Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Poirot pushed the door open and entered 162 he

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Unformatted text preview: connection with the case. After all, she's been to this place several years running." Poirot said gently: "Yes -- and therefore her presence would not cause comment. It would be a reason, would it not, why Rochers Neiges should have been the spot selected ?" Drouet said excitedly: "You've had an idea, M. Poirot. I'll look into that angle." IV The day passed without incident. Fortunately the hotel was well provisioned. The manager explained that there need be no anxiety. Supplies were assured. Hercule Poirot endeavoured to get into conversation with Dr. Karl Lutz and was rebuffed. The doctor intimated plainly that psychology was his professional prei54 occupation and that he was not going to discuss it with amateurs. He sat in a corner reading a large German tome on the subconscious and making copious notes and annotations. Hercule Poirot went outside and wandered aimlessly round to the kitchen premises. There he entered into conversation with the old man Jacques, who was surly and suspicious. His wife, the cook, was more forthcoming. Fortunately, she explained to Poirot, there was a large reserve of tinned food -- but she herself thought little of food in tins. It was wickedly expensive and what nourishment could there be in it ? The good God had never intended people to live out of tins. The conversation came round to the subject of the hotel staff. Early in July the chambermaids and the extra waiters arrived. But for the next three weeks, there would be nobody or next to nobody. Mostly people who came up and had lunch and then went back again. She and Jacques and one waiter could manage that easily. Poirot asked: "There was already a waiter here before Gustave came, was there not ?" 155 "But yes, indeed, a poor kind of a waiter. No skill, no experience. No class at all." "How long was he here before Gustave replaced him ?" "A few days only — the inside of a week. Naturally he was dismissed. We were not surprised. It was bound to come." Poirot murmured: "He did not complain unduly ?" "Ah no, he went quietly enough. After all, what could he expect ? This is a hotel of good class. One must have proper service here.35 Poirot nodded. He asked: "Where did he go ?" "That Robert, you mean?" She shrugged her shoulders. "Doubtless back to the obscure cafe he came from." "He went down in the funicular ?" She looked at him curiously. "Naturally, Monsieur. What other way is there to go ?" Poirot asked: "Did anyone see him go ?" They both stared at him. "Ah! do you think it likely that one goes to see off an animal like that — that 156 one gives him the grand farewell? One has one's own affairs to occupy one." "Precisely," said Hercule Poirot. He walked slowly away, staring up as he did so at the building above him. A large hotel -- with only one wing open at present. In the other wings were many ro...
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