Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-15: Strange Behaviour of Frederica Poirot’s inventions about the Chief Constable were proved not to have been so mendacious after all. Colonel Weston called upon us soon after lunch.
He was a tall man of military carriage with considerable good looks. He had a suitable reverence for Poirot’s achievements, with which he seemed to be well acquainted.
‘Marvellous piece of luck for us having you down here, M. Poirot,’ he said again and again.
His one fear was that he should be compelled to call in the assistance of Scotland Yard. He was anxious to solve the mystery and catch the criminal without their aid. Hence his delight at Poirot’s presence in the neighborhood.
Poirot, so far as I could judge, took him completely into his confidence.
‘Deuced odd business,’ said the Colonel. ‘Never heard of anything like it. Well, the girl ought to be safe enough in a nursing home. Still, you can’t keep her there forever!’
‘That, M. le Colonel, is just the difficulty. There is only one way of dealing with it.’
‘And that is?’
‘We must lay our hands on the person responsible.’
‘If what you suspect is true, that isn’t going to be so easy.’
‘Ah! je le sais bien.’
‘Evidence! Getting evidence is going to be the devil.’
He frowned abstractedly.
‘Always difficult, these cases, where there’s no routine work. If we could get hold of the pistol-‘
‘In all probability, it is at the bottom of the sea. That is if the murderer had any sense.’
‘Ah!’ said Colonel Weston. ‘But often they haven’t. You’d be surprised at the foolish things people do. I’m not talking of murders-we don’t have many murders down in these parts, I’m glad to say-but in ordinary police court cases. The sheer damn foolishness of these people would surprise you.’
‘They are of a different mentality, though,’
‘Yes-perhaps. If Vyse is the chap, well, we’ll have our work cut out. He’s a cautious man and a sound lawyer. He’ll not give himself away. The woman-well, there would be more hope there. Ten to one she’ll try again. Women have no patience.’
‘Inquest tomorrow morning. The coroner will work in with us and give away as little as possible. We want to keep things dark at present.’
He was turning towards the door when he suddenly came back.
‘Upon my soul, I’d forgotten the very thing that will interest you most, and that I want your opinion about.’
Sitting down again, he drew a torn scrap of paper with writing on it from his pocket and handed it to Poirot.
‘My police found this when they were searching the grounds. Nor far from where you were all watching the fireworks. It’s the only suggestive thing they did find.’
Poirot smoothed it out. The writing was large and straggling.
‘…must have money at once. If not you… what will happen? I’m warning you.’
Poirot frowned. He read and re-read it.
This is interesting,’ he said. ‘I may keep it?’
‘Certainly. There are no fingerprints on it. I’ll be glad if you can make anything of it.’
Colonel Weston got to his feet again.
‘I really must be off. Inquest tomorrow, as I said. By the way, you are not being called as witness-only Captain Hastings. Don’t want the newspaper people to get wise to your being on the job.’
‘I comprehend. What of the relations of the poor young lady?’
‘The father and mother are coming from Yorkshire today. They’ll arrive about half-past five. Poor souls. I’m heartily sorry for them. They are taking the body back with them the following day.’
He shook his head. ‘
Unpleasant business. I’m not enjoying this, M. Poirot.’
‘Who could, M. le Colonel? It is, as you say, an unpleasant business.’
When he had gone, Poirot examined a scrap of paper once more.
‘An important clue?’ I asked.
He shrugged his shoulders.
‘How can one tell? There is a hint of blackmail about it! Someone at our party that night was being pressed for money in a very unpleasant way. Of course, it is possible that it was one of the strangers.’
He looked at the writing through a little magnifying glass.
‘Does this writing look at all familiar to you, Hastings?’
‘It reminds me a little of something-Ah! I have it that note of Mrs. Rice’s.’
‘Yes,’ said Poirot, slowly. ‘There are resemblances. Decidedly there are resemblances. It is curious. Yet I do not think that this is the writing of Madame Rice. Come in,’ he said, as a knock came at the door.
It was Commander Challenger.
‘Just looked in,’ he explained. ‘Wanted to know if you were any further forward.’
‘Parbleu,’ said Poirot. ‘At this moment I am feeling that I am considerably further back. I seem to progressen reculant.’
‘That’s bad. But I don’t really believe it, M. Poirot. I’ve been hearing all about you and what a wonderful chap you are. Never had a failure, they say.’
‘That is not true,’ said Poirot. ‘I had a bad failure in Belgium in 1893. You recollect, Hastings? I recounted it to you. The affair of the box of chocolates.’
‘I remember,’ I said.
And I smiled, for at the time that Poirot told me that tale, he had instructed me to say ‘chocolate box’ to him if ever I should fancy he was growing conceited! He was then bitterly offended when I used the magical words only a minute and a quarter later.
‘Oh, well,’ said Challenger, ‘that is such a long time ago it hardly counts. You are going to get to the bottom of this, aren’t you?’
‘That I swear. On the word of Hercule Poirot. I am the dog who stays on the scent and does not leave it.’
‘Good. Got any ideas?’
“I suspect two individuals,”
“Am I correct to assume that I shouldn’t inquire about their identities?”
‘I should not tell you! You see, I might possibly be in error.’
‘My alibi is satisfactory, I trust,’ said Challenger, with a faint twinkle.
Poirot smiled indulgently at the bronzed face in front of him. ‘You left Devonport at a few minutes past 8.30. You arrived here at five minutes past ten-twenty minutes after the crime had been committed. But the distance from Devonport is only just over thirty miles, and you have often done it in an hour since the road is good. So, you see, your alibi is not good at all!’
‘You comprehend, I inquire into everything. Your alibi, as I say, is not good. But there are other things besides alibis. You would like, I think, to marry Mademoiselle Nick?’
The sailor’s face flushed.
‘I’ve always wanted to marry her,’ he said huskily.
‘Precisely. Eh, bien -Mademoiselle Nick was engaged to another man. A reason, perhaps, for killing the other man. But that is unnecessary-he dies the death of a hero.’
‘So it is true that Nick engaged to Michael Seton? There’s a rumor to that effect all over the town this morning.’
‘Yes-it is interesting how soon news spreads. You never suspected it before?’
‘I knew Nick was engaged to someone-she told me so two days ago. But she didn’t give me a clue as to who it was.’
‘It was Michael Seton. Entre nous, he has left her, I fancy, a very pretty fortune. Ah! assuredly, it is not a moment for killing Mademoiselle Nick from your point of view. She weeps for her lover now, but the heart consoles itself. She is young. And I think, Monsieur, that she is very fond of you…’
Challenger was silent for a moment or two.
‘If it should be…’ he murmured.
There was a tap on the door.
It was Frederica Rice.
‘I’ve been looking for you,’ she said to Challenger. ‘They told me you were here. I wanted to know if you’d got my wristwatch back yet.’
‘Oh, yes, I called for it this morning.’
He took it from his pocket and handed it to her. It was a watch of rather an unusual shape-round, like a globe, set on a strap of plain black moiré. I remembered that I had seen one much the same shape on Nick Buckley’s wrist.
‘I hope it will keep better time now.’
‘It’s rather a bore. Something is always going wrong with it.’
‘It is for beauty, Madame, and not for utility,’ said Poirot.
‘Can’t one have both?’ She looked from one to the other of us. ‘Am I interrupting a conference?’
‘No, indeed, Madame. We were talking gossip-not the crime. We were saying how quickly news spreads-how that everyone knows that Mademoiselle Nick was engaged to that brave airman who perished.’
‘So Nick was engaged to Michael Seton!’ exclaimed Frederica.
‘It surprises you, Madame?’
‘It does a little. I don’t know why. Certainly, I did think he was very taken with her last autumn. They went about a lot together. And then, after Christmas, they both seemed to cool off. As far as I know, they hardly met.’
‘The secret, they kept it very well.’
‘That was because of old Sir Matthew, I suppose. He was really a little off his head, I think.’
‘You had no suspicion, Madame? And yet Mademoiselle was such an intimate friend.’
‘Nick’s a close little devil when she likes,’ murmured Frederica. ‘But I understand now why she’s been so nervy lately. Oh! and I ought to have guessed from something she said only the other day.’
‘Your little friend is very attractive, Madame.’
‘Old Jim Lazarus used to think so at one time,’ said Challenger, with his loud, rather tactless laugh.
‘Oh! Jim-‘ She shrugged her shoulders, but I thought she was annoyed.
She turned to Poirot.
‘Tell me, M. Poirot, did you-‘
She stopped. Her tall figure swayed and her face turned whiter still. Her eyes were fixed on the center of the table.
‘You are not well, Madame.’
I pushed forward a chair and helped her to sink into it. She shook her head, murmured, ‘I’m all right,’ and leaned forward, her face between her hands. We watched her awkwardly.
She sat up in a minute.
‘How absurd! George, darling, don’t look so worried. Let’s talk about murders. Something exciting. I want to know if M. Poirot is on the track.’
‘It is early to say, Madame,’ said Poirot, noncommittally.
‘But you have ideas-yes?’
‘Perhaps. But I need a great deal more evidence.’
‘Oh!’ She sounded uncertain.
Suddenly she rose.
‘I’ve got a head. I think I’ll go and lie down. Perhaps tomorrow they’ll let me see Nick.’
She left the room abruptly. Challenger frowned.
‘You never know what that woman’s up to. Nick may have been fond of her, but I don’t believe she was fond of Nick. But there, you can’t tell with women. It’s darling-darling-darling-all the time-and “damn you” would probably express it much better. Are you going out, M. Poirot?’ For Poirot had risen and was carefully brushing a speck off his hat.
‘Yes, I am going into the town.’
‘I’ve got nothing to do. May I come with you?’
‘Assuredly. It will be a pleasure.’
We left the room. Poirot, with an apology, went back.
‘My stick,’ he explained, as he rejoined us.
Challenger winced slightly. And indeed the stick, with its embossed gold band, was somewhat ornate.
Poirot’s first visit was to a florist.
‘I must send some flowers to Mademoiselle Nick,’ he explained.
He proved difficult to suit.
In the end, he chose an ornate gold basket to be filled with orange carnations. The whole to be tied up with a large blue bow.
The shopwoman gave him a card and he wrote on it with a flourish: ‘With the Compliments of Hercule Poirot.’
‘I sent her some flowers this morning,’ said Challenger. ‘I might send her some fruit.’
‘Inutile!’ said Poirot.
‘I said it was useless. The eatable-it is not permitted.’
‘Who says so?’
‘I say so. I have made the rule. It has already been impressed on Mademoiselle Nick. She understands.’
‘Good Lord!’ said Challenger.
He looked thoroughly startled. He stared at Poirot curiously.
‘So that’s it, is it?’ he said. ‘You’re still afraid.’
Read Peril at End House Novel All Parts Free Online
- The Peril at End House By Agatha Christie Novel Complete Review
- Peril at End House Chapter 1: The Majestic Hotel
- Peril at End House Chapter 2: End House
- Peril at End House Novel Chapter-3: Accidents?
- Peril at End House Chapter-4: There Must Be Something!?
- Peril at End House Chapter-5: Mr and Mrs Croft
- Peril at End House Chapter-6: A Call Upon Mr. Vyse
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-7: Tragedy
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-8: The Fatal Shawl
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-9: A. to J.
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-10: Nick’s Secret
- Peril at End House Chapter-11: The Motive
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-12: Ellen
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-13: Letters
- Peril at End House Pdf Chapter-14: The Mystery of the Missing Will