Hercule Poirot's Christmas (O Natal de Poirot, no Brasil e em Portugal) é um romance policial . Imprimir/exportar. Criar um livro · Descarregar como PDF · Versão para impressão. O natal de Poirot by Agatha Christie is British Detectives Mais uma Agatha Christie na Coleção. Dessa vez, Simeon, o patriarca dos Lee. (hrcules poirot, #3) by agatha christie o natal de poirot (hercule poirot, #20) by agatha orient ronaldweinland.info - agatha christie - asesinato en el orient.
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Mr Owen — unfortunately delayed — unable to get here till tomorrow. Instructions — everything they 40 And Then There Were None wanted — if they would like to go to their rooms?
V Vera had followed Mrs Rogers upstairs. The woman had thrown open a door at the end of a passage and Vera had walked into a delightful bedroom with a big window that opened wide upon the sea and another looking east.
She uttered a quick exclamation of pleasure. Her luggage had been brought up and had been unpacked. At one side of the room a door stood open into a pale blue-tiled bathroom. Vera looked at her curiously. What a white bloodless ghost of a woman! Very respectable-looking, with her hair dragged back from her face and her black dress. Queer light eyes that shifted the whole time from place to place.
She looked like a woman who walked in mortal fear. What on earth was the woman afraid of? I expect you know that. Just a list of the ladies and gentlemen and what rooms they were to have. We only came here two days ago.
Eight people in the house — ten with the host and hostess — and only one married couple to do for them. Her feet moved noiselessly over the ground. She drifted from the room like a shadow. Vera went over to the window and sat down on the window seat. She was faintly disturbed. Everything — somehow — was a little queer. The absence of the Owens, the pale ghostlike Mrs Rogers. And the guests! Yes, the guests were queer, too. An oddly assorted party. I wish I knew what they were like.
A perfect bedroom decorated throughout in the modern style. A mantelpiece bare of ornaments save for an enormous block of white marble shaped like a bear, a piece of modern sculpture in which was inset a clock. It was the old nursery rhyme that she remembered from her childhood days. Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were Nine. Nine little soldier boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were Eight.
Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were Six. Six little soldier boys playing with a hive; A bumble bee stung one and then there were Five. Five little soldier boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were Four. Four little soldier boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were Three. Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were Two. One little soldier boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were None.
Vera smiled. Of course! This was Soldier Island!
She went and sat again by the window looking out to sea. How big the sea was! From here there was no land to be seen anywhere — just a vast expanse of blue water rippling in the evening sun. The sea. So peaceful today — sometimes so cruel. The sea that dragged you down to its depths.
Found drowned. Drowned at sea. Drowned — drowned — drowned. She would not think of it! All that was over. On the way across he had chatted to the boatman — a local man. He was tired after his long motor drive. His eyeballs ached. Driving west you were driving against the sun. Yes, he was very tired. The sea and perfect peace — that was what he needed.
He would like, really, to take a long holiday. You were soon forgotten nowadays. No, now that he had arrived, he must keep his nose to the grindstone. You lost touch with the world — an island was a world of its own. A world, perhaps, from which you might never return. He was still smiling when he walked up the rock-cut steps. Where had he seen that frog-like face, that tortoise-like neck, that hunched up attitude — yes and those pale shrewd little eyes?
Of course — old Wargrave. Always looked half-asleep, but was shrewd as could be when it came to a point of law. Had great power with a jury — it was said he could make their minds up for them any day of the week. A hanging judge, some people said. Funny place to meet him. Remember him in the witness-box. Very correct and cautious.
All doctors are damned fools. Harley Street ones are the worst of the lot. Very curious state of affairs. Undependable like all women. His mind went on to the two women in the house, the tight-lipped old maid and the girl. No, three women, if you counted the Rogers woman. Respectable pair and knew their job.
But he only grunted. He luxuriated in the steaming water. His limbs had felt cramped after his long drive. Very few thoughts passed through his head.
Anthony was a creature of sensation — and of action. Warm steaming water — tired limbs — presently a shave — a cocktail — dinner. And after —? Did he look all right? He supposed so. Nobody had been exactly cordial to him. Funny the way they all eyed each other — as though they knew.
Well, it was up to him. He glanced up at the framed nursery rhyme over the mantelpiece. Neat touch, having that there! He thought: Remember this island when I was a kid. X General Macarthur was frowning to himself.
Damn it all, the whole thing was deuced odd! Throw up the whole business. That fellow Lombard now, he was a queer chap. Not straight. XI As the gong sounded, Philip Lombard came out of his room and walked to the head of the stairs. He moved like a panther, smoothly and noiselessly. There was something of the panther about him altogether. A beast of prey — pleasant to the eye. He was smiling to himself.
A week — eh? He was going to enjoy that week. The Lord is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked 51 p q is snared in the work of his own hands. The wicked shall be turned into hell. She shut the Bible. Rising, she pinned a cairngorm brooch at her neck, and went down to dinner. The food had been good, the wine perfect.
Rogers waited well. Every one was in better spirits.
They had begun to talk to each other with more freedom and intimacy. Mr Justice Wargrave, mellowed by the excellent port, was being amusing in a caustic fashion, Dr Armstrong and Tony Marston were listening to him. Miss Brent chatted to General Macarthur, they had discovered some mutual friends. Lombard listened to the conversation. Once or twice he looked up quickly, and his eyes narrowed.
Now and then his eyes played round the table, studying the others. How many are there? In my bedroom the rhyme is framed and hung up over the mantelpiece. Emily Brent looked at Vera Claythorne. Vera Claythorne looked at Miss Brent. The two women rose. In the drawing-room the French windows were open on to the terrace and the sound of the sea murmuring against the rocks came up to them. Now, as she was about to thread her needle, she paused. Did you say Owen?
The door opened and the men joined them. Rogers followed them into the room with the coffee tray. The judge came and sat down by Emily Brent. Armstrong came up to Vera.
Tony Marston strolled to the open window. General Macarthur stood with his back to the mantelpiece. He pulled at his little white moustache. That had been a damned good dinner! His spirits were rising. Lombard turned over the pages of Punch that lay with other papers on a table by the wall. Rogers went round with the coffee tray. The coffee was good — really black and very hot.
The whole party had dined well. The hands of the clock pointed to twenty minutes past nine. There was a silence — a comfortable replete silence. Into that silence came The Voice. Without warning, inhuman, penetrating. Silence please! They looked round — at each other, at the walls. Who was speaking? Rogers had dropped the coffee tray! At the same moment, from somewhere outside the room there came a scream and the sound of a thud. Outside, lying in a huddled mass, was Mrs Rogers.
Between them, they lifted up the woman and carried her into the drawingroom. Dr Armstrong came across quickly. He helped them to lift her on to the sofa and bent over her. Where was he? What kind of a practical joke was that? His shoulders sagged. He looked suddenly ten years older. Blore was mopping his face with a handkerchief. Emily Brent sat upright, her head held high. In both cheeks was a spot of hard colour.
The judge sat in his habitual pose, his head sunk down into his neck. With one hand he gently scratched his ear.
Only his eyes were active, darting round and round the room, puzzled, alert with intelligence. Again it was Lombard who acted. Armstrong being busy with the collapsed woman, Lombard was free once more to take the initiative.
It sounded as though it were in the room. Who was it? They rested a minute on the open window, then he shook his head decisively. Suddenly 59 p q his eyes lighted up. He passed through and immediately uttered an exclamation of satisfaction. Only Miss Brent remained alone sitting erect in her chair. Inside the second room a table had been brought up close to the wall which adjoined the drawing-room. On the table was a gramophone — an old-fashioned type with a large trumpet attached.
The mouth of the trumpet was against the wall, and Lombard, pushing it aside indicated where two or three small holes had been unobtrusively bored through the wall. Turn it off!
Who the devil turned the thing on and set it going? The others followed. Rogers had just come in with a glass of brandy. Miss Brent was bending over the moaning form of Mrs Rogers. Adroitly Rogers slipped between the two women. All right, do you hear? Pull yourself together. Her eyes, staring frightened eyes, went round and round the ring of faces.
Just a nasty turn. Someone handed it to the doctor and he bent over the gasping woman with it. The spirit did her good. The colour returned to her face.
It just — gave me a turn. It gave me a turn, too. Fair made me drop that tray. Wicked lies, it was! It was only a cough — a dry little cough but it had the effect of stopping him in full cry. He stared at Mr Justice Wargrave and the latter coughed again. Was it you, Rogers? It had a name on it — I thought it was just a piece of music.
He grinned suddenly, showed his white pointed teeth. It was entitled Swan Song. Slinging accusations about like this! Something must be done about it. He spoke with the authority that a lifetime in the courts had given him.
Then come back here. He returned a second or two later. The next minute or two was spent in dispensing drinks. General Macarthur had a stiff whisky and so did the judge. Every one felt the need of a stimulant. Only Emily Brent demanded and obtained a glass of water.
Dr Armstrong re-entered the room. I could do with one. A moment or two later Rogers re-entered the room. Mr Justice Wargrave took charge of the proceedings. The room became an impromptu court of law.
Who is this Mr Owen? What I want you to tell me is what you yourself know about the man. We were engaged by letter, through an agency. The Regina Agency in Plymouth. No, sir. You were engaged, as you say, by letter. We were to arrive on a certain day.
We did. Everything was in order here. Plenty of food in stock and everything very nice. Just needed dusting and that. We got orders — by letter again — to prepare the rooms for a house-party, and then yesterday by the afternoon post I got another letter from Mr Owen.
It said he and Mrs Owen were detained and to do the best we could, and it gave the instructions about dinner and coffee and putting on the gramophone record. The judge took it. Quite new — no defects. Ensign paper — the most widely used make. Anthony Marston was standing beside Blore looking over his shoulder. Ulick Norman Owen. Quite a mouthful.
You have drawn my attention to a curious and suggestive point. It would be well, I think, for everybody to come forward with all the information they have regarding the owner of this house. It purported to be from a woman I had met at a certain summer resort two or three years ago. I took the name to be either Ogden or Oliver. I am acquainted with a Mrs Oliver and also with a Miss Ogden.
I am quite certain that I have never met, or become friendly with any one of the name of Owen. The judge read it. Miss Claythorne? From a pal of mine. Badger Berkeley. Surprised me at the time because I had an idea the old horse had gone to Norway. Told me to roll up here. You had no previous acquaintanceship with the family? A colleague of mine was mentioned in the letter. Yes, and that colleague, I presume, was momentarily out of touch with you? We are at present inquiring into the causes which have resulted in our being assembled here tonight.
General Macarthur? Was he to come out in the open, or not? He made up his mind. An apparently disembodied voice spoke to us all by name, uttering certain precise accusations against us. We will deal with those accusations presently. At the moment I am interested in a minor point. Amongst the names recited was that of William Henry Blore.
But as far as we know there is no one named Blore amongst us. The name of Davis was not mentioned. What have you to say about that, Mr Davis? You claim to have come from Natal, South Africa. Angry suspicious eyes. Anthony Marston moved a step nearer to him. I run a detective agency in Plymouth. I was put on this job. Enclosed a handsome money order for expenses and instructed me as to what he wanted done. I was to join the house-party, posing as a guest.
I was given all your names. I was to watch you all. Mrs Owen my foot! A silence of dismay and bewilderment. First however, I will just add my own credentials to the list. I have not seen her for some years. She went to the East. It is exactly the kind of vague incoherent letter she would write, urging me to join her here and referring to her host and hostess in the vaguest of terms. The same technique, you will observe.
I only mention it because it agrees with the other evidence — from all of which emerges one interesting point. He, whoever he may be, is aware of my friendship for Lady Constance — and is familiar with her epistolary style. He knows exactly where Miss Brent was two years ago for her holiday and the kind of people she met there. Our unknown friend accuses me of the murder of one Edward Seton. I remember Seton perfectly well.
He came up before me for trial in June of the year He was charged with the murder of an elderly woman. He was very ably defended and made a good impression on the jury in the witness-box. Nevertheless, on the evidence, he was certainly guilty.
I summed up accordingly, and the jury brought in a verdict of Guilty. In passing sentence of death I concurred with the verdict. An appeal was lodged on the grounds of misdirection.
The appeal was rejected and the man was duly executed. I wish to say before you all that my conscience is perfectly clear on the matter. I did my duty and nothing more. I passed sentence on a rightly convicted murderer. The Seton case! The verdict had come as a great surprise. He had met Matthews, KC on one of the days of the trial dining at a restaurant. Acquittal practically certain.
Turned the jury right round and they brought him in guilty. Quite legal, though.
Old Wargrave knows his law. It was almost as though he had a private down on the fellow. I mean previous to the case. About that child — Cyril Hamilton. I was nursery governess to him. He was forbidden to swim out far. One day, when my attention was distracted, he started off. I swam after him.
It was awful. At the inquest the Coroner exonerated me. And his mother — she was so kind.
General Macarthur patted her shoulder. A madman! Got a bee in his bonnet! Got hold of the wrong end of the stick all round. However, feel I ought to say — no truth — no truth whatever in what he said about — er — young Arthur Richmond.
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