Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

He went instead to the local inn the morning after

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Unformatted text preview: the doctor's forehead. He said: cc! -- I should have asked her to marry me before now if it weren't for all this scandal and talk." Poirot sat back in his chair. He said: "Now at last we have come to the true facts! Eh bien, Doctor Oldfield, I will take up your case. But remember this -- it is the truth that I shall seek out." Oldfield said bitterly: "It isn't the truth that's going to hurt me!" He hesitated and said: "You know, I've contemplated the possibility of an action for slander! If I could pin anyone down to a definite accusation -- surely then I should be vindicated ? At least, sometimes I think so. ... At other times I think it would only make things worse -- give bigger publicity to the whole 67 He said: "The jealousy of wives is proverbial. But I will tell you something. In my experience jealousy, however far-fetched and extravagant it may seem, is nearly always based on reality. There is a saying, is there not, that the customer is always right? Well, the same is true of the jealous husband or wife. However little concrete evidence there may be, fundamentally they are always right." Dr. Oldfield said robustly: "Nonsense. I've never said anything to Jean Moncrieffe that my wife couldn't have overheard." "That, perhaps. But it does not alter the truth of what I said." Hercule Poirot leaned forward. His voice was urgent, compelling. "Doctor Oldfield, I am going to do my utmost in this case. But I must have from you the most absolute frankness without regard to conventional appearances or to your own feelings. It is true, is it not, that you had ceased to care for your wife for some time before she died ?" Oldfield was silent for a minute or two. Then he said: "This business is killing me. I must 66 have hope. Somehow or other I feel that you will be able to do something for me. I will be honest with you, M. Poirot. I did not care deeply for my wife. I made her, I think, a good husband, but I was never really in love with her." "And this girl, Jean ?" The perspiration came out in a fine dew on the doctor's forehead. He said: (c! -- I should have asked her to marry me before now if it weren't for all this scandal and talk." Poirot sat back in his chair. He said: "Now at last we have come to the true facts! Eh bien, Doctor Oldfield, I will take up your case. But remember this -- it is the truth that I shall seek out." Oldfield said bitterly: "It isn't the truth that's going to hurt me!" He hesitated and said: "You know, I've contemplated the possibility of an action for slander! If I could pin anyone down to a definite accusation -- surely then I should be vindicated ? At least, sometimes I think so. . . .At other times I think it would only make things worse -- give bigger publicity to the whole 67 thing and have people saying: 'It mayn't have been proved but there's no smoke without fire: " He looked at Poirot. "Tell me, honestly, i...
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