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The House at Shiraz: An Agatha Christie Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.Mr. Parker Pyne is going through a bit of a palaver trying to get to Beirut, what with his rusty linguistic skills and the less than comfortable arrangement on the aeroplane. But, with the help of an amused German pilot he soon navigates his way around. The pilot, Herr Schlagel’s thoughts are dominated by the mysterious and sudden death of one of his last passengers, a ‘flower’ who was in the company of the undoubtedly mad Lady Esther at the House of Shiraz. Pyne takes the initiative, as always and writes to Lady Esther enclosing his famous advertisement and waits to see what will happen. When he arrives at the House of Shiraz he waits to see what the infamously demented Lady Esther has to say for herself and it all begins to unravel. The House at Shiraz A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright (#u21ab6bb9-fb42-5373-a29a-ace1e03bffa1) Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) Copyright © 2011 Agatha Christie Ltd. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse-engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books. EPub Edition © 2011 ISBN: 9780007452149 Version: 2017-04-18 Contents Cover (#ufd127e10-87ac-579b-9deb-8a22364b977e) Title Page (#u8e5afb4f-db1a-51cb-89c2-7fb57b1121e1) Copyright The House at Shiraz Related Products (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The House at Shiraz (#ulink_020bc1cc-f7e5-5d7a-9dff-4e30003cb715) ‘The House at Shiraz’ was first published in the USA in Cosmopolitan, April 1933, and then as ‘In the House at Shiraz’ in Nash’s Pall Mall, June 1933. It was six in the morning when Mr Parker Pyne left for Persia after a stop in Baghdad. The passenger space in the little monoplane was limited, and the small width of the seats was not such as to accommodate the bulk of Mr Parker Pyne with anything like comfort. There were two fellow travellers – a large, florid man whom Mr Parker Pyne judged to be of a talkative habit and a thin woman with pursed-up lips and a determined air. ‘At any rate,’ thought Mr Parker Pyne, ‘they don’t look as though they would want to consult me professionally.’ Nor did they. The little woman was an American missionary, full of hard work and happiness, and the florid man was employed by an oil company. They had given their fellow traveller a résumé of their lives before the plane started. ‘I am merely a tourist, I am afraid,’ Mr Parker Pyne had said deprecatingly. ‘I am going to Teheran and Ispahan and Shiraz.’ And the sheer music of the names enchanted him so much as he said them that he repeated them. Teheran. Ispahan. Shiraz. Mr Parker Pyne looked out at the country below him. It was flat desert. He felt the mystery of these vast, unpopulated regions. At Kermanshah the machine came down for passport examinations and customs. A bag of Mr Parker Pyne’s was opened. A certain small cardboard box was scrutinized with some excitement. Questions were asked. Since Mr Parker Pyne did not speak or understand Persian, the matter was difficult. The pilot of the machine strolled up. He was a fair-haired young German, a fine-looking man, with deep-blue eyes and a weatherbeaten face. ‘Please?’ he inquired pleasantly. Mr Parker Pyne, who had been indulging in some excellent realistic pantomime without, it seemed, much success, turned to him with relief. ‘It’s bug powder,’ he said. ‘Do you think you could explain it to them?’ The pilot looked puzzled. ‘Please?’ Mr Parker Pyne repeated his plea in German. The pilot grinned and translated the sentence into Persian. The grave and sad officials were pleased; their sorrowful faces relaxed; they smiled. One even laughed. They found the idea humorous. The three passengers took their places in the machine again and the flight continued. They swooped down at Hamadan to drop the mails, but the plane did not stop. Mr Parker Pyne peered down, trying to see if he could distinguish the rock of Behistun, that romantic spot where Darius describes the extent of his empire and conquests in three different languages – Babylonian, Median and Persian. It was one o’clock when they arrived at Teheran. There were more police formalities. The German pilot had come up and was standing by smiling as Mr Parker Pyne finished answering a long interrogation which he had not understood. ‘What have I said?’ he asked of the German. ‘That your father’s Christian name is Tourist, that your profession is Charles, that the maiden name of your mother is Baghdad, and that you have come from Harriet.’ ‘Does it matter?’ ‘Not the least in the world. Just answer something; that is all they need.’ Mr Parker Pyne was disappointed in Teheran. He found it distressingly modern. He said as much the following evening when he happened to run into Herr Schlagal, the pilot, just as he was entering his hotel. On an impulse he asked the other man to dine, and the German accepted. The Georgian waiter hovered over them and issued his orders. The food arrived. When they had reached the stage of la torte, a somewhat sticky confection of chocolate, the German said: ‘So you go to Shiraz?’ ‘Yes. I shall fly there. Then I shall come back from Shiraz to Ispahan and Teheran by road. Is it you who will fly me to Shiraz tomorrow?’ ‘Ach, no. I return to Baghdad.’ ‘You have been long here?’ ‘Three years. It has only been established three years, our service. So far, we have never had an accident – unberufen!’ He touched the table. Thick cups of sweet coffee were brought. The two men smoked. ‘My first passengers were two ladies,’ said the German reminiscently. ‘Two English ladies.’ ‘Yes?’ said Mr Parker Pyne. ‘The one she was a young lady very well born, the daughter of one of your ministers, the – how does one say it? – the Lady Esther Carr. She was handsome, very handsome, but mad.’ ‘Mad?’ ‘Completely mad. She lives there at Shiraz in a big native house. She wears Eastern dress. She will see no Europeans. Is that a life for a well born lady to live?’ ‘There have been others,’ said Mr Parker Pyne. ‘There was Lady Hester Stanhope –’ ‘This one is mad,’ said the other abruptly. ‘You could see it in her eyes. Just so have I seen the eyes of my submarine commander in the war. He is now in an asylum.’ Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/the-house-at-shiraz-an-agatha-christie-short-story/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.
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