Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

It could roam at will over the whole universe she

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Unformatted text preview: A. Miss Camaby clasped her hands fervently round her handbag and leaned forward, peering anxiously into Poirot's face. As usual, she sounded breathless. Hercule Poirot's eyebrows rose. She said anxiously: "You do remember me, don't you ?" Hercule Poirot's eyes twinkled. He said: "I remember you as one of the most successful criminals that I have ever encountered!" "Oh dear me, M. Poirot, must you really say such things ? You were so kind to me. Emily and I often talk about you, and if we see anything about you in the paper we cut it out at once and paste it in a book. As for Augustus, we have taught him a new trick. We say, "Die for Sherlock Holmes, 353 die for Mr. Fortune, die for Sir Henry Merrivale, and then die for M. Hercule Poirot' and he goes down and lies like a log—lies absolutely still without moving until we say the word!39 "I am gratified,5' said Poirot. "And how is ce cher Auguste ?35 Miss Camaby clasped her hands and became eloquent in praise of her Pekinese. "Oh, M. Poirot, he's cleverer than ever. He knows everything. Do you know, the other day I was just admiring a baby in a pram and suddenly I felt a tug and there was Augustus trying his hardest to bite through his lead. Wasn't that clever ?33 Poirot's eyes twinkled. He said: "It looks to me as though Augustus shared these criminal tendencies we were speaking of just now!33 Miss Camaby did not laugh. Instead, her nice plump face grew worried and sad. She said in a kind of gasp: "Oh, M. Poirot. I'm so worried3'1 Poirot said kindly: "What is it ?" "Do you know, M. Poirot, I'm afraid — I really am afraid—that I must be a hardened criminal—if I may use such a term. Ideas come to me!" 354 "What kind of ideas ?" "The most extraordinary ideas! For instance, yesterday, a really most practical scheme for robbing a post office came into my head. I wasn't thinking about it--it just came! And another very ingenious way for evading custom duties. ... I feel convinced -- quite convinced -- that it would work.33 "It probably would," said Poirot dryly. "That is the danger of your ideas." "It has worried me, M. Poirot, very much. Having been brought up with strict principles, as I have been, it is most disturbing that such lawless -- such really wicked--ideas should come to me. The trouble is partly, I think, that I have a good deal of leisure time now. I have left Lady Hoggin and I am engaged by an old lady to read to her and to write her letters every day. The letters are soon done and the moment I begin reading she goes to sleep, so I am left just sitting there -- with an idle mind -- and we all know the use the devil has for idleness.35 "Tcha, tcha," said Poirot. "Recently I have read a book -- a very 355 modem book, translated from the German. It throws a most interesting light on criminal tendencies. One must, so I understand, sublimate one's impulses! Tha...
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