Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

There was only his word and elsies would they be

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Unformatted text preview: ey're not likely to cross our path." Elsie said: "We haven't got any guilty secrets!" "Perhaps Air. Waring has," said Mrs. Rice with a twinkle. Harold laughed, throwing his head back. He said: "Not a secret in the world. My life's an open book." And it flashed across his mind : "What fools people are who leave the straight path. A clear conscience -- that's all one needs in life. With that you can face the world and tell everyone who interferes with you to go to the devil!" 213 He felt suddenly very much alive-very strong--very much master of his fate! Ill Harold Waring, like many other Englishmen, was a bad linguist. His French was halting and decidedly British in intonation. Of German and Italian he knew nothing. Up to now, these linguistic disabilities had not worried him. In most hotels on the Continent, he had always found, everyone spoke English, so why worry ? But in this out-of-the-way spot, where the native language was a form of Slovak and even the concierge only spoke German it was sometimes galling to Harold when one of his two women friends acted as interpreter for him. Mrs. Rice, who was fond of languages, could even speak a little Slovak. Harold determined that he would set about learning German. He decided to buy some text books and spend a couple of hours each morning in mastering the language. The morning was fine and after writing some letters, Harold looked at his watch 214 FR1;and saw there was still time for an hour's stroll before lunch. He went down towards the lake and then turned aside into the pine woods. He had walked there for perhaps five minutes when he heard an unmistakable sound. Somewhere not far away a woman was sobbing her heart out. Harold paused a minute, then he went in the direction of the sound. The woman was Elsie Clayton and was she sitting on a fallen tree with her face buried in her hands and her shoulders quivering with the violence of her grief. Harold hesitated a minute, then he came up to her. He said gently: "Mrs. Clayton -- Elsie ?" She started violently and looked up at him. Harold sat down beside her. He said with real sympathy : "Is there anything I can do? Anything at all r9 She shook her head. "No--no--you're very kind. But there's nothing any one can do for me." Harold said rather diffidently: "Is it to do with -- your husband ?" She nodded. Then she wiped her eyes and took out her powder compact, strugLOH15 215 gling to regain command of herself. She said in a quavering voice: "I didn't want Mother to worry. She's so upset when she sees me unhappy. So I came out here to have a good cry. It's silly, I know. Crying doesn't help. But — sometimes — one just feels that life is quite unbearable." Harold said: "I'm terribly sorry." She threw him a grateful glance. Then she said hurriedly: "It's my own fault, of course. I married Philip of my own free will. It—it's turned out badly, I've only myself to blame." Harold said: "It's very plucky of you to put it like that." Elsie shook her head. "No, I'm not plucky. I'm not brave...
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This note was uploaded on 07/28/2011 for the course LITERATURE 101 taught by Professor Agathachristie during the Spring '11 term at Heritage.

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