It has not been done, I think?

Dear All,

I hope you can help.

Please see the part below. It is cited from ( murder in the oriental express). What does the part  (it has not been done, I think?) mean?

In my opinon it has two interpretations.

1. The act of depicting the scene was not yet done by anyone before Dubosc. OR

2. Dubosc says that he can do the act of depicting the scene as he still has the time to do so. Thus the time is not finished =(done).

Which one if my interpretations is correct?

Thank you.


M. Hercule Poirot was a little late in entering the luncheon-car on the following 
day. He had risen early, had breakfasted almost alone, and had spent the morning 
going over the notes of the case that was recalling him to London. He had seen 
little of his travelling companion. 
M. Bouc, who was already seated, gated a greeting and summoned his friend to 
the empty place opposite him. Poirot sat down and soon found himself in the 
favoured position of being at the table which was served first and with the choicest 
morsels. The food, too, was unusually good. 
It was not till they were eating a delicate cream cheese that M. Bouc allowed his 
attention to wander to matters other than nourishment. He was at the stage of a 
meal when one becomes philosophic. 
“Ah!” he sighed. “If I had but the pen of a Balzac! I would depict this scene.” 
He waved a hand. 
“It is an idea, that,” said Poirot. 

“Ah, you agree? It has not been done, I think?

 And yet—it lends itself to 
romance, my friend. All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of 
all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought 
together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. 
At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never perhaps to see 
each other again.”


  • I think the first interpretation, that this kind of scene has not been depicted, is the intended one. "It has not been done" in the sense of "there is still time" is not common english speech. 
  • ismael0891ismael0891 saudi arabia
    edited February 2017
    Thank you very much.

    I have come up with a third interpretation i.e. Bouc still have the time to be like Balzac and the time has not been done = (over) in the sense that he still have the time to be a great writer like Balzac.

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