This was as unpleasant a piece of news as I could well receive, and though I could not quarrel with it, I at least could resent the manner of its conveyance, so I turned upon my informant at once: "Perhaps this is an example of your 'suaviter in modo,' Father O'Rourke; if so, I'll be obliged if you'll put things in plain, sensible English, as between gentlemen."
Poirot watched the ascending spirals of smoke, and then said thoughtfully:
Then Father O'Rourke spake in a voice as gentle as if he comforted a woman. "Your Highness, when we were children, the story we loved best to hear was the one our mother never told us—about 'The Little Red Hen.' Who 'The Little Red Hen' was, or where she came from, or what she did, we never could learn. She was just 'The Little Red Hen,' and had no story at all. But her story which no one ever heard was better than that of 'Brian Boru,' or 'Malachi of the Collar of Gold,' or 'Rookey the Water Witch,' any of whom would come out without much coaxing and parade up and down until we knew them through and through, while the very name of 'The Little Red Hen' would quiet the biggest trouble that ever broke our hearts. My own belief is that she stayed at home and kept the breath of life in the family by laying her eggs and scratching up food for the chickens; but wherever she was, there was no cackling to lead us to her. She was just doing her work, helping the tired hearts and healing the sore ones, and all these years no one ever set eyes on her, more than on the dew that falls at night on the thirsty land."
He opened his helmet and tossed it aside. Dead already, he could lose nothing by making himself comfortable for dying. He shivered. The chill of infection? No, the night was cool. He looked about him in the light of the sky of stars. The fields were below him, rustling in a million private conversations as the breeze filtered through them. It was a lovely place to die, here on the crest of a hill.
"This is not good, Jorgenson. Who did you contradict?"
Ella Forte was barely twenty-one, yet for years had she worked, and scraped, and saved, so that the little household--herself, her father, and a single-handed servant--might subsist in tolerable comfort; that there might be something still in hand for parish claims, for possible emergencies, for, at least, a passably respectable appearance. She gloried in her management, she knew no discontent, she was proud to fill the post surrendered by her mother, who lay beneath a shrinking mound in the churchyard just beyond the vicarage domain. She was complacently convinced of her father's dependence upon her, and of her influence in the village, where she had no rival, for the squire's house stood empty, closed, falling into disrepair, its owner dwelling out of England, crippled by a dwindling rent-roll and heavy charges on the property.
"It was why I came to the house." He banged the door impatiently and faced her. "It was why I came back," he added with emphasis.
“That must have done some damage, I reckon!” gasped Amos as he struggled once more to his feet, ready to push steadily on again.
a youthful and hopeless love affair that left no lasting impress on his heart, his life had been exceptionally free from sexual distractions; he was more on his guard against women than actually indifferent to them. Without conceit, he was not wholly unaware that he found favour, generally, with females of his class, the very austereness of his nature provoked and attracted them; but illicit love repelled him, and, so far, since he had been in a position to support a wife, no girl or woman in particular had caught his fancy, though in the abstract he was not averse to the notion of marriage.
The flying vehicle landed. They heard it. Its crew got out, fearful but alert and with weapons handy. One stayed close by the ship, his ears shriveled with terror. The other two, weapons very much to the fore, moved cautiously to examine the aircraft which could not possibly be here.详情 ➢
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