Unformatted text preview: r you the place
where I found it — the Garden of Peace,
looking out over the Western Sea towards
a forgotten Paradise of Youth and Eternal
He spoke on, describing in simple words the remote charm of Inishgowlan.
Emery Power sat back, one hand over
his eyes. He said at last:
"I was born on the west coast of Ireland.
I left there as a boy to go to America."
Poirot said gently:
cc! heard that."
The financier sat up. His eyes were
shrewd again. He said, and there was a
faint smile on his lips:
"You are a strange man, M. Poirot.
You shall have your way. Take the goblet
to the Convent as a gift in my name. A
pretty costly gift. Thirty thousand pounds
— and what shall I get in exchange ?"
Poirot said gravely:
"The nuns will say Masses for your
The rich man's smile widened — a
rapacious, hungry smile. He said:
"So, after all, it may be an investment!
Perhaps, the best one I ever made. ..."
In the little parlour of the Convent,
Hercule Poirot told his story and restored the chalice to the Mother Superior.
"Tell him we thank him and we will
pray for him."
Hercule Poirot said gently:
"He needs your prayers."
"Is he then an unhappy man ?"
"So unhappy that he has forgotten what
happiness means. So unhappy that he does
not know he is unhappy."
The nun said softly:
"Ah, a nch man. ..."
Hercule Poirot said nothing—for he
knew there was nothing to say. ...
THE CAPTURE OF CERBERUS ERCULE POIROT, swaying to
and fro in the tube train, thrown
now against one body, now against
another, thought to himself that there were too many people in the world! Certainly
there were too many people in the Underground
world of London at this particular
moment (6.30 p.m.) of the evening. Heat,
noise, crowd, contiguity -- the unwelcome
pressure of hands, arms, bodies, shoulders!
Hemmed in and pressed around by
strangers -- and on the whole (he thought
distastefully) a plain and uninteresting lot
of strangers! Humanity seen thus en masse was not attractive. How seldom did one
see a face sparkling with intelligence, how seldom a femme bien mise\ What was
this passion that attacked women for
knitting under the most unpropitious conditions?
A woman did not look her best
knitting; the absorption, the glassy eyes,
the restless, busy fingers! One needed the
agility of a wild cat, and the willpower of a
Napoleon to manage to knit in a crowded
tube, but women managed it! If they
succeeded in obtaining a seat, out came a
miserable little strip of shrimp pink and
click, click went the pins!
No repose, thought Poirot, no feminine
grace! His elderly soul revolted from the stress and hurry of the modem world.
All these young women who surrounded
him--so alike, so devoid of charm, so
lacking in rich, alluring femininity! He
demanded a more flamboyant appeal. Ah!
to see sifemme du monde, chic, sympathetic, spirituelle--a woman with ample curves, a woman
ridiculously and extravagantly
dressed! Once there had been such women.
But now -- now -The...
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