Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

You are now a well to do woman with no very definite

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Unformatted text preview: fter invalids. I told the Canon that in my LOH23 343 opinion he would do well to take the child home with him." Hercule Poirot asked bluntly: ^What in your opinion actually occurred, Miss Pope ?" "I have not the slightest idea, M. Poirot. The whole thing, as reported to me, sounds quite incredible. I really cannot see that the member of my staff who was in charge of the girls was in any way to blame -except that she might, perhaps, have discovered the girl's absence sooner." Poirot said: "You have received a visit, perhaps, from the police ?" A faint shiver passed over Miss Pope's aristocratic form. She said glacially: "A Monsieur Lefarge of the Prefecture called to see me, to see if I could throw any light upon the situation. Naturally I was unable to do so. He then demanded to inspect Winnie's trunk which had, of course, arrived here with those of the other girls. I told him that that had already been called for by another member of the police. Their departments, I fancy, must overlap. I got a telephone call, shortly afterwards, insisting that I had not turned 344 over all Winnie's possessions to them. I was extremely short with them over that. One must not submit to being bullied by officialdom." Poirot drew a long breath. He said: "You have a spirited nature. I admire you for it. Mademoiselle. I presume that Winnie's trunk had been unpacked on arrival ?" Miss Pope looked a little put out of countenance. "Routine," she said. "We live strictly by routine. The girls' trunks are unpacked on arrival and their things put away in the way I expect them to be kept. Winnie's things were unpacked with those of the other girls. Naturally, they were afterwards repacked, so that her trunk was handed over exactly as it had arrived." Poirot said: "Exactly?" He strolled over to the wall. "Surely this is a picture of the famous Cranchester Bridge with the Cathedral showing in the distance." "You are quite right, M. Poirot. Winnie had evidently painted that to bring to me as a surprise. It was in her trunk with a wrapper round it and 'For Miss Pope from 345 Winnie9 written on it. Very charming of the child.53 "Ah!" said Poirot. "And what do you think of it — as a painting ?" He himself had seen many pictures of Cranchester Bridge. It was a subject that could always be found represented at the Academy each year—sometimes as an oil painting—sometimes in the watercolour room. He had seen it painted well, painted in a mediocre fashion, painted boringly. But he had never seen it quite as crudely represented as in the present example. Miss Pope was smiling indulgently. She said: "One must not discourage one's girls, M. Poirot. Winnie will be stimulated to do better work, of course." Poirot said thoughtfully: "It would have been more natural, would it not, for her to do a watercolour ?" "Yes. I did not know she was attempting to paint in oils.'5 "Ah," said Hercule Poirot. "You...
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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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