Mrs. McGinty’s Dead – Agatha Christie 1/265 | Next page |

Mrs. McGinty’s Dead – Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie

Chapter 1

Hercule Poirot came out of the Vielle Grand’mre restaurant into Soho. He turned up the collar of his overcoat through prudence, rather than necessity, since the night was not cold. “But at my age, one takes no risks,” Poirot was wont to declare.

His eyes held a reflective sleepy pleasure. The escargots de la Vielle Grand’mre had been delicious. A real find, this dingy little restaurant. Meditatively, like a well-fed dog, Hercule Poirot curled his tongue round his lips. Drawing his handkerchief from his pocket, he dabbed his luxuriant moustaches.

Yes, he had dined well… And now what?

A taxi, passing him, slowed down invitingly. Poirot hesitated for a moment, but made no sign. Why take a taxi? He would in any case reach home too early to go to bed.

“Alas,” murmured Poirot to his moustaches, “that one can only eat three times a day…”

For afternoon tea was a meal to which he had never become acclimatised. “If one partakes of the five o’clock, one does not,” he explained, “approach the dinner with the proper quality of expectant gastric juices. And the dinner, let us remember, is the supreme meal of the day!”

Not for him, either, the mid-morning coffee. No, chocolate and croissants for breakfast, Djeneur at twelve-thirty if possible but certainly not later than one o’clock, and finally the climax: Le Diner!

These were the peak periods of Hercule Poirot’s day. Always a man who had taken his stomach seriously, he was reaping his reward in old age. Eating was now not only a physical pleasure, it was also an intellectual research. For in between meals he spent quite a lot of time searching out and marking down possible sources of new and delicious food. La Vielle Grand’mre was the result of one of these quests, and La Vielle Grand’mre had just received the seal of Hercule Poirot’s gastronomic approval.

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