Agatha Christie Stalled in the Desert



“We saw Ukhaidir, wonderful in its isolation, and about an hour or two after we had left it came upon a desert lake of clear, sparkling blue water. It was outrageously hot, and I longed to bathe. ‘Would you really like to?’ said Max. ‘I don’t see why you shouldn’t…

…It was heaven–the world seemed perfect– or at least it did until we went to start the car again. It had sunk gently into the sand and refused to move, and I now realised some of the hazards of desert driving. Max and the driver, pulling out steel mats, spades, and various other things from the car, endeavoured to free us, but with no success. Hour succeeded hour. It was still ragingly hot. I lay down in the shelter of the car, or what shelter there was on one side of it, and went to sleep.

Max told me afterwards, whether truthfully or not, that it was at that moment he decided that I would make an excellent wife for him. ‘No fuss!’ he said. ‘You didn’t complain or say that it was my fault, or that we never should have stopped there. You seemed not to care whether we went on or not. Really it was at that moment I began to think you were wonderful.’

Ever since he said that to me I have tried to live up to the reputation I had made for myself. I am fairly good at taking things as they come, and not getting in a state. Also I have the useful art of being able to go to sleep at any moment, anywhere.”

Agatha Christie An Autobiography, Agatha Christie, William Collins Sons & Co Ltd, 1977.