فصل 03

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کتاب های خیلی ساده

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فصل 03

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CHAPTER THREE

Tea at the railway station

On October the 12th, 1912, when Agatha was twenty- two, she went to a dance at the home of Lord and

Lady Clifford. They lived near Chudleigh, twelve miles from Torquay, and there were many young people there for Agatha to talk to.

During the evening a young army officer came up to her.

‘Will you dance with me?’ he asked Agatha.

‘Me?’ said Agatha. ‘Oh, yes, all right.’

He was tall and good-looking, with friendly blue eyes, and his name was Archibald Christie. Agatha liked him immediately. They danced together many times that evening, and Archie told her his plans.

‘I want to fly,’ he said, ‘and I’m trying to get into the Royal Flying Corps.’

‘How exciting!’ said Agatha.

A week later, she was having tea with some friends at a house opposite Ashfield, her home, when there was a telephone call for her. It was her mother.

‘Come home, will you, Agatha?’ said Clara. ‘There’s a young man here.

He’s just arrived and I’m giving him tea. I don’t know him, and I think he wants to see you.’

Agatha had to leave her friends and hurry home, so she was not very pleased. But when she got home, she found Archie Christie waiting for her.

‘Hello,’ he said. ‘I was in Torquay and - and I thought that perhaps it would be nice to see you.’ His face was red and he looked at his shoes.

Agatha smiled.

Archie stayed for the rest of the afternoon, and for supper that evening. When it was time for him to leave, he said, ‘Will you come to a concert in Exeter with me, Agatha? We can go to the Redcliffe Hotel for tea after the concert.’

‘I’d love to,’ said Agatha, then looked at Clara. ‘Can I, mother?’

‘A concert, yes, Agatha,’ said Clara. ‘But tea at a hotel? No, I don’t think so. Not a hotel.’

‘Perhaps I could take Agatha to tea in - in the restaurant at Exeter railway station!’ said Archie.

Agatha tried not to smile, but her mother agreed. So Agatha and Archie went to the concert - and then had tea at Exeter railway station!

‘There’s a New Year’s dance in Torquay on the second of January,’ said Agatha, when Archie took her home later. ‘Will you come?’

He smiled. ‘Of course,’ he said. ‘I want to see you as often as I can.’

But when Archie came to the New Year’s dance he was very quiet and did not seem happy. He seemed to be worried about something, but Agatha said nothing. Two days later, on the 4th of January, 1913, they went to another concert together. Archie was still very quiet, and after the concert Agatha asked, ‘What’s wrong, Archie?’

‘The Royal Flying Corps have said “yes” to me,’ said Archie. ‘I have to leave Exeter in two days’ time. I have to go to Salisbury.’ He looked at her. ‘Agatha, you’ve got to marry me! There will never be anyone for me, only you! I’ve known that since our first evening together, at the Cliffords’ dance.’

Agatha was very surprised. ‘But-but I can’t marry you. I’ve already told Reggie that I’ll marry him.’ And then she told him about Reggie Lucy.

‘You didn’t marry him before he went away,’ said Archie. ‘Why not? It’s because you don’t really love him!’ ‘We thought it was better to wait-‘ began Agatha.

‘I won’t wait,’ said Archie. ‘I want to marry you next month, or the month after.’

‘We can’t!’ said Agatha. ‘We haven’t got any money. How will we live?’

But she did want to marry Archie.

‘Archie has asked me to marry him, and I want to. I want to very much!’ she told her mother.

Clara was very surprised. ‘You must wait,’ she told them both. ‘I like you, Archie, but you are only twenty-three years old, and neither of you has any money.’

So Archie went to Salisbury, and he and Agatha waited. Agatha wrote to Reggie Lucy. It was a difficult letter to write, but Reggie wrote a very kind letter back to her. ‘Don’t worry about it,’ he told her. ‘I understand.’


In August 1914, England was suddenly at war with Germany. Archie went to France with the Royal Flying Corps, and Agatha went to work as a volunteer nurse at the Torbay Hospital in Torquay.

Archie came back to England for five days in December, and Agatha went up to London to meet him. Then the two of them went down to Bristol, where Archie’s mother lived. They could not wait any longer. They wanted to get married.

Archie’s mother was not happy about this, but Clara thought differently. ‘Yes, get married now,’ she said. ‘There’s a war on. Who knows what will happen? Be happy while you can.’

So Agatha and Archie were married at last on the 24th of December, 1914. Two days later, Archie went back to the war, and Agatha did not see him again for six months.


During the summer of 1915, Agatha was ill and could not do any nursing work at the hospital for three or four weeks. Then, when she returned, she went to work in the hospital dispensary. And here she learned something which was very useful for a writer of detective stories. She learned about poisons.

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