Like Emma Morley in One Day, for me travel used to mean holidays on the North Yorkshire coast, in cottages and caravans. My parents didn't take solace in drink, but I did fill one rain-sodden week by reading Agatha Christie, and quite possibly The ABC Murders, though I can't be sure.
In fact, I remember nothing at all from the first time I read my 25p in 1971 Fontana paperback, but second time around it was, as I expected, better than I had expected.
Here, Hercule Poirot masquerades as journalist:
"Good evening, madame. I am on the staff of the Evening Flicker. I want persuade you to accept a fee of five pounds and let us have an article on your late neighbour, Mrs Ascher."
No labour on her part was required. He would elicit the facts from her and the interview would be written up.
(Apparently, cheque book journalism didn't come cheap in 1935 - five pounds was comfortably more than the average worker would receive in a week - but Poirot has the money on him to pay out).
Later, the newspapers realise three murders may be linked. The Daily Flicker warns its readers: "He may be in your town!
Reporters incessantly badgered (Poirot) for interviews.
What M. Poirot Says Today
Which was usually followed by a half-column of imbecilities.
M. Poirot Takes Grave View of Situation
M. Poirot on Eve of Success
Captain Hastings, the great friend of M. Poirot, told our Special Representative...
"Poirot," I would cry. "Pray believe me. I never said anything of the kind."
My friend would reply kindly:
"I know, Hastings - I know. The spoken word and the written - there is an astonishing gulf between them. There is a way of turning sentences that completely reverses their original meaning."
"I wouldn't like you to think. I'd said------"
"But do not worry yourself. All this is of no importance. These imbeciles, even, may help."
I don't suppose, when I first read this, that I realised I would soon be one of those imbeciles...