Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Very good wine this very sound yes his head nodded in

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Unformatted text preview: at the actual flavour of the marrow itself can be improved. It can be given," he screwed up his eyes, "a bouquet -- " "Good God, man, it's not a claret." The word bouquet reminded Dr. Burton of the glass at his elbow. He sipped and savoured. "Very good wine, this. Very sound. Yes." His head nodded in approbation. "But this vegetable marrow business -- you're not serious ? You don't mean" -- he spoke in lively horror -- "that you're actually going to stoop" -- his hands descended m sympathetic horror on his own plump stomach -- "stoop, and fork dung on the things, and feed 'em with strands of wool dipped in water and all the rest of it ?" "You seem," Poirot said, "to be well acquainted with the culture of the marrow ?" "Seen gardeners doing it when I've been staying in the country. But seriously, Poirot, what a hobby! Compare that to" -- his voice sank to an appreciative purr-- ^an easy-chair in front of a wood fire in a long, low room lined with books -- must be a long room -- not a square one. Books all round one. A glass of port--and a book open in your hand. Time rolls back as you read:" he quoted sonorously: Myrf 6 a5re KV^epvriTrf^ ev\ olvoTri ttovtw vija OofJV IQvvel epe^Oo/A.evrJv ave^oio'i He translated: (c 'By skill again, the pilot on the winedark sea straightens The swift ship buffeted by the winds.' Of course you can never really get the spirit of the original." For the moment, in his enthusiasm, he had forgotten Poirot. And Poirot, watching him, felt suddenly a doubt--an uncomfortable twinge. Was there, here, something that he had missed ? Some richness of the spirit? Sadness crept over him. Yes, he should have become acquainted with the Classics. . . . Long ago. . . . Now, alas, it was too late. . . . Dr. Button interrupted his melancholy. 6 "Do you mean that you really are thinking of retiring ?33 "Yes.33 The other chuckled. "You won't!33 "But I assure you -- " "You won't be able to do it, man. You're too interested in your work." "No -- indeed -- I make all the arrangements. A few more cases -- specially selected ones -- not, you understand, everything that presents itself-- just problems that have a personal appeal.33 Dr. Burton grinned. "That's the way of it. Just a case or two, just one case more--and so on. The Prima Donna's farewell performance won't be in it with yours, Poirot!33 He chuckled and rose slowly to his feet, an amiable white-haired gnome. "Yours aren't the Labours of Hercules,33 he said. "Yours are labours of love. You'll see if I'm not right. Bet you that in twelve months' time you'll still be here, and vegetable marrows will still be33 -- he shuddered -- "merely marrows.33 Taking leave of his host. Dr. Burton left the severe rectangular room. LOH2 I He passes out of these pages not to return to them. We are concerned only with what he left behind him, which was an Idea. For after his departure Hercule Poirot sat down ag...
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