Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

The charges were levelled against the late prime

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Unformatted text preview: my coffee. I poured it away. And I was wise. Late that evening a man came into my room, came in with the easy confidence of one who knows lhat the man whose room he is searching is drugged. He looked through my affairs and he found the letter in my wallet — where I 169 had left it for him to find! The next morning Gustave comes into my room with my coffee. He greets me by name and acts his part with complete assurance. But he is anxious--horribly anxious-for somehow or other the police have got on his track! They have learnt where he is and that is for him a terrible disaster. It upsets all his plans. He is caught up here like a rat in a trap.55 Schwartzsaid: "The damn fool thing was ever to come here! Why did he?53 Poirot said gravely: "It is not so foolish as you think. He had need, urgent need, of a retired spot, away from the world, where he could meet a certain person, and where a certain happening could take place." "What person ?" "Dr. Lutz." "Dr. Lutz ? Is he a crook too ?" "Dr. Lutz is really Dr. Lutz -- but he is not a nerve spet--not a psychoanalyst. He is a surgeon, my friend, a surgeon who spees in facial surgery. That is why he was to meet Marrascaud here. He is poor now, turned out of his 170 country. He was offered a huge fee to meet a man here and change that man's appearance by means of his surgical skill. He may have guessed that that man was a criminal, but if so, he shut his eyes to the fact. Realise this, they dared not risk a nursing home in some foreign country. No, up here, where no one ever comes so early in the season except for an odd visit, where the manager is a man in need of money who can be bribed, was an ideal spot. "But, as I say, matters went wrong. Marrascaud was betrayed. The three men, his bodyguard, who were to meet him here and look after him had not yet arrived, but Marrascaud acts at once. The police officer who is pretending to be a waiter is kidnapped and Marrascaud takes his place. The gang arrange for the funicular to be wrecked. It is a matter of time. The following evening Drouet is killed and a paper is pinned on the dead body. It is hoped that by the time that communications are established with the world Drouet's body may have been buried as that of Marrascaud. Dr. Lutz performs his operation without delay. But one man niust be silenced -- Hercule Poirot. So 171 the gang are sent to attack me. Thanks to you, my friend -- " Hercule Poirot bowed gracefully to Schwartz who said: "So you're really Hercule Poirot ?" "Precisely." "And you were never fooled by that body for a minute? You knew all along that it wasn^t Marrascaud ?" "Certainly." "Why didn't you say so ?" Hercule Poirot's face was suddenly stern. "Because I wanted to be quite sure of handling the real Marrascaud over to the police." He murmured below his breath: "To capture alive the wild boar of Erymanthea. ..."...
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