Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

The augean stables poirot started ferrier said it will

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: ; 172 5 THE AUGEAN STABLES ^ ij "^ | ^HE situation is an extremely deli| cate one, M. Poirot." JL A faint smile flitted across Hercule Poirot's lips. He almost replied: "It always is!" Instead, he composed his face and put on what might be described as a bedside manner of extreme discretion. Sir George Conway proceeded weightily. Phrases fell easily from his lips--the extreme delicacy of the Government's position--the interests of the public-the solidarity of the Party -- the necessity of presenting a united front -- the power of the Press--the welfare of the Country.... It all sounded well -- and meant nothing. Hercule Poirot felt that familiar aching of the jaw when one longs to yawn and polite173 ness forbids. He had felt the same sometimes when reading the parliamentary debates. But on those occasions there had been no need to restrain his yawns. He steeled himself to endure patiently. He felt, at the same time, a sympathy for Sir George Conway. The man obviously wanted to tell him something--and as obviously had lost the art of simple narration. Words had become to him a means of obscuring facts -- not of revealing them. He was an adept in the art of the useful phrase--that is to say the phrase that falls soothingly on the ear and is quite empty of meaning. The words rolled on -- poor Sir George became quite red in the face. He shot a desperate glance at the other man sitting at the head of the table, and that other man responded. "All right, George. I'll tell him.33 Hercule Poirot shifted his gaze from the Home Secretary to the Prime Minister. He felt a keen interest in Edward Ferrier -an interest aroused by a chance phrase from an old man of eighty-two. Professor Fergus MacLeod, after disposing of a chemical difficulty in the conviction of a 174 murderer, had touched for a moment on politics. On the retirement of the famous and beloved John Hammett (now Lord Cornworthy) his son-in-law, Edward Ferrier, had been asked to form a Cabinet. As politicians go he was a young man -under fifty. Professor MacLeod had said: "Ferrier was once one of my students. He's a sound man." That was all, but to Hercule Poirot it represented a good deal. If MacLeod called a man sound it was a testimonial to character compared with which no popular or press enthusiasm counted at all. It coincided, it was true, with the popular estimate. Edward Ferrier was considered sound -- just that -- not brilliant, not great, not a particularly eloquent orator, not a man of deep learning. He was a sound man -- a man bred in the tradition -- a man who had married John Hammett's daughter -- who had been John Hammett's right hand man and who could be trusted to carry on the government of the country in the John Hammett tradition. For John Hammett was particularly dear to the people and Press of England. 175 He represented every quality which was dear to Englishmen. People said of him: "One does feel that Hammett's honest." Anecdotes were told of his simp...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 07/28/2011 for the course LITERATURE 101 taught by Professor Agathachristie during the Spring '11 term at Heritage.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online