From Agatha Christie's 'Peril at End House', Chapter 7 (emphasis mine):

Presently we all moved out into the garden to a place overlooking the sea and the harbour. A few chairs had been placed there for the elderly people, but most of us stood. The first rocket flamed to Heaven.

What is meant by this sentence?

I would guess this is referring to a plant(s), the obvious being some variant of Rocket. However, I can't find any explanation of something 'flaming to Heaven', specific to plants, or anything else for that matter. I suppose it could refer to flowers opening up in the morning?

  • 1
    "flaming to heaven" relates to seeing the fiery plume that the rocket makes as it takes off into the sky
    – Alith
    Jul 5, 2022 at 19:01
  • Wow, I've been speaking English, not fluently or well but almost adequately, for several decades now, and I didn't know "rocket" was the name of a plant. Still, in interpreting this particular passage, I find it hard to understand why you'd go with the plant rather than one of those fiery things that shoots up into the sky.
    – user14111
    Jul 6, 2022 at 5:45
  • @user14111 If you speak primarily American English, the equivalent is arugula. Rocket is the British English term for the same plant.
    – Kitkat
    Jul 14, 2022 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


They're watching fireworks.

A few paragraphs earlier we have the sentence: "‘It’s warm,’ said Nick. ‘It’ll be nice when we’re watching the fireworks.‘"

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

rocket: a firework consisting of a case partly filled with a combustible composition fastened to a guiding stick and propelled through the air by the rearward discharge of the gases liberated by combustion.

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