She had glanced at him nervously, swiftly; his voice told her nothing, he might have been bidding her ask any one of his friends in the station to pay him a visit. Also his head was bent, he was patting one of the dogs, so his face was not visible. Therefore she wrote the note without question or comment, and wondered how Guy would feel when he got it!
"But you must come across such interesting things in the bazaars!" said the boy, in a pleading voice. His ambition had been to write, to become an author, to follow in the footsteps of Stevenson, Kipling, and other great masters of romance; but his people, being practical, had scolded and pushed him into the Indian Public Works, and he had no time to use his pen for anything but estimates, reports, and office work, which bored his imaginative soul.
intelligence, he had his dwelling in the midst of a compound around which were grouped houses for his labourers, cow-stalls, a wheelwright and blacksmith shop, places for pigs, chickens, and dogs, the whole in a condition of indescribable disorder and filth.
He tapped half-heartedly at one of the closed cupboards, and was not surprised when it proved as refractory as the door. Undoubtedly he could batter it open, but it was not likely that much would be left of its contents when he was through; and there was the question of time.
Now at this time there was a little boy learning at one of them who was a wonder to every one for his cleverness. His parents were only labouring people, and of course very poor; but young as he was, and poor as he was, no king’s or lord’s son could come up to him in learning. Even the masters were put to shame, for when they were trying to teach him he would tell them something they never heard of before, and show them their ignorance. One of his great triumphs was in argument; and he would go on till he proved to you that black was white, and then when you gave in, for no one could beat him in talk, he would turn round and show you that white was black, or may be that there was no colour34 at all in the world. When he grew up his poor father and mother were so proud of him that they resolved to make him a priest, which they did at last, though they nearly starved themselves to get the money. Well, such another learned man was not in Ireland, and he was as great in argument as ever, so that no one could stand before him. Even the Bishops tried to talk to him, but he showed them at once they knew nothing at all.
"Yes! It's all over. He is dead," he said gravely, in answer to the look of inquiry they thrust at him.
"Do mo arigato gazaimashita," Hartford said. "Thanks to your mumbling the stuff in our room, I already talk like a Stinker." He stood up. "I'm going down to the Board Room. Pick your companion for picket, and come on down when you've dressed." Hartford bowed, Kansas-style. "Shitsurei itashimasu ga ..." he said politely, and left to assume his duties as O.G.
His second in command reported: "We have the second subject out of consciousness. How long do you want us to keep her that way?"
I retired crestfallen, and observed Poirot grinning at me. He thanked the steward, a note changed hands, and we took our departure.
But at the very door he came near running over the chaplain. The sergeant's strange looks made the chaplain seize him by the arm, and then the tall man saw that the little man too was agitated. His mouth was twitching, and he looked quite shaken and nervous.
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