Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Only for a short space of time he replied dr burton

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Unformatted text preview: s of Achille Poirot's career. Had all that really happened ? "Only for a short space of time," he replied. Dr. Burton passed tactfully from the subject of Achille Poirot. "People should be more careful how they name their children," he ruminated. "I've got godchildren. I know. Blanche, one of 'em is called--dark as a gipsy! Then there's Deirdre, Deirdre of the Sorrows -- she's turned out merry as a grig. As for young Patience, she might as well have been named Impatience and be done with it! And Diana--well, Diana -- " the old Classical scholar shuddered. "Weighs twelve stone now--and she's only fifteen! They say it's puppy fat --but it doesn't look that way to me. Diana! They wanted to call her Helen, but I did put my foot down there. Knowing 2 what her father and mother looked like! And her grandmother for that matter! I tried hard for Martha or Dorcas or something sensible--but it was no good-waste of breath. Rum people, parents...." He began to wheeze gently -- his small fat face crinkled up. Poirot looked at him inquiringly. "Thinking of an imaginary conversation. Your mother and the late Mrs. Holmes, sitting sewing little garments or knitting: 'Achille, Hercule, Sherlock, Mycroft. . . .' " Poirot failed to share his friend's amusement. "What I understand you to mean is, that in physical appearance I do not resemble a Hercules ?" Dr. Burton's eyes swept over Hercule Poirot, over his small neat person attired in striped trousers, correct black jacket and natty bow tie, swept up from his patent leather shoes to his egg-shaped head and the immense moustache that adorned his upper lip. "Frankly, Poirot," said Dr. Burton, "you don't! I gather," he added, "that you've never had much time to study the Classics ?" "That is so." "Pity. Pity. You've missed a lot. Everyone should be made to study the Classics if I had my way." Poirot shrugged his shoulders. "Eh bien, I have got on very well without them." "Got on! Got on! It's not a question of getting on. That's the wrong view altogether. The Classics aren't a ladder leading to quick success like a modem correspondence course! It's not a man's working hours that are important--it's his leisure hours. That's the mistake we all make. Take yourself now, you're getting on, you'll be wanting to get out of things, to take things easy -- what are you going to do then with your leisure hours ?" Poirot was ready with his reply. "I am going to attend -- seriously -- to the cultivation of vegetable marrows." Dr. Burton was taken aback. "Vegetable marrows ? What d'yer mean ? Those great swollen green things that taste of water ?" "Ah," Poirot spoke enthusiastically. "But that is the whole point of it. They need not taste of water." 4 "Oh! I know--sprinkle 'em with cheese, or minced onion or white sauce." "No, no--you are in error. It is my idea th...
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