Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

Without interest hers not the type to wonder why but

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Unformatted text preview: ain slowly like a man in a dream and murmured: "The Labours of Hercules.... Mats out, c'est une idee, ca. ..." The following day saw Hercule Poirot perusing a large calf-bound volume and other slimmer works, with occasional harried glances at various typewritten slips of paper. His secretary. Miss Lemon, had been detailed to collect information on the subject of Hercules and to place same before him. Without interest (hers not the type to wonder why!) but with perfect efficiency, Miss Lemon had fulfilled her task. Hercule Poirot was plunged head first in a bewildering sea of classical lore with particular reference to "Hercules, a celebrated hero who, after death, was ranked among the gods, and received divine honours." 8 So far, so good -- but thereafter it was far from plain sailing. For two hours Poirot read diligently, making notes, frowning, consulting his slips of paper and his other books of reference. Finally he sank back in his chair and shook his head. His mood of the previous evening was dispelled. What people! Take this Hercules -- this hero! Hero, indeed! What was he but a large muscular creature of low intelligence and criminal tendencies! Poirot was reminded of one Adoife Durand, a butcher, who had been tried at Lyons in 1895 -- a creature of oxiike strength who had killed several children. The defence had been epilepsy -- from which he undoubtedly suffered -though whether grand mal or petit mal had been an argument of several days' discussion. This ancient Hercules probably suffered from grand mal. No, Poirot shook his head, if that was the Greeks' idea of a hero, then measured by modern standards it certainly would not do. The whole classical pattern shocked him. These gods and goddesses -- they seemed to have as many different aliases as a modern criminal. Indeed they seemed to be definitely crimi9 nal types. Drink, debauchery, incest, rape, loot, homicide and chicanery -- enough to keep a juge d9 Instruction constantly busy. No decent family life. No order, no method. Even in their crimes, no order or method! ''Hercules indeed!" said Hercule Poirot, rising to his feet, disillusioned. He looked round him with approval. A square room, with good square modern furniture -- even a piece of good modem sculpture representing one cube placed on another cube and above it a geometrical arrangement of copper wire. And in the midst of this shining and orderly room, himself. He looked at himself in the glass. Here, then, was a modem Hercules -- very distinct from that unpleasant sketch of a naked figure with bulging muscles, brandishing a club. Instead, a small compact figure attired in correct urban wear with a moustache -- such a moustache as Hercules never dreamed of cultivating -a moustache magnificent yet sophisticated. Yet there was between this Hercule Poirot and the Hercules of Classical lore one point of resemblance. Both of them, undoubtedly, had been instrumental in rid10 ding the world of certain pests. . . . Each of them could be described as a benefactor to the Society he lived in. ... What had Dr. Burto...
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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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