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Hallowe'en Party - Agatha Christie

Shock and trauma manifests in many forms. I completely forgot that Ariadne is so affected by this case that she's done the unthinkable:

‘The trouble with you is,’ said Mrs Oliver, beginning to unwrap a package on the table which she had obviously recently purchased, ‘the trouble with you is that you insist on being smart. You mind more about your clothes and your moustaches and how you look and what you wear than comfort. Now comfort is really the great thing. Once you’ve passed, say, fifty, comfort is the only thing that matters.’

‘Madame, chère Madame, I do not know that I agree with you.’

‘Well, you’d better,’ said Mrs Oliver. ‘If not, you will suffer a great deal, and it will be worse year after year.’

Mrs Oliver fished a gaily covered box from its paper bag. Removing the lid of this, she picked up a small portion of its contents and transferred it to her mouth. She then licked her fingers, wiped them on a handkerchief, and murmured, rather indistinctly:


‘Do you no longer eat apples? I have always seen you with a bag of apples in your hand, or eating them, or on occasions the bag breaks and they tumble out on the road.’

‘I told you,’ said Mrs Oliver, ‘I told you that I never want to see an apple again. No. I hate apples. I suppose I shall get over it some day and eat them again, but—well, I don’t like the associations of apples.’

‘And what is it that you eat now?’

Poirot picked up the gaily coloured lid decorated with a picture of a palm tree. ‘Tunis dates,’ he read. ‘Ah, dates now.’

‘That’s right,’ said Mrs Oliver. ‘Dates.’

She took another date and put it in her mouth, removed a stone which she threw into a bush and continued to munch.