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The Pale Horse - Agatha Christie

Just picking up from a conversation earlier today about Christie having a tendency to portray psychologists as horrible human beings:

‘Poisons! That’s vieux jeu. Childish stuff. There are new horizons.’

‘Such as?’

‘The mind. Knowledge of what the mind is—what it can do—what it can be made to do.’

‘Please go on. This is most interesting.’

‘The principle is well known. Medicine-men have used it in primitive communities for centuries. You don’t need to kill your victim. All you need do is—tell him to die.’

‘Suggestion? But it won’t work unless the victim believes in it.’

‘It doesn’t work on Europeans, you mean,’ she corrected me. ‘It does sometimes. But that’s not the point. We’ve gone further ahead than the witch-doctor has ever gone. The psychologists have shown the way. The desire for death! It’s there—in everyone. Work on that! Work on the death wish.’

Muahahahaha! The psychologists have shown the way! 

 

So, yet again, psychology as a slight step up from voodoo and witchcraft. 

 

I also kinda like how the meetings with the ladies at The Pale Horse are set off against Mark's visits with Mrs Dane Calthrop, the voice of reason at the vicarage.