Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Magnificent vegetables but they lack flavour that

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Unformatted text preview: uiries and I was told that you were the best man available. I mean to get to the bottom of this business and I don't grudge the expense. That's why I got you to come here." "You were fortunate," said Hercule Poirot. Sir Joseph said "Eh ?" again. "Exceedingly fortunate," said Hercule Poirot firmly. "I am, I may say so without undue modesty, at the apex of my career. 1 17 Very shortly I intend to retire -- to live in the country, to travel occasionally to see the world--also, it may be, to cultivate my garden--with particular attention to improving the strain of vegetable marrows. Magnificent vegetables--but they lack flavour. That, however, is not the point. I wished merely to explain that before retiring I had imposed upon myself a certain task. I have decided to accept twelve cases -- no more, no less. A self-imposed labours of Hercules1 if I may so describe it. Your case. Sir Joseph, is the first of the twelve. I was attracted to it,33 he sighed, "by its striking unimportance." "Importance ?" said Sir Joseph. "C/wimportance was what I said. I have been called in for varying causes -- to investigate murders, unexplained deaths, robberies, thefts of jewellery. This is the first time that I have been asked to turn my talents to elucidate the kidnapping of a Pekinese dog." Sir Joseph grunted. He said: "You surprise me! I should have said you'd have had no end of women pestering you about their pet dogs." "That, certainly. But it is the first time 18 that I am summoned by the husband in the case" Sir Joseph's little eyes narrowed appreciatively. He said: "I begin to see why they recommended you to me. You're a shrewd fellow, Mr. Poirot." Poirot murmured: "If you will now tell me the facts of the case. The dog disappeared, when ?" "Exactly a week ago." "And your wife is by now quite frantic, I presume ?" Sir Joseph stared. He said: "You don't understand. The dog has been returned." "Returned? Then, permit me to ask, where do / enter the matter ?" Sir Joseph went crimson in the face. "Because I'm damned if I'll be swindled! Now then, Mr. Poirot, I'm going to tell you the whole thing. The dog was stolen a week ago -- nipped in Kensington Gardens where he was out with my wife's companion. The next day my wife got a demand for two hundred pounds. I ask you -- two hundred pounds! For a damned yapping i9 little brute that's always getting under your feet anyway!" Poirot murmured: "You did not approve of paying such a sum, naturally ?" "Of course I didn't — or wouldn't have if I'd known anything about it! Milly (my wife) knew that well enough. She didn't say anything to me. Just sent off the money —in one-pound notes as stipulated—to the address given." "And the dog was returned ?" "Yes. That evening the bell rang and there was the little brute sitting on the doorstep. And...
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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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