Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

He had been walking feverishly for over an hour

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Unformatted text preview: the shock. Mr. Waring, a terrible thing has happened." Harold asked: "Is Clayton seriously injured ?" She caught her breath. "Worse than that. He's dead...." V The room spun round. A feeling as of icy water trickling down 222 his spine rendered Harold incapable of speech for a moment or two. He repeated dully: "ZW?" Mrs. Rice nodded. She said, and her voice had the flat level tones of complete exhaustion: "The corner of that marble paperweight caught him right on the temple and he fell back with his head on the iron fender. I don't know which it was that killed him--but he is certainly dead. I have seen death often enough to know.53 Disaster -- that was the word that rang insistently in Harold's brain. Disaster, disaster, disaster.... He said vehemently: "It was an accident.... I saw it happen." Mrs. Rice said sharply: "Of course it was an accident. / know that. But--but--is any one else going to think so ? I'm -- frankly, I'm frightened, Harold! This isn't England.35 Harold said slowly: cc! can confirm Elsie's story." Mrs. Rice said: "Yes, and she can confirm yours. That --that is just it!" 223 Harol(Ts brain, naturally a keen and cautious one, saw her point. He reviewed the whole thing and appreciated the weakness of their position. He and Elsie had spent a good deal of their time together. Then there was the fact that they had been seen together in the pinewoods by one of the Polish women under rather compromising circumstances. The Polish ladies apparently spoke no English, but they might nevertheless understand it a little. The woman might have known the meaning of words like ^jealously" and "husband" if she had chanced to overhear their conversation. Anyway it was clear that it was something she had said to Clayton that had aroused his jealousy. And now -- his death. When Clayton had died, he, Harold, had been in Elsie Clayton^s room. There was nothing to show that he had not deliberately assaulted Philip Clayton with the paperweight. Nothing to show that the jealous husband had not actually found them together. There was only his word and Elsie's. Would they be believed ? A cold fear gripped him. He did not imagine -- no, he really did 224 not imagine -- that either he or Elsie was in danger of being condemned to death for a murder they had not committed. Surely, in any case, it could only be a charge of manslaughter brought against them. (Did they have manslaughter in these foreign countries ?) But even if they were acquitted of blame there would have to be an inquiry -- it would be reported in all the papers. An English man and woman accused--jealous husband--rising politician. Yes, it would mean the end of his political career. It would never survive a scandal like that. He said on an impulse: "Can't we get rid of the body somehow ? Plant it somewhere ?" Mrs. Rice's astonished and scornful look made him blush. She said incisively: "My dear Harold,...
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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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