Cards On The Table Hercule Poirot 15 Agatha Christie - [Free] Cards Poirot 15 Agatha Christie [PDF] [EPUB] Poirot (also known as Agatha. A flamboyant party host is murdered in full view of a roomful of bridge players Mr Shaitana was famous as a flamboyant party host. Nevertheless, he was a. Christie Download Pdf, Free Pdf Cards On The Table Hercule Poirot 15 Agatha Christie. Download. Mathematics Vocabulary Cards Grade 5.
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By the step leading up into the sleeping-car stood a young French lieutenant To which Murder on the Orient Express And Then There Were None by AGATHA. 3 pqCards on the Table3 Contents About Agatha Christie The Agatha Christie Collection EBook Extras Forewo. Cards on the table by Agatha Christie; 31 editions; First published in ; Subjects: Fiction, Hercule Poirot (Fictitious character), Private investigators, Private.
Cards on the Table Home Cards on the Table. Agatha Christie. In other words he is likely to be a complete outsider! There are only four starters and any one of them, given the right circumstances, might have committed the crime. That knocks out forcibly the element of surprise. Nevertheless there should be, I think, an equal interest attached to four persons, each of whom has committed murder and is capable of committing further murders.
Excuse me, Mrs Oliver, but it is. Professionally speaking, I could hardly have believed it! To stab a man with three other people a few yards away. He amused me — he was such a fantastic fellow. Touch of the Oriental about him. Now, can you tell me anything about the other three people?
I knew of Despard before — read his travel book, and a jolly good yarn it is. Shaitana never mentioned him to me. Mrs Lorrimer I know slightly. Moderately well off. I got up three times — that is, on three occasions when I was dummy I left my seat and made myself useful.
Once I brought drinks to the two ladies. Once I poured out a whisky and soda for myself. We began to play about nine-thirty, I imagine. Third time I rather fancy the thought just passed through my mind: Now, when did your fellow-players leave their seats?
Despard went and fetched an extra ash-tray, I think. And he went for a drink. Poked it, I think. I was playing a rather tricky no trump at the time. Came round and looked at my hand — I was her partner at the time. I can see, of course, that it would be perfectly possible to stab the old boy. The motive must have been a strong one.
There will probably be a clue. Take a bit of strength, I should imagine. Take a look at this. Dr Roberts leaned forward, took it, and examined it with rich professional appreciation.
He tried the point and whistled. What a tool! Absolutely made for murder, this little boy. Go in like butter — absolutely like butter. Brought it with him, I suppose. It lay on the table near the door with a good many other knick-knacks. I meant that there was another angle of looking at the business. He conceived the idea after he got here? Er — anything to suggest that idea to you? Superintendent Battle cleared his throat. Thank you for your help. Telephone No. Bayswater I may have to call upon you shortly.
Of course not. Great admirer of yours, M. Little grey cells — order and method.
I know all about it. I just like to get all the details clear in my mind. For instance, how many rubbers did you play? Walk over; we never held a card. We cut each time, but it worked out like a pivot. Fourth rubber, Miss Meredith and I again. I was a bit up and Miss Meredith and Despard must have been down. I now ask you for your opinion of them as bridge players.
Miss Meredith you might describe as quite a safe player. Dr Roberts rose. Goodnight, Mrs Oliver. You ought to get some copy out of this. Better than your untraceable poisons, eh?
Mrs Oliver said bitterly as the door closed behind him: Copy indeed! People are so unintelligent. I could invent a better murder any day than anything real. And the people who read my books like untraceable poisons! Mrs Lorrimer came into the dining-room like a gentlewoman.
She looked a little pale, but composed. I quite realize that one of the four people in that room must be guilty. Her intelligent grey eyes met his. She waited attentively. I have known him over a period of some years, but never intimately. It is really a matter of indifference to me whether he is alive or dead.
I thought him a poseur, and rather theatrical, and sometimes he irritated me. That is — or rather was — my attitude towards him. Now, Mrs Lorrimer, can you tell me anything about your three companions? Both of them seem charming people. Dr Roberts I know slightly. I have been trying to think it out. I got up once myself when I was dummy. Mr Shaitana was alive then. I lowered my voice, not to interrupt the players. He went on with his quiet methodical questioning. He also got himself one — that was later.
Major Despard also went to get a drink — at about Miss Meredith left her seat once only, I think. She may have moved away. She leaned forward and handed the dainty little thing back to him.
It was a long chance to take. I consider that a most improper question. Mrs Lorrimer paused, her head slightly inclined. Your answer, if you please, madame. Dr Roberts overcalls, but plays his hand brilliantly. Miss Meredith is quite a nice little player, but a bit too cautious.
Anything more? It is the score of the third rubber. He cancels as he goes. Goodnight, Colonel Race. What do we want in this case? A clue to character. And a clue not to one character, but to four characters. She was playing with Mrs Lorrimer. They had the cards, and they won. But it tells us perhaps something about Major Despard — a man who likes the whole time to know at a glance where he stands. Not such high scores as the preceding rubber.
That is probably because the doctor was playing with Miss Meredith, and she is a timid player. His calling would make her more so! But it is not so. I want to get at the characters of these four players, and when it is only about bridge I ask, everyone is ready and willing to speak. I know that. I give my inspectors a free hand always.
She stopped in the doorway. Her breath came unevenly. Superintendent Battle was immediately fatherly. He rose, set a chair for her at a slightly different angle. Now, then, Miss Meredith, how well did you know Mr Shaitana? I always thought he was a most frightening man. That awful smile! And a way he had of bending over you. As though he might bite you. I met him in Switzerland during the winter sports. He was a marvellous skater. And did you see much of him after that?
He asked me to parties and things like that. They were rather fun. Oh, no. Now about tonight. Did you leave your seat at all? Oh, yes, I may have done once. You walked about. Did you walk over in the direction of Mr Shaitana? Know anything about the other three? Any likely murderers amongst them? A drug — or something like that. Anne Meredith shrank back. Must I — take it? Why should I? Why did anyone want to kill Shaitana? We shall have to come round and ask you a few more questions, I expect, but it will be all a matter of routine.
Take a couple of aspirins. As he came back Colonel Race said in a low, amused voice: Your fatherly air was unsurpassed. All the same, I rather think she did. What do you think, M.
Despard entered the room with a quick springing step — a step that reminded Poirot of something or some one. I understand. Then he asked me to a cocktail party a week later. The inference was fairly obvious. A pity. He used to make the toe of my boot fairly itch. To come back from the wilds to lighted rooms and women in lovely clothes, to dancing and good food and laughter — yes, I enjoy that — for a time. And then the insincerity of it all sickens me, and I want to be off again.
He smiled slightly. The other leaned forward. He laughed, an amused but indifferent laugh. That leaves the medical gentleman. Roberts was always jumping up and down — three or four times at least.
Roberts overcalls his hand disgracefully. He deserves to go down more than he does. Despard gave his address as the Albany, wished them goodnight and left the room. As he closed the door behind him, Poirot made a slight movement. Battle looked from one face to another. Only one person answered his question. Mrs Oliver, never averse to giving her views, rushed into speech.
Battle looked questioningly at the other two.
But both the men were unwilling to make a pronouncement. Race shook his head. Poirot carefully smoothed his crumpled bridge scores. But which? Nothing very illuminating there. Nothing to go upon. He considered a minute. Specious sort of customer. Would know the right spot to shove the dagger in. Then take Despard.
Mrs Lorrmier? She seems an ordinary good-looking, rather shy girl. I think you could help us there. You could get information about him. There are four of us — four sleuths, as you might say — and four of them! How would it be if we each took one. Backed our fancy! Poirot takes Mrs Lorrimer. Each of us to follow our own line! Two of us might want to back the same horse! And M. A person, therefore, who will not hesitate to kill a third time — if he considers it necessary.
Then she 78 Cards on the Table smiled — an agreeable engaging smile, rather like that of an impudent small child. Our own deductions and impressions, of course, we are entitled to keep up our sleeves. Race said: Race rose to his feet. It may take a little time. Anything else I can do? Goodnight, M. The four murderers and the four sleuths — Scotland Yard. Secret Service. A clever idea. It was a very stupid idea.
The tiger was alarmed — and the tiger sprang. Why the tiger? We know the kind of murder that has been committed, the way it was committed. If we have a person who from the psychological point of view could not have committed that particular type of murder, then we can dismiss that person from our calculations.
We know something about these people. We have our own impression of them, we know the line that each has elected to take, and we know something about their minds and their characters from what we have learned about them as card players and from the study of their handwriting and of these scores. But alas! This murder required audacity and nerve — a person who was willing to take a risk. One might say, then, that that automatically wipes out Miss Meredith.
The last type of person to carry out a bold and risky coup. But a timid person will murder out of fear.
A frightened nervous person can be made desperate, can turn like a rat at bay if driven into a corner. If Miss Meredith had committed a crime in the past, and if she believed that Mr Shaitana knew the circumstances of that crime and was about to deliver her up to justice she would be wild with terror — she would stick at nothing to save herself. It would be the same result, though brought about through a different reaction — not cool nerve and daring, but desperate panic.
Then take Major Despard — a cool, resourceful man willing to try a long shot if he believed it absolutely necessary. He would weigh the pros and cons and might decide that there was a sporting chance in his favour — and he is the type of man to prefer action to inaction, and a man who would never shrink from taking the dangerous way if he believed there was a reasonable chance of success. Finally, there is Mrs Lorrimer, an elderly woman, but a woman in full possession of her wits and faculties.
A cool woman. A woman with a mathematical brain. She has probably the best brain of the four. I confess that if Mrs Lorrimer committed a crime, I should expect it to be a premeditated crime. For that reason she seems to me slightly more unlikely 82 Cards on the Table than the other three. No — there is only one way in this crime. We must go back into the past. Had he evidence? Or was it a guess?
We cannot tell. He was very quick — very sensitive to expression. It amuses him to experiment — to probe gently in the course of apparently aimless conversation — he is alert to notice a wince, a reservation, a desire to turn the conversation.
Oh, it is easily done. Every time a word goes home you notice it — if you are watching for such a thing. He may have come across a piece of actual evidence in another case and followed it up. Anyway, the course is clear. I expect you noticed, just as the Colonel did, what Shaitana said at dinner. That listener thought that they were the prelude to the end — that the party was a dramatic entertainment arranged by Shaitana leading up to arrest for murder as its climax! All our questioning and so on must seem to have to do with this murder.
For me, I say one in four. You know it as well as I do. The details may be different, but the essentials underlying them will be the same. I should never commit the same type of murder twice running. Because, of course, those two are exactly the same plot — but nobody else has seen it. The rubber planter arranges his own murder — the Cabinet 86 Cards on the Table Minister arranges the robbery of his own papers.
At the last minute the third person steps in and turns deception into reality. Who is accurate? Nobody nowadays. If a reporter writes that a beautiful girl of twenty-two dies by turning on the gas after looking out over the sea and kissing her favourite labrador, Bob, goodbye, does anybody make a fuss because the girl was twenty-six, the room faced inland, and the dog was a Sealyham terrier called Bonnie?
What really matters is plenty of bodies! That always goes down well. And people like untraceable poisons, and 87 p q idiotic police inspectors and girls tied up in cellars with sewer gas or water pouring in such a troublesome way of killing anyone really and a hero who can dispose of anything from three to seven villains single-handed. Poirot seems to have noticed — but nobody else has — and I only regret one thing — making my detective a Finn.
They seem to read detective stories a good deal in Finland. And this is a real murder. So neat. So ironic. But, alas, Mr Shaitana was not that sort of man. He was very fond of life. Superintendent Battle glanced round the comfortable consulting-room before answering.
Yes, very interesting. We know the terms of his will. Nothing of interest there. He has relatives in Syria, it seems.
Nothing so blatant as that. He went on: Really, I told you all I know. About yourself. Birth, marriage, and so on. My father was in practice there. I was educated at Shrewsbury and went in for medicine like my father before me. You an only child or have you any brothers or sisters?
Will that do to get on with? I came into partnership here with Dr Emery. Lives in Ireland. I live here with a cook, a parlourmaid and a housemaid. My secretary comes in daily. I make a good income and I only kill a reasonable number of my patients. Kind of references, if you know what I mean. Let me see now. Here are my keys, superintendent. Be sure to lock it up again. Almost immediately the door opened and a competentlooking young woman appeared.
It seemed to say: Did you put the morphia in my case? I shall need it for the Lockheart case. Then he set to work. Roberts was no fool. He would realize that a search would be bound to come and he would make provisions accordingly. There was, however, a faint chance that Battle might come across a hint of the information he was really after, since Roberts would not know the real object of his search.
The result was meagre in the extreme. The contents of the latter were of a more personal nature, but Battle found nothing germane to his search. Miss Burgess appeared with commendable promptitude.
Superintendent Battle asked her politely to be seated and then sat studying her for a moment, before he decided which way to tackle her.
He had sensed immediately her hostility and he was uncertain whether to provoke her into unguarded speech by increasing that hostility or whether to try a softer method of approach. Four people are under suspicion and one of them must have done it. About a week ago Dr Roberts told me to enter up a dinner appointment in his 97 p q engagement-book. Mr Shaitana, 8. He was often in the fashionable news. All four of these people will only admit to knowing Mr Shaitana slightly. But one of them knew him well enough to kill him.
People say things, for instance. She makes unfounded accusations, hints this, that and the other, and rakes up all sorts of old scandals that have probably nothing whatever to do with the case. Suspicious circumstances about the death of a patient.
Probably all a lot of nonsense. Lots of old ladies get like that — they think everybody is poisoning them — their relations and their servants and even their doctors. Mrs Graves had had three doctors before she came to Dr Roberts and then when she got the same fancies about him he was quite willing for her to have Dr Lee instead. Luckily, Dr Roberts has never had any trouble of that kind.
The most innocent occurrences lend themselves sometimes to a scandalous appearance. I thought in my own mind, that that was all it amounted to. No, more. She was a most unbalanced woman! I was glad when she went abroad and so was Cards on the Table Dr Roberts. She told her husband the most frightful lies — they always do, of course.
He died of anthrax, you know, an infected shaving brush. But I always thought she was a nasty type of woman — man-mad, you know. Whereabouts did she die abroad — I seem to remember.
She got blood-poisoning — some native infection. Well, how many deaths have there been in that time off-hand? She was by now quite thawed and unsuspicious. They can afford to take care of themselves. Tell him from me, will you? Goodbye, Miss Burgess, and thank you for your help. Walking along the street he took a small notebook from his pocket and made a couple of entries in it under the letter R. Mrs Graves? Mrs Craddock? No legacies. No wife.
Investigate deaths of patients. One of your clients is a Dr Geoffrey Roberts, I understand. Not one suggestive lead. Thank you all the same. Did he turn the place upside down and you inside out? I told you to tell him all he wanted to know.
What did he want to know, by the way? He showed me his photograph. Such a theatrical-looking man! Oh, yes, fond of posing as a modern Mephistopheles. It went down rather well on the whole.
What else did Battle ask you? Except — oh, yes, somebody had been telling him some absurd nonsense about Mrs Graves — you know the way she used to go on. Oh, yes, old Mrs Graves. The former looked downcast, the latter sympathetic. Battle shook his head. Well, frankly, I think Shaitana was right. Reminds me of Westaway. And of that lawyer chap in Norfolk. Same popularity.
Westaway had. That wipes out murder for direct gain. But I prefer to believe the worst. Husband died of anthrax. There was a regular scandal about it. I know your patience. In the end, you will have perhaps as many legs as a centipede. Then he asked curiously: Going to take a hand? That ought to put the wind up him. I shall not inquire into his past life. I am most willing. I shall talk a little of bridge, that is all. No frills. No fancy work. Just honest perspiration.
I rather like that woman. She may spot something useful. Battle went back to Scotland Yard to issue instructions for certain lines to be followed up. Poirot betook himself to Gloucester Terrace.
I suppose I am. A doctor has to be. Dr Roberts is the man to help me. Now can you tell me — with this to refresh your memory — exactly what the calling was and how each hand went? How can I possibly remember? I should be very grateful if you could. Yes, I think they went out in spades. Really, M. Poirot, you can hardly expect me to do so. It was doubled too. And I also remember going down a nasty smack — playing three no trumps, I think it was — went down a packet.
But that was later on. She looked a bit grim, I remember. Poirot, did you really expect I could. He leaned forward in his chair.
Forgive me. A variation, a sudden lack of brilliance, a missed opportunity — that would have been immediately noticed. Unluckily, you were all strangers to each other. Variation in play would not be so noticeable. But think, M. Do you remember any inequalities — any sudden glaring mistakes — in the play of anyone? All I can tell you is what I told you before: Rather a conventional player — that is, his bidding is strictly conventional.
He never steps outside the rules. Miss Meredith? I think she was just nervous. There is another point on which I seek your help. I do not, you see, wish to ask you a leading question. If I say, did you notice so and so — Cards on the Table well, I have put the thing into your head. Your answer will not be so valuable. Let me try to get at the matter another way.
If you will be so kind, Dr Roberts, describe to me the contents of the room in which you played. He began facetiously after the manner of an auctioneer. Eight or nine Persian rugs — a set of twelve small gilt Empire chairs. William and Mary bureau. Very beautiful Chinese cabinet.
Grand piano. Two Chinese pictures on looking-glass. Five or six very beautiful snuff-boxes. Some old silver — Charles I tazzas, I think. Then there was some Eastern stuff — intricate silver work. Some Chelsea birds, I remember. Oh, and some miniatures in a case — pretty good ones, I fancy.
As I thought, you could not mention it. The curious incident of the dog in the night. The dog did not howl in the night. That is the curious thing! Ah, well, I am not above stealing the tricks of others. Poirot, I am completely at sea as to what you are driving at. They shook hands. The door was painted black and the steps were particularly well whitened, the brass of the knocker and handle gleamed in the afternoon sun.
The door was opened by an elderly parlourmaid with an immaculate white cap and apron.
She preceded him up the narrow staircase. Poirot looked about him, noting details. Good furniture, well polished, of the old family type. Shiny chintz on the chairs and settees. A few silver photograph frames about in the old-fashioned manner.
Otherwise p q an agreeable amount of space and light, and some really beautiful chrysanthemums arranged in a tall jar. Mrs Lorrimer came forward to meet him. She shook hands without showing any particular surprise at seeing him, indicated a chair, took one herself and remarked favourably on the weather. There was a pause.
If you show me the door, me, I march to that door with complete submission. I can give you ten minutes. At the end of that time I have to go out to a bridge party. I want you to describe to me, madame, the room in which you Cards on the Table played bridge the other evening — the room in which Mr Shaitana was killed. I do not see the point of it.
If people were to ask you such questions, the answers would be rather long and tedious, would they not? Very well. There were a good many things in it. And I think there were some Chinese or Japanese pictures. And there was a bowl of tiny red tulips — amazingly early for them. There were so many. Mrs Lorrimer said with a faint smile: I wondered if you could help me with the aid of these scores to reconstruct the hands. She bent over the scores.
Miss Meredith and I were playing against the two men. We made it and an over trick. Then the next hand was left at two diamonds and Dr Roberts went down one trick on it. There was quite a lot of bidding on the third hand, I remember.
Miss Meredith passed. Major Despard went a heart. I passed. Dr Roberts gave a jump bid of three clubs. Miss Meredith went three spades. Major Despard bid four diamonds. I doubled. Dr Roberts took it into four hearts. They went down one. Dr Roberts bid three hearts. My partner said nothing. Despard put his partner to four. I doubled and Cards on the Table they went down two tricks. Then I dealt and we went out on a four-spade call.
Then we made three clubs, but immediately after the others went game in spades. Then we went down a hundred. It started tamely. Major Despard and Miss Meredith made a one-heart call. Then the others made game in spades — no use trying to stop them.
We went down three hands running after that but undoubled. Then we won the second game in no trumps. Then a battle royal started. Each side went down in turn. Dr Roberts overcalled but though he went down badly once or twice, his calling paid, for more than once he frightened Miss Meredith out of bidding her hand. We were doubled, of course. He had no business to make such a call. By a kind of miracle we got it. I never thought we should when I saw his hand go down. If the others had led a heart we would have been three tricks down.
As it was they led the king of clubs and we got it. It was really very exciting. It causes the emotions, that! Me, I admit it, I have not the nerve to go for the slams. I content myself with the game. It should be a mathematical certainty. Unfortunately, few people really bid well. They know the opening bids but later they lose their heads. Have you the fourth score there?
Ah, yes. A ding-dong battle — neither side able to score below. You remember, one might say, every card that was played! With it the past is never the past — I should imagine, madame, that to you the past unrolls itself, every incident clear as yesterday.
Is that so? Her eyes were wide and dark. It was only for a moment, then she had resumed her woman-of-the-world manner, but Hercule Poirot did not doubt. That shot had gone home. Mrs Lorrimer rose.
I apologize for trespassing on your time. You have told me something I wanted to know. He held out his hand. Some of us have tried to improve on His pattern.
Mr Shaitana, for instance. Instead, he collected other things. But he was not the devil. Au fond, he was a stupid man. And so — he died. Then Poirot said: A thousand thanks for your amiability, madame. I will not come again unless you send for me. Poirot, why should I send for you? It is just an idea. If so, I will come. This was in direct contrast to what the other suspects recalled.
In addition, Lorrimer's body was found to have the mark of a hypodermic needle. To elicit a confession from Roberts, Poirot hired an actor to pose as the witness he provided. With the murder solved, Despard courts Rhoda. Hercule Poirot — Belgian private detective. A guest at Shaitana's dinner party.
Ariadne Oliver — Crime fiction writer, and Poirot's friend. Superintendent Battle — A top detective from Scotland Yard who likes to project a professional image of stolidity, with a wooden expression. Colonel Race — A Secret Service agent. Sergeant O'Connor — Handsome and tall police sergeant.
Known for getting facts from women for police investigations, earning him the nickname of "the Maid's Blessing". Mr Shaitana — The first victim of the case. A wealthy, but mysterious man, known to be a collector of rare objects. Has a fascination with crime, primarily focused on murders and the people who commit them.
In Hindi, his name means 'the naughty one' The translation is noted to allude to the devil, being a cognate of Satan. Dr Geoffrey Roberts — The killer of the case.
A successful physician, who is bright but showing signs of age. A guest at Shaitana's dinner party, whom alludes to Roberts having killed one of his patients; goaded to kill his host in order to expose his crimes.
Mrs Lorrimer — The second victim of the case. A widow and expert bridge player. A guest at Shaitana's dinner party, whom alludes to Lorrimer having killed her husband. Major John Despard — An explorer and sport hunter. A guest at Shaitana's dinner party, whom alludes to Despard having killed someone on an expedition in a shooting accident. Anne Meredith — A young woman, formerly a companion to several elderly women. A guest at Shaitana's dinner party, whom alludes to Meredith having killed one of her employers.
Dies from drowning during the case. Rhoda Dawes — Anne's wealthy friend and flatmate. A lively, direct, and polite young woman. Mrs Luxmore — A widow, whose husband died in suspicious circumstances during an expedition. Miss Burgess — Loyal secretary of Dr Roberts. Foreword by the author[ edit ] The novel contains a foreword by the author, in which the author warns the reader that the novel has only four suspects and the deduction must be purely psychological.
Further, it is also mentioned in jest of course that this was one of the favourite cases of Hercule Poirot, while his friend Captain Hastings found it very dull. The author then wonders with whom will her readers agree. Title[ edit ] Superintendent Battle is in charge of the investigation by the police.
He agrees to work with the three other sleuths, unusual for the police, sharing all facts equally. He says in Chapter 19, "Cards on the table, that's the motto for this business. Literary significance and reception[ edit ] The Times Literary Supplement 14 November stated favourably in its review by Caldwell Harpur that, "Poirot scores again, scores in two senses, for this appears to be the authoress's twentieth novel.
One of the minor characters in it is an authoress of thirty-two detective novels; she describes in several amusing pages the difficulties of her craft. Certainly Mrs Christie ought to know them, but she continues to surmount them so well that another score of novels may be hoped for. Cards on the Table is not quite up to Agatha Christie's best work. This author, unlike many who have achieved fame and success for qualities quite other than literary ones, has studied to improve in every branch of writing in each of her detective stories.
The result is that, in her latest book, we note qualities of humour, composition and subtlety which we would have thought beyond the reach of the writer of The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
Of course, the gift of bamboozlement, with which Agatha Christie was born, remains, and has never been seen to better advantage than in this close, diverting and largely analytical problem.
Cards on the Table is perhaps the most perfect of the little grey cells. Hercule Poirot thought of going into retirement in order to devote himself to the cultivation of marrows.