Reading is an essential part of language learning, and reading stories,
detective stories at that, is undeniably one of the most enjoyable ways of
increasing one’s proficiency in a foreign language as well as learning of
strange social and cultural climates...
The Evening Messenger has decided to offer the above reward to any
person who shall give (1) information leading to the arrest of the man,
William Strickland, who is wanted by the police in connection with the murder
of the late Emma Strickland at 59, Acacia Crescent, Manchester.
Vernon Wedge didn’t want
to see the old man. Olga, his secretary, gave Blesker a sub-zero reception, but
he sat on in the attorney’s waiting room. His shoulders were rigid, his crooked
fingers interlaced, his chalky face a portrait of stubbornness and
determination. Finally, Vernon
had to yield.
The lawyer spent all of
Saturday morning searching for the weapon’s counterpart. He finally found one in
a dingy variety store four blocks from the scene of the stabbing. The
proprietor had exactly five left in stock; he took them all.
The steamer from Barcelona to Majorca (1) landed Mr. Parker Pyne at Palma in the early hours
of the morning – and straightway he met with disillusionment. The hotels were
full! The best that could be done for him was an airless cupboard overlooking
an inner court in a hotel in the center of the town – and with that Mr. Parker
Pyne was not prepared to put up. The proprietor of the hotel was indifferent to
As he entered the Pino
d’Oro the first thing he saw was Mrs. Chester and Betty Gregg having tea
together. Basil was not there. Mrs. Chester looked haggard. Betty, too, was
looking off color (20). She was hardly made up at all, and her eyelids
looked as though she had been crying.
Poirot and I were
expecting our old friend Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard to tea. We were
sitting round the tea-table awaiting his arrival. Poirot had just finished carefully
straightening the cups and saucers which our landlady was in the habit of
throwing, rather than placing, on the table. He had also breathed heavily on
the metal teapot, and polished it with a silk handkerchief. The kettle was on
the boil, and a small enamel saucepan beside it contained some thick, sweet
chocolate which was more to Poirot’s palate than what he described as «your
Sheringham was inclined to think afterwards that the Poisoned Chocolates Case,
as the papers called it, was perhaps the most perfectly planned murder he had
ever encountered. The motive was so obvious, when you knew where to look for it
– but you
didn’t know; the method was so significant when you had grasped its real
essentials – but you didn’t
grasp them; the traces were so thinly covered, when you had realised what was
covering them – but you didn’t
realise. But for a piece of the merest bad luck, which the murderer could not
possibly have foreseen, the crime must have been added to the classical list of
seemed to think there was nothing odd in his mission, and took him up to the
drawing-room at once. A corner of the room was devoted to the silver-framed photographs of Mrs.
Verreker-le-Flemming’s friends, and there were many of them. Roger examined
them with interest, and finally took away with him not two photographs but six,
those of Sir William, Mrs. Beresford, Beresford, two strange males who appeared
to belong to the Sir William period, and, lastly, a likeness of Mrs. Verreker-le-Flemming herself. Roger liked
confusing his trail.
Marvin Geller arrived at
his office on Monday morning, with the feeling that his was a dull and conventional
existence. The night before, he had met an explorer, an actor, and a Marine
sergeant at a party. Tales of their triumphs and exploits lingered in his ears.
As he paused in front of the mahogany door, he no longer felt a thrill of pride
at the sight of the gold letters that proclaimed his function in the world.
I had nightmares about
it for several years afterward – the kind where something is on your heels, and
you make desperate efforts, each more futile than the last, to escape it – and
always felt bad about them when I woke up. I never could decide whether I was
justified in having bad dreams at all.
Teddy ate like a little
pig. When he had finished he lay down on the floor of the pantry with a
resolute air. My aunt had to carry him into the dining-room and deposit him in
a sunny spot near her easel. He was asleep and snoring before I left the room.
A dozen big firms
subsidize our mineralogical institute, and most of them keep at least one man
permanently on research there. The library has the intimate smoky atmosphere of
a club. Logan and I had been there longest and had the two tables in the big window
bay (1). Against the wall, just at the edge of the bay, where the light was
bad, was a small table which was left for newcomers or transients (2).
Paul Santin had had a good day. Small town doctors
and drug stores were doing a thriving business, and, therefore, so was Paul
Santin, pharmaceutical salesman. But it had been a long day, and now it was
past eleven. Santin was driving fast on the country back road, trying to make
it home before midnight.