coffee. He decided to make no change in his usual behaviour. This was the first time he had seen Elsie since the night before. She was very pale and was obviously still suffering from shock, but she made a gallant endeavour to behave as usual, uttering small commonplaces about the weather and the scenery. They commented on a new guest who had just arrived, trying to guess his nationality. Harold thought a moustache like that must be French--Elsie said German--and Mrs. Rice thought he might be Spanish. There was no one else but themselves on the terrace with the exception of the two Polish ladies who were sitting at the extreme end, both doing fancywork. As always when he saw them, Harold felt a queer shiver of apprehension p...
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