Poirot Loses a Client – Agatha Christie
Miss Arundell said stiffly: “A man could not possibly wish to live on his wife’s money.” Miss Peabody gave a rich, throaty chuckle.
“They don’t seem to mind doing it, nowadays.
You and I are out of date, Emily.
What I can’t understand is what the child sees in him. Of all the namby-pamby young men!” “He’s a clever doctor, I believe.” “Those pince-nez–and that stiff way of talking! In my young days we’d have called him a poor stick!” There was a pause while Miss Peabody’s memory, diving into the past, conjured up visions of dashing, bewhiskered young men….
She said with a sigh: “Send that young dog Charles along to see me–if he’ll come.” “Of course. I’ll tell him.” The two ladies parted.
They had known each other for considerably over fifty years. Miss Peabody knew of certain regrettable lapses in the life of General Arundell, Emily’s father. She knew just precisely what a shock Thomas ArundelFs marriage had been to his sisters. She had a very shrewd idea of certain troubles connected with the younger generation.
But no word had ever passed between the two ladies on any of these subjects. They were both upholders of family dignity, family solidarity, and complete reticence on family matters.
Miss Arundell walked home. Bob trotting sedately at her heels. To herself, Emily Arundell admitted what she would never have admitted to another human being, her dissatisfaction with the younger generation of her family.
Theresa, for instance. She had no control over Theresa since the latter had come into her own money at the age of twenty-one.
Since then the girl had achieved a certain lotoriety. Her picture was often in the papers. She belonged to a young, bright, goahead set in London–a set that had freak parties and occasionally ended up in the police courts. It was not the kind of notoriety that Emily Arundell approved of for an Arundell. In fact, she disapproved very much of Theresa’s way of living. As regards the girl’s engagement, her feelings were slightly confused. On the one hand she did not consider an upstart Dr. Donaldson good enough for an Arundell. On the other she was uneasily conscious that Theresa was a most unsuitable wife for a quiet country doctor.
With a sigh her thoughts passed on to Bella. There was no fault to find with Bella.
She was a good woman–a devoted wife and mother, quite exemplary in behavior–and extremely dull! But even Bella could not be regarded with complete approval. For Bella had married a foreigner–and not only a foreigner–but a Greek. In Miss Arundell5 s prejudiced mind a Greek was almost as bad as an Argentine or a Turk. The fact that Dr.