Labours Of Hercules By Agatha Christie

W miss pope was staring at poirot she demanded but

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Unformatted text preview: "Ordinary, normal type as far as I can make out." 331 "I mean — what did she look like ?" "I've got a snap of her here. She's not exactly a budding beauty." He proffered the snapshot to Poirot who studied it in silence. It represented a lanky girl with her hair in two limp plaits. It was not a posed photograph, the subject had clearly been caught unawares. She was in the act of eating an apple, her lips were parted, showing slightly protruding teeth confined by a dentist's plate. She wore spectacles. Japp said: "Plain-looking kid — but then they are plain at that age! Was at my dentist's yesterday. Saw a picture in the Sketch of Marcia Gaunt, this season's beauty. / remember her at fifteen when I was down at the Castle over their burglary business. Spotty, awkward, teeth sticking out, hair all lank and anyhow. They grow into beauties overnight — I don't know how they do it! It's like a miracle." Poirot smiled. "Women," he said, "are a miraculous sex! What about the child's family? Have they anything helpful to say ?" Japp shook his head. 332 "Nothing that's any help. Mother's an invalid. Poor old Canon King is absolutely bowled over. He swears that the girl was frightfully keen to go to Paris -- had been looking forward to it. Wanted to study painting and music -- that sort of thing. Miss Pope's girls go in for Art with a capital A. As you probably know. Miss Pope's is a very well-known establishment. Lots of society girls go there. She's strict -quite a dragon--and very expensive-and extremely particular whom she takes.55 Poirot sighed. "I know the type. And Miss Burshaw who took the girls over from England ?" "Not exactly frantic with brains. Terrified that Miss Pope will say it's her fault." Poirot said thoughtfully: "There is no young man in the case?" Japp gesticulated towards the snapshot. "Does she look like it ?" "No, she does not. But notwithstanding her appearance, she may have a romantic heart. Fifteen is not so young." "Well," said Japp. "If a romantic heart spirited her off that train, I'll take to reading lady novelists." 333 He looked hopefully at Poirot. "Nothing strikes you — eh ?" Poirot shook his head slowly. He said: "They did not, by any chance, find her shoes also by the side of the line ?" "Shoes ? No. Why shoes ?" Poirot murmured: "Just an idea. ..." II Hercule Poirot was just going down to his taxi when the telephone rang. He took off the receiver. "Yes ?» Japp's voice spoke. "Glad I've just caught you. It's all off, old man. Found a message at the Yard when I got back. The girl's turned up. At the side of the main road fifteen miles from Amiens. She's dazed and they can't get any coherent story from her, doctor says she's been doped— However, she's all right. Nothing wrong with her." Poirot said slowly: "So you have, then, no need of my services ?" "Af...
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