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Unformatted text preview: me now, Mademoiselle, be
honest, was your father
really a Prince or a Grand Duke, or even
a General ?"
She laughed suddenly. She said:
"He drove a lorry in Leningrad!"
"Very good! And why should you not be
the wife of a garage hand in a country
village ? And have children as beautiful as
gods, and with feet, perhaps, that will dance
as you once danced."
Katrina caught her breath.
^But the whole idea is fantastic!"
Nevertheless," said Hercule Poirot with
great self-satisfaction,cc! believe it is going
to come true!"
THE ERYMANTHIAN BOAR
^ | ^HE accomplishment of the third
| Labour of Hercules having brought
JL him to Switzerland, Hercule Poirot
decided that being there, he might take advantage of the fact and visit certain
places which were up to now unknown to him.
He passed an agreeable couple of days at
Chamonix, lingered a day or two at
Montreux and then went on to Aldermatt,
a spot which he had heard various friends
Aldermatt, however, affected him unpleasantly.
It was at the end of a valley
with towering snow-peaked mountains
shutting it in. He felt, unreasonably, that
it was difficult to breathe.
"Impossible to remain here," said
Hercule Poirot to himself. It was at that
moment that he caught sight of a funicular
railway. "Decidedly, I must mount.w
The funicular, he discovered, ascended
first to Les Avines, then to Caurouchet and
finally to Rochers Neiges, ten thousand feet
above sea level.
Poirot did not propose mounting as high
as all that. Les Avines, he thought, would
be quite sufficiently his affair.
But here he reckoned without that
element of chance which plays so large a part in life. The funicular had started when
the conductor approached Poirot and demanded
his ticket. After he had inspected
it and punched it with a fearsome pair of
clippers, he returned it with a bow. At the
same time Poirot felt a small wad of paper
pressed into his hand with the ticket.
The eyebrows of Hercule Poirot rose a
little on his forehead. Presently, unostantatiously, without hurrying himself, he
smoothed out the wad of paper. It proved
to be a hurriedly scribbled note written in
Impossible (it ran) to mistake those moustaches
I I salute you, my dear colleague. If
you are willing, you can be of great assistance
to me. You have doubtless read of the ajfaire
Salley? The killer--Marrascaud--is believed
to have a rendezvous with some members
of his gang at Rochers Neiges -- of all
places in the world! Of course the whole
thing may be a blague -- but our information
is reliable -- there is always someone who
squeals, is there not ? So keep your eyes open, my friend. Get in touch with Inspector Drouet
who is on the spot. He is a sound man -- but he cannot pretend to the brilliance of Hercule
Poirot. It is important, my friend, that
Marrascaud should be taken -- and taken
alive. He is not a man -- he is a wild boar -one of the most dangerous killers alive today.
I did not risk...
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