Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

It was not the kind of case he wanted it was not the

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Unformatted text preview: s exactly as Miss Lemon had said. A city address -- a curt businesslike unrefined demand. The subject -- the kidnapping of a Pekinese dog. One of those bulging-eyed, overpampered pets of a rich woman. Hercule Poirot's lip curled as he read it. Nothing unusual about this. Nothing out of the way or-- But yes, yes, in one 14 small detail. Miss Lemon was right. In one small detail there was something unusual. Hercule Poirot sat down. He read the letter slowly and carefully. It was not the kind of case he wanted, it was not the kind of case he had promised himself. It was not in any sense an important case, it was supremely unimportant. It was not — and here was the crux of his objection—it was not a proper Labour of Hercules. But unfortunately he was curious. . . . Yes, he was curious. . . . He raised his voice so as to be heard by Miss Lemon above the noise of her typing. "Ring up this Sir Joseph Hoggin," he ordered, "and make an appointment for me to see him at his office as he suggests." 35 As usual. Miss Lemon had been right. "I'm a plain man, M. Poirot," said Sir Joseph Hoggin. Hercule Poirot made a noncommittal gesture with his right hand. It expressed (if you chose to take it so) admiration for the solid worth of Sir Joseph's career and an appreciation of his modesty in so describing himself. It could also have conveyed a 15 graceful deprecation of the statement. In any case it gave no clue to the thought then uppermost in Hercule Poirot's mind, which was that Sir Joseph certainly was (using the term in its more colloquial sense) a very plain man indeed. Hercule Poirot's eyes rested critically on the swelling jowl, the small pig eyes, the bulbous nose and the close-lipped mouth. The whole general effect reminded him of someone or something -- but for the moment he could not recollect who or what it was. A memory stirred dimly. A long time ago ... in Belgium . . . something, surely, to do with soap. ... Sir Joseph was continuing. "No frills about me. I don't beat about the bush. Most people, M. Poirot, would let this business go. Write it off as a bad debt and forget about it. But that's not Joseph Hoggin's way. I'm a rich man-and in a manner of speaking two hundred pounds is neither here nor there to me--'9 Poirot interpolated swiftly: cc! congratulate you." "Eh ?" Sir Joseph paused a minute. His small 16 eyes narrowed themselves still more. He said sharply: "That's not to say that I'm in the habit of throwing my money about. What I want I pay for. But I pay the market price — no more." Hercule Poirot said: "You realise that my fees are high ?" "Yes, yes. But this," Sir Joseph looked at him cunningly, "is a very small matter." Hercule Poirot shrugged his shoulders. He said: "I do not bargain. I am an expert. For the services of an expert you have to pay." Sir Joseph said frankly: "I know you're a tip-top man at this sort of thing. I made inq...
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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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