Playing Detective - Part 2
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The rules are easy - a line or passage is given from one of Agatha Christie's stories. After somebody correctly identifies which story it is from, they post the next quotation.
Here is the next line:
He shook hands ceremoniously.
There was something in his eye that was unusual. One would have said that this chance encounter awakened in him an emotion that he seldom had occasion to feel."
Cat Among the Pigeons ????
But nope -- it's not this one...
OK... another clue - the number of the detectives is the same as the number of the suspects and is the same as the number of something else which is kinda important in the novel (or at least its name).
"Quite so. Why? I admire you economy of speech. This is a private committee--a committee of inquiry. An inquiry of worldwide significance."
"How are you, old boy?"
He smiled patiently at me. "I exist, my friend, I still exist."
"Not in pain?"
"No - just tired - " he sighed - "very tired."
"This is nothing to do with cats," said ________, raising his voice. "I came to talk to you about the unfortunate affair which happened next door. You have probably heard about it."
"Next door? You mean Mr. Joshua's dog?"
"No," said ________, I do not. I mean at Number Nineteen, where a man was found murdered yesterday."
"That prim Englishwoman! Do you think that I will support that for one moment? Ah, no." Her beautiful lithe body quivered. "Listen, _____, do you remember that conversation we had in London? You said the only thing that could save you was the death of your wife. You regretted that she was so healthy. Then the idea of an accident came into your brain. And more than an accident."
"Poor devils," he said as he sank down in a worn easy-chair. "So scared and so stupid - no sense. Had a painful case this evening. Woman who ought to have come to me a year ago. If she'd come then, she might have been operated on successfully. Now it's too late. Makes me mad. The truth is people are an extraordinary mixture of heroism and cowardice. She's been suffering agony, and borne it without a word, just because she was too scared to come and find out that what she feared might be true. At the other end of the scale are the people who come and waste my time because they've got a dangerous swelling causing them agony on their little finger which they think may be cancer and which turns out to be a common or garden chilblain! Well, don't mind me. I've blown off steam now. What did you want to see me about?"
Mind you, this quote reminds me of a Ngaio Marsh book too....
Yes - 4.50 from Paddington it is. :) Your turn
"Here's our stain," said __________, indicating the mark with his foot. "Right up against the skirting board at the opposite side of the room to the writing table. Under what circumstances would a man drop a pen just there?"
"You can drop a pen anywhere," said ___________.
"You can hurl it across a room, of course," agreed _______. "But one doesn't usually treat one's pen like that. I don't know, though. Fountain pens are damned annoying things...."
Three Act Tragedy ?
Sir Charles Cartwright is acting the part of a great detective as Mr. Satterwaite observes.
"There was the lady who gave such wonderful prices for castoff clothing. "Ladies' wardrobes inspected at their own dwellings." There were the gentlemen who bought anything - but principally teeth. There were ladies of title going abroad who would dispose of their furs at a ridiculous figure. There was the distressed clergyman and the hardworking widow, and the disabled officer, all needing sums varying from fifty pounds to two thousand."
"Well, out with it. What's the interesting point? I suppose, like 'the incident of the dog in the nighttime' the point is that there is no interesting point?"
____ disregarded this sally on my part. He said quietly and calmly: "The interesting point is the date."
I picked up the letter. On the top left-hand corner was written April 17th. "Yes," I said slowly. "That is odd. April 17th."
(Corrected so that it's a letter, not Poirot, that the maid mails.) ;-)
"I like a good detective story," he said. "But, you know, they begin in the wrong place! They begin with the murder. But the murder is the end. The story begins long before that - years before sometimes - with all the causes and events that bring certain people to a certain place at a certain time on a certain day..."
Correct! It's Mr. Treves in the prologue of Towards Zero.
"I slept badly that night.
I think that even then, there were pieces of the puzzle floating about in my mind. I believe that if I had given my mind to it, I would have solved the whole thing then and there. Otherwise why did those fragments tag along so persistently?
How much do we know at any time? Much more, or so I believe, than we know we know! But we cannot break through to that subterranean knowledge. It's there, but we cannot reach it."
"If you know a thing," he said, "it is always a great temptation to show that you know it; to talk about it, in other words. It is not that you want to give information, it is not that you have been offered payment to give information. It is that you want to show how important you are. Yes. it's just as simple as that. In fact, everything in this world is so very, very simple. That's what people don't understand."
"I should be very kind," said ______ in a gently contemplative tone. "It would be more difficult, but I'd rather have it that way because I don't like hurting things. I'd use a sort of drug that gives people euthanasia. They would go to sleep and have beautiful dreams and they just wouldn't wake up."
PS: On a business trip with crappy internet so if I am right, it might take me a while to post the new one.
"The newspapers were full of nothing else. All sorts of "clues" were reported to have been discovered. Arrests were announced to be imminent. There were photographs of every person or place remotely connected with the murder. There were interviews with any one who would give interviews. There were questions asked in Parliament."
'Yes-the slump in pictures has hit them badly. And antique furniture too. All this modern continental stuff coming into fashion. They built new premises last year and -well- as I say, they're not far from Queer Street."
"We needn't take very many people - not at first. It's an easy house to run - it's got hot and cold water in the bedrooms and central heating and a gas cooker. And we can have hens and ducks and our own eggs, and vegetables."
"Who'd do all the work - isn't it very hard to get servants?"
"Oh, we'd have to do the work. But wherever we lived we'd have to do that. A few extra people wouldn't really mean much more to do. We'd probably get a woman to come in after a bit when we got properly started. If we had only five people, each paying seven guineas a week -"
By-the-way, are the quotes allowed to come from films, or the TV series?
Yep, that's it.
Please - no films and tv series :( But you can ask for strange short stories.
The Poirot series (the one with David Suchet) is actually quite good. The Miss Marple ones are strange although I like some of the episodes.
Sorry to hijack the topic! I await the next clue. ;-)
'"...one name's as good as another. A rose by any other name would small as sweet. Juliet said that, didn't she? Silly things sometimes Shakespeare made them say. Of course, he couldn't help it, he was a poet. Never cared much for Romeo and Juliet myself."'
"Arsenic in the soup?" suggested ***** cheerfully. "Cosh them on the head--Push them down the staircase---?"
"She was a tall woman, and for a singer not unduly fat. Her arms and legs were still slender, and her neck was a beautiful column. Her hair, which was coiled in a great roll halfway down her neck, was of a dark, glowing red. If it owed some at least of its colour to henna, the result was none the less effective. She was not a young woman, forty at least, but the lines of her face were still lovely, though the skin was loosened and wrinkled round the flashing, dark eyes. She had the laugh of a child, the digestion of an ostrich, and the temper of a fiend, and she was acknowledged to be the greatest dramatic soprano of her day. "
"Your motive, madame, I pass over. It is sufficiently obvious. As to the rest, you were wearing last night a flowered taffeta dress of a very distinctive pattern with a cape."
"It was good to be out of the Wrens and a free woman again, although she had really enjoyed her overseas service very much. The work had been reasonably interesting, there had been parties, plenty of fun, but there had also been the irksomeness of routine and the feeling of being herded together with her companions which had sometimes made her feel desperately anxious to escape."
_____ stared at the peonies for some minutes. When she spoke, she uttered one word. It echoed like the tone of a deep bell--so much so that it was startling.
"Love!" she said.
____ queried the word sharply. "Love?"
"One of the most frightening words there is in the world," said ______.
"Here it is," she said.
y2pk- Why don't you give it another go?
"Quick, go to the other wing. Stand there—just this side of the baize door. Do not move till I come." Then, turning rapidly, he rejoined the two detectives.
I followed his instructions, taking up my position by the baize door, and wondering what on earth lay behind the request. Why was I to stand in this particular spot on guard? I looked thoughtfully down the corridor in front of me. An idea struck me. With the exception of ________'s, every one's room was in this left wing. Had that anything to do with it? Was I to report who came or went? I stood faithfully at my post. The minutes passed. Nobody came. Nothing happened.
"I had just registered the impression that she was a decidedly pretty girl when my attention was drawn to Poirot who, not looking where he was going, had stumbled over a root and fallen heavily. He was just abreast of the girl at the time and she and I between us helped him to his feet. My attention was naturally on my friend, but I was conscious of an impression of dark hair, an impish face and big dark blue eyes."
It is Peril at End House actually...
Anyone still interested in reviving the game?
Julius stepped forward and took her hand again.
"So long, Cousin Jane. I'm going to get busy after those papers, but I'll be back in two shakes of a dog's tail, and I'll tote you up to London and give you the time of your young life before we go back to the States! I mean it--so hurry up and get well."
"On certain occasions a state of animosity can arise between identical twins. It follows on a first keen protective love one for the other, but it can degenerate into something which is nearer hatred, if there is some emotional strain that could trigger it off or could arouse it, or any emotional crisis to account for animosity arising between two sisters."
Oh wait, A Murder is Announced?
Edit: I don't think they were twins, actually.
"We do not agree, eh?" said Poirot. "Well, let us leave it. Time will show which of us is right. Now let us turn to other aspects of the case. What do you make of the fact that all the doors of the bedroom were bolted on the inside?"
"Well " I considered. "One must look at it logically."
"I should put it this way. The doors WERE bolted - our own eyes have told us that - yet the presence of the candle grease on the floor, and the destruction of the will, prove that during the night some one entered the room. You agree so far?"
Poirot and Hastings discussing the murder of Mrs. Inglethorpe at Styles Court.
Poirot disregarded this sally on my part. He said quietly and calmly:
"The interesting point is the date."
I picked up the letter. On the top left-hard corner was written April 17th.
"Yes," I said slowly. "That is odd. April 17th."
"And we are today June 28. C'est curieux, n'est-ce pas? Over two months ago."
"Enveloped in an aura of righteousness and unyielding principles, Miss Brent sat in her crowded third-class carriage and triumphed over its discomfort and its heat. Every one made such a fuss over things nowadays! They wanted injections before they had teeth pulled -they took drugs if they couldn't sleep-they wanted easy chairs and cushions and the girls allowed their figures to slop about anyhow and lay about half naked on the beaches in summer."
"What do you come in my kitchen for, Mr. Policeman? You are police, yes? Always, always there is persecution-ah! I should be used to it by now."
The assistant remarked that the wind was very cold today, as she wrapped up the parcel.
‘Yes, indeed, I noticed it as I was coming along the front. Dillmouth has changed a good deal. I have not been here for, let me see, nearly nineteen years.’
‘Indeed, madam? Then you will find a lot of changes. The Superb wasn’t built then, I suppose, nor the Southview Hotel?’
‘Oh no, it was quite a small place. I was staying with friends…A house called St Catherine’s-perhaps you know it? On the Leahampton road.’
I knew it will probably be easy but I could not resist
I was planning on posting the last two paragraphs only but was worried if anyone will pick it up without the town's name.
"Yes - yes it is true. You are young, younger than you yourself know. Trust the train, Mademoiselle, for it is le bon Dieu who drives it."
The whistle of the engine came again.
"Trust the train Mademoiselle," murmured Poirot again. "And trust Hercule Poirot - He knows."
(I think I need to reread it too. I don't really remember it either.)
Ok - that should be easy enough
"Darling," she drawled, "won't that be rather tiresome? If any misfortunes happen to my friends I always drop them at once.t It sounds heartless, but it saves such a lot of trouble later! They always want to borrow money off you, or else they start a dress-making business and you have to get the most terrible clothes from them. Or they paint lampshades, or do Batik scarves."
It's memorable, isn't it? -- And the heroine is even more memorable. :)
Dumb Witness ?
Poirot murmured: "You did not approve of paying such a sum, naturally?"
Hope it's not too hard.