Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

The village gossip it is based always always on the

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: st it. There's nothing I can do--nothing! I came to you as a last resort -- but I don't suppose for a minute that there is anything you can do either." Hercule Poirot was silent for a minute or two. Then he said: (c! am not so sure. Your problem interests me. Doctor Oldfield. I should like to try my hand at destroying the manyheaded monster. First of all, tell me a little more about the circumstances which gave rise to this malicious gossip. Your wife died, you say, just over a year ago. What was the cause of death ?" "Gastric ulcer." "Was there an autopsy ?" "No. She had been suffering from gastric trouble over a considerable period." 61 Poirot nodded. "And the symptoms of gastric inflammation and of arsenical poisoning are closely alike--a fact which everybody knows nowadays. Within the last ten years there have been at least four sensational murder cases in each of which the victim has been buried without suspicion with a certificate of gastric disorder. Was your wife older or younger than yourself?" "She was five years older." "How long had you been married ?" "Fifteen years." "Did she leave any property ?" "Yes. She was a fairly well-to-do woman. She left, roughly, about thirty thousand pounds." "A very useful sum. It was left to you ?" "Yes." "Were you and your wife on good terms ? " "Certainly." "No quarrels ? No scenes ?" "Well--" Charles Oldfield hesitated. "My wife was what might be termed a difficult woman. She was an invalid and very concerned over her health and inclined, therefore, to be fretful and difficult 62 to please. There were days when nothing I could do was right.9y Poirot nodded. He said: "Ah yes, I know the type. She would complain, possibly, that she was neglected, unappreciated — that her husband was tired of her and would be glad when she was dead.3a Oldfield's face registered the truth of Poirot's surmise. He said with a wry smile: "You've got it exactly P3 Poirot went on: "Did she have a hospital nurse to attend on her? Or a companion? Or a devoted maid ?" "A nurse-companion. A very sensible and competent woman. I really don't think she would talk." "Even the sensible and the competent have been given tongues by Ie bon Dieu — and they do not always employ their tongues wisely. I have no doubt that the nurse-companion talked, that the servants talked, that everyone talked! You have all the materials there for the starting of a very enjoyable village scandal. Now I will ask you one thing more. Who is the lady ?" 63 (c! don't understand.55 Dr. Oldfield flushed angrily. Poirot said gently: cc! think you do. I am asking you who the lady is with whom your name has been coupled.33 Dr. Oldfield rose to his feet. His face was stiff and cold. He said: "There is no 'lady in the case'. I'm sorry, M. Poirot, to have taken up so much of your time....
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