Poirot Investigates

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Poirot Investigates

By Agatha Christie (1924)

Agatha Christie writes this book many many years ago, but it is still so interesting and relevant as of today. This book tells of many short mysteries that the detective Poirot solves.

The Million Dollar Bond Robbery

Poirot is asked by the fiancée of Philip Ridgeway to prove his innocence. Ridgeway is the nephew of Mr Vavasour, the joint general manager of the London and Scottish Bank and a million dollars of bonds have gone missing whilst in his care. Poirot meets Ridgeway who gives him the facts of the case: He was entrusted by his uncle and the other general manager, Mr Shaw, of taking a million dollars of Liberty Bonds to New York to extend the bank’s credit line there. The packet disappeared just a few hours before the liner on which Ridgeway was travelling, the Olympia, docked in New York.

In many instances like this, the packet or documents have already been stolen before Ridgeway was on his way to bring the bonds to New York. And if you look at the characters involved and their finances, usually you can traced it back to the person who has some debts or gambling problems. Small details also reveal the person.

Poirot caught Mr Shaw by asking if he can smoke a cigar (a request which Mr. Shaw should have declined as he couldn’t stand smoke with his bronchitis problem). Hence he is the person who masterminded the entire theft act.

 

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The Lost Mine

Poirot and Hastings are discussing investments, that Hastings said that in the newspaper it is advertised that they can get 100% dividends next year from Porcupine oil fields. Poirot informs Hastings that he has no thing of that kind except for 14000 shares in Burma Mines Ltd which were given to him as a gift for the servies rendered.

A Chinese named Wu Ling travelled to England to sell information to a firm about the location of a potentiallly valuable old mine. Wu Ling was supposed to be met by one of the syndicate company directors, Mr Pearson but his train there was delayed with the result that Wu Ling made his own way to London where he booked into the Hotel Russell Square and telephoned the company to say that he would see them the next day. He failed to appear at the meeting and the hotel was contacted. They said Wu Ling had gone out earlier with a friend. He still failed to appear at the offices throughout the day. The police were contacted and the next evening the Chinaman’s body was found floating in the Thames.

Poirot quickly found the papers – Pearson had them. He had indeed met Wu Ling in Southampton (everyone had his word only that he had failed to meet the visitor) and taken him direct to Limehouse where Wu Ling was killed.

However, one of the opium dealers had already been put into the Hotel Russell Square to impersonate the man and, hearing of Lester’s invitation to visit the hotel from Wu Ling himself, Pearson set the young man up to take the blame for the murder. Lester did indeed enter the opium den and was drugged. Having only a hazy recollection and losing his nerve, he at first denied entering the den. Pearson’s insistence in taking Poirot to Limehouse was an elaborate charade to divert the detective’s suspicions but it had the opposite effect. Pearson was arrested.

Hence Poirot advised Hastings, strictly to the conservative. The things you read in the paper, they may not be true. The directors of the Porcupine – they may be so many Mr Pearsons!

 

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