Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

It seemed a fantastic place to choose as the

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Unformatted text preview: out about him. She was an odious girl--inquisitive, always prying into letters and locked drawers." Poirot murmured: "Then that explains that." He paused a minute, then he went on, still persistent: "Juanita^s other name was Valetta and 129 she died of an operation for appendicitis in Pisa. Is that correct ?" He noted the hesitation, hardly perceptible but nevertheless there, before the dancer bowed her head. "Yes, that is right. ..." Poirot said meditatively: "And yet -- there is still a little point -her people spoke of her, not as Juanita but as Bianca." Katrina shrugged her thin shoulders. She said: "Bianca -- Juanita, does it matter ? I suppose her real name was Bianca but she thought the name of Juanita was more romantic and so chose to call herself by it." "Ah, you think that?" He paused and then, his voice changing, he said: "For me, there is another explanation." "What is it ?" Poirot leaned forward. He said: "The girl that Ted Williamson saw had hair that he described as being like wings of gold." He leaned still a little further forward. His finger just touched the two springing waves of Katrina's hair. "Wings of gold, horns of gold ? It is as you look at it, it is whether one sees you as 130 devil or as angel! You might be either. Or are they perhaps only the golden horns of the stricken deer ?" Katrina murmured: "The stricken deer. ..." and her voice was the voice of one without hope. Poirot said: "All along Ted Williamson's description has worried me -- it brought something to my mind -- that something was you, dancing on your twinkling bronze feet through the forest. Shall I tell you what / think, Mademoiselle? I think there was a week when you had no maid, when you went down alone to Grasslawn, for Bianca Valetta had returned to Italy and you had not yet engaged a new maid. Already you were feeling the illness which has since overtaken you, and you stayed in the house one day when the others went on an all day excursion on the river. There was a ring at the door and you went to it and you saw -- shall I tell you what you saw ? You saw a young man who was as simple as a child and as handsome as a god! And you invented for him a girl -- v^otJuanita -- but Incognita--and for a few hours you walked with him in Arcady. . . .3' i3i There was a long pause. Then Katrina said in a low hoarse voice: "In one thing at least I have told you the truth. I have given you the right end to the story. Nita will die young." "Ah non!" Hercule Poirot was transformed. He struck his hand on the table. He was suddenly prosaic, mundane, practical. He said: "It is quite unnecessary! You need not die. You can fight for your life, can you not, as well as another ?" She shook her head--sadly, hopelessly -"What life is there for me ?" "Not the life of the stage, bien entendu \ But think, there is another life. Co...
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