Friday, September 20, 2013

Hercule Poirot, The Letter! Episode 1

"It is the little grey cells, Hastings. Without the little grey cells, the brain, it will not work properly, n'est-ce pas? . . . Ah, yes, so many cases to be solved, and so little time to solve them. That is why, without the little grey cells, my work cannot be completed. And then what happens, Hastings?"

"I-I'm not quite sure what you are getting at, Poirot."

"Come, come, Hastings, the answer, it is right there in front of you . . . so very obvious, no?"

"Hmm . . . well . . . I suppose it means more murderers and thieves will be on the loose?"

"Exactly, mon ami. So, it is very important I do my work in a timely manner. Do you not agree?"

"Er, yes, you are quite right about that, Poirot. And speaking of work—"

"Yes, I know what it is you are going to say."

"You do? These grey cells . . . they read minds now, do they?"

"Mon Dieu,  Hastings, it is a joke you are making now? I am about to embark on perhaps the most important case of my life and you make the joke?"

"Oh, I didn't realize we were on another case, Poirot. Miss Lemon failed to tell me that."

"That is because Miss Lemon does not say what I do not wish her to say, my friend."

"It's a big secret then, is it? Curiouser, and curiouser."

"Non. Not curiouser and curiouser, Hastings. That is a grammatical, how you say,  faux pas? But I will tell you now what it is I did not wish Miss Lemon to tell you."

"Right. I'm all ears, Poirot . . . Ahem . . . that's just an expression."

"Your expressions are meaningless to me, mon ami. They do not exist in the order and method of my world. You would be wise to remember that. Now, I received in the mail an anonymous letter while you were in the Argentine. It has caused me great alarm. Such alarm, that I must be careful when I talk about it. That is why I instructed Miss Lemon not to say to you anything."

"I see. I think I'm beginning to understand the gravity of the situation, Poirot! Quite frankly, it sounds as if I arrived home just in time."

"Yes, Hastings. Always you are . . . perspicacious in your observations. Now, you must listen very—"

"Poirot, I've been thinking. Perhaps it would be better if I read the letter?"

"Non, non. The letter, it was for my eyes only. And Hastings? It is vitally important you do not interrupt me any further. Time is of the essence to solve this case."

"Quite right. My apologies."

"Si. Si . . . In this letter, there was made an appointment to meet me."

"An appointment? With you? Oh my dear fellow, this is indeed an unusual occurrence, is it not?"

"Hastings! I do not think I like your tone. Another joke at my expense? You have come back from the Argentine with an unusually sharp wit. But the charm, it is gone, mon ami."

"Oh terribly sorry, Poirot. It just seemed—"

"I accept your apology, Hastings. Let us speak no further on this. Now, it was stated in the letter that if I do not make this appointment, a life will be taken. You can see why with your silly jokes, I cannot laugh!?"

"Yes. I'm very sorry old chap. When, and where does this anonymous person wish to meet?". . . . . . . . I say Poirot, did you hear me? . . . . . . . Poirot?"

"Excuse me, Hastings. I was grooming the one side of my mustache that, how you say, droops when I am most in distress. The when, it is tonight at midnight. The place, it is the gardens of the parish church, St. Mary Metfelon, in Whitechapel."

"Whitechapel? At midnight? This case is beginning to sound dreadfully dangerous, Poirot. I don't think you should go."

"What choice do I have, Captain Hastings?"

"What choice do you have? I'll tell you what choice you have. You don't have to go. Simple enough, isn't it?"

"Ah, mon ami, your naïveté, sometimes it amuses me."

"I'm very glad you find me so amusing, Poirot. Perhaps it won't be so amusing when they find your little round body in Whitechapel with a hole in your forehead, and . . . and your mustache shaved off!"

"Eh bien, but I see I have upset you greatly, Hastings. My dear fellow, sometimes when Fate dangles a finger fickle in front of you, it would be wise not to ignore, n'est-ce pas?"

"That's fickle finger of Fate, Poirot. And don't you think it would be wiser not to walk straight into what is so obviously a trap?"

"Ah, but my dear Hastings, what is obvious to one person, is certainement not obvious to another. So, I will cast the die with Fate. Then, we shall see, what we shall see."

"Well, if you are going to do something foolish like that, Poirot, I'm coming with you."

"Ah, mon ami, you are loyal to a fault. But I shall reward your loyalty. You may certainement accompany me to St. Mary Metfelon in Whitechapel."

"Why thank you, Poirot. That is jolly kind of you, I must say. But . . . I do have a suggestion."

"Chief Inspector Japp has already been informed. You see, it is always about the little grey cells, Hastings. Always." . . .  "C'est bien! Let us begin our preparations, mon ami!"

Author note:  Alors, you see, mes amis? I could not resist, how you say, this feeble attempt at fan fiction. Dame Agatha Christie, she would no doubt strike me down at midnight, (if she could, and mostly 'cos of my very bad French) and I would become just another victim of a murder mystery for my readers to solve! I can see it now, "The Case of the Cheeky Author!"

On Monday, she will return in all her glory, the beautiful, but very very vain, Lady Angela Rosecroft. Until then, my fine readers, au revoir.