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Unformatted text preview: and it appeals far more
than any mere political chicanery or fraud.
"Eh bien^ that was my task! First to put
my own hands in the mud like Hercules
to build up a dam that should turn the
course of that river. A journalistic friend
of mine aided me. He searched Denmark
until he found a suitable person to attempt
the impersonation. He approached her, casually mentioned the X-ray News to her, hoping she would
remember it. She did.
"And so, what happened? Mud--a
great deal of mud! Caesar's wife is bespattered
with it. Far more interesting to
everybody than any political scandal. And
the result--the denouement? Why, Reaction
I Virtue vindicated! The pure woman
cleared! A great tide of Romance and
Sentiment sweeping through the Augean
"If all the newspapers in the country
publish the news of John Hammett's defalcations now, no one will believe it. It
will be put down as another political plot
to discredit the Government."
Edward Ferrier took a deep breath. For
a moment Hercule Poirot came nearer to
being physically assaulted than at any other
time in his career.
"My wife! You dared to use her -- 33
Fortunately, perhaps, Mrs. Ferrier herself
entered the room at this moment.
"Well,33 she said. "That went off very
"Dagmar, did you -- know all along ?33
"Of course, dear,33 said Dagmar Ferrier.
And she smiled, the gentle, maternal
smile of a devoted wife.
"And you never told me!33
"But, Edward, you would never have
let M. Poirot do it.33
"Indeed I would not!33
"That's what we thought.33
"I and M. Poirot.33 She smiled at Hercule Poirot and at her
"I had a very restful time with the dear
Bishop -- I feel full of energy now. They
want me to christen the new battleship at
Liverpool next month -- I think it would
be a popular thing to do.33
THE STYMPHALEAN BIRDS
AROLD WARING noticed Them
first walking up the path from the
lake. He was sitting outside the
hotel on the terrace. The day was fine, the
lake was blue, and the sun shone. Harold
was smoking a pipe and feeling that the
world was a pretty good place.
His political career was shaping well.
An under-secretaryship at the age of thirty
was something to be justly proud of. It
had been reported that the Prime Minister
had said to someone that "young Waring
would go far". Harold was, not unnaturally,
elated. Life presented itself to him in rosy colours. He was young, sufficiently goodlooking,
in first-class condition, and quite
unencumbered with romantic ties.
He had decided to take a holiday in
Herzoslovakia so as to get right off the
beaten track and have a real rest from everyone
and everything. The hotel at Lake
Stempka, though small, was comfortable
and not overcrowded. The few people there
were mostly foreigners. So far the only
other English people were an elderly
woman, Mrs. Rice, and her married daughter,
Mrs. Clayton. Harold liked them both.
Elsie Clayton was pretty in a rather oldfashioned
style. S?he made up very...
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