Hickory Dickory Death – Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie – Hickory Dickory Death
Hercule Poirot Frowned.
“Miss Lemon,” he said.
“Yes, Mr. Poirot?” “There are three mistakes in this letter.” His voice held incredulity. For Miss Lemon, that hideous and efficient woman, never made mistakes. She was never ill, never tired, never upset, never inaccurate. For all practical purposes, that is to say, she was not a woman at all. She was a machine-the perfect secretary. She knew everything, she coped with everything. She ran Hercule Poirot’s life for him, so that it, too, functioned like a machine. Order and method had been Hercule Poirot’s watchwords from many years ago. With George, his perfect manservant, and Miss Lemon, his perfect secretary, order and method ruled supreme in his life. Now that crumpers were baked square as well as round, he had nothing about which to complain.
And yet, this morning Miss Lemon had made three mistakes in typing a perfectly simple letter, and moreover, had not even noticed those mistakes. The stars stood still in their courses!
Hercule Poirot held out the offending document.
He was not annoyed, he was merely bewildered.
This was one of the things that could not happen-but it had happened!
Miss Lemon took the letter. She looked at it. For the first time in his life, Poirot saw her blush; a deep ugly unbecoming flush that dyed her face right up to the roots of her strong grizzled hair.
“Oh, dear,” she said. “I can’t think how-at least, I can. It’s because of my sister.” “Your sister?” Another shock. Poirot had never conceived of Miss Lemon’s having a sister. Or, for that matter, having a father, mother or even grandparents.
Miss Lemon, somehow, was so completely machine made-a precision instrument, so to speak-that to think of her having affections, or anxieties, or family worries, seemed quite ludicrous. It was well known that the whole of Miss Lemon’s heart and mind was given, when she was not on duty, to the perfection of a new filing system which was to be patented and bear her name.
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