Hastings versucht Poirot ein Picnic in der Countryside schmackhaft zu machen. Wie wird wohl Hercule auf diesen Vorschlag reagieren?
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An Ideal Afternoon For A Picnic
With hindsight, I suppose it was a rather fantastical idea that I could persuade him to go along with my suggestion, but at the time it had seemed like the ideal solution. He had no cases to occupy his mind, and I thought a little jaunt in the country was just the ticket. The La Gonda was in top form, and it would be simple enough to arrange to take a little luncheon with us.
But when I mentioned it to Poirot, he frowned at me and screwed up his nose in distaste.
‘A peek-neek?’ he asked, his tone bordering on the incredulous. ‘No, no, Hastings! I do not go on the peek-neek! And certainly not all the way out of London. Not today of all days!’
‘Oh, come on, Poirot, it’ll be fun! We could go down to the coast if you would prefer.’
‘Non, it will not, Hastings! The outdoors, it is not fun.’
‘But what could be better?’ I asked. ‘The sounds of the birds and the wind in your hair. The smell of the fresh flowers and the green grass…’
My enthusiastic monologue came to an abrupt halt when I noticed the look on his face.
‘The trouble with the countryside, Hastings, is that it is full of the countryside.’
‘But what’s wrong with that?’ I asked.
Frowning, Poirot didn’t bother to answer me, merely looked back down at the mail on his desk. I waited for a few moments. I didn’t understand his attitude at all, and I told him so.
‘I don’t understand what’s wrong Poirot, you were just saying that you wanted something to do this afternoon! What could be more jolly than a picnic in the sunshine?’
His frown turned into a proper scowl. Then he picked up the paper on his desk and began to jab it with his forefinger.
‘This, Hastings!’ he said in great agitation. ‘This is what I was taking about!’
I took the paper and glanced at it. It was the one I had read earlier in the day.
‘I’ve read it,’ I told him, handing it back.
‘So you understand!’ said Poirot. My friend wasn’t usually sarcastic, but I thought I detected an edge to irony to his statement.
‘Um…’ I said. ‘Well…’
Poirot tilted his head to one side, waiting for me to answer. As much as I hated to, I had to admit that I had no idea what he was talking about.
‘Sorry, Poirot, I’m afraid I’ve no idea what you’re talking about.’
He gave a knowing smile.
‘Mon amis, you read the paper but you pay no attention at all to what it says!’
I looked at the paper once again, still not seeing what he meant. After a moment or two looking, I glanced up at Poirot, who merely tutted and shook his head.
‘But I thought you wanted to enjoy the outdoors,’ I said. ‘After all, you did say…’
‘I said nothing of the sort Hastings!’ interrupted Poirot. ‘It is clear to me that you did not listen! The outdoors is there to be enjoyed, from the indoors. And indoors is where I choose to remain!’
He flicked an imaginary speck of dust off his sleeve and turned back to the morning post.
Needless to say, we did not go on a picnic.
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"But yes, my friend, it is of a most pleasing symmetry, do you not find it so?"