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Unformatted text preview: simply asks, what did he do? And the
answer, Georges, is that he travelled energetically.
But he was forced in the end to obtain information-- as some say -- from
Prometheus -- others from Nereus."
"Indeed, sir?53 said George. cc! never
heard of either of those gentlemen. Are
they travel agencies, sir ?"
Hercule Poirot, enjoying the sound of
his own voice, went on:
"My client, Emery Power, understands
only one thing--action\ But it is useless
to dispense energy by unnecessary action.
There is a golden rule in life, Georges,
never do anything yourself that others can
do for you.
"Especially,3a added Hercule Poirot, rising and going to the bookshelf, "when
expense is no object \"
He took from the shelf a file labelled
with the letter D and opened it at the
words "Detective Agencies -- Reliable".
"The modem Prometheus,3a he murmured. "Be so obliging, Georges, as to
copy out for me certain names and addresses.
Messrs. Hankerton, New York.
Messrs. Laden and Bosher, Sydney. Signor
Giovanni Mezzi, Rome. M. Nahum, Stamboul.
Messrs. Roget et Franconard, Paris."
He paused while George finished this. Then he said:
"And now be so kind as to look up the
trains for Liverpool.w
'Yes, sir, you are going to Liverpool, sir ?"
"I am afraid so. It is possible, Georges, that I may have to go even further. But
not just yet.w
It was three months later that Hercule
Poirot stood on a rocky point and surveyed
the Atlantic Ocean. Gulls rose and swooped
down again with long melancholy cries.
The air was soft and damp.
Hercule Poirot had the feeling, not uncommon
in those who come to Inishgowlan
for the first time, that he had reached the
end of the world. He had never in his life
imagined anything so remote, so desolate,
so abandoned. It had beauty, a melancholy, haunted beauty, the beauty of a
remote and incredible past. Here, in the
west of Ireland, the Romans had never
marched, tramp, tramp, tramp: had never
fortified a camp: had never built a wellordered,
sensible, useful road. It was a land where common sense and an orderly
way of life were unknown.
Hercule Poirot looked down at the tips
of his patent-leather shoes and sighed. He
felt forlorn and very much alone. The
standards by which he lived were here
His eyes swept slowly up and down the
desolate coast line, then once more out to
sea. Somewhere out there, so tradition had
it, were the Isles of the Blest, the Land of
He murmured to himself:
"The Apple Tree, the Singing and the
And suddenly, Hercule Poirot was himself
again -- the spell was broken, he was
once more in harmony with his patentleather
shoes and natty, dark grey gent's
Not very far away he had heard the toll
of a bell. He understood that bell. It was
a sound he had been familiar with from
He set off briskly along the cliff. In about ten minutes he came in sight of the
building on the cliff. A high wall surrounded
it and a great wooden door
studded with nails was set in the wall.
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