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Double Sin: A Hercule Poirot Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.Captain Hastings talks Hercule Poirot into taking a bus trip. En route, a young woman takes them into her confidence, and Poirot finds himself with another case to solve. Double Sin A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright (#ulink_b004257e-6933-5ff4-b72b-9842adf8a556) Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) Copyright © 1999 Agatha Christie Ltd. Cover Layout Design © HarperCollinsPublishers 2014 All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the nonexclusive, nontransferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. 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Source ISBN: 9780007438969 Ebook Edition © MARCH 2014 ISBN: 9780007559947 Version: 2017-04-11 Contents Cover (#u9a905563-cc52-56cd-955c-c277318da844) Title Page (#u44bb83ab-e23b-5e94-9045-c25ab9b13bf1) Copyright Double Sin Related Products (#litres_trial_promo) About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) Double Sin (#ulink_f46c5bea-04da-5db6-aec4-a54541e76546) ‘Double Sin’ was first published as ‘By Road or Rail’ in the Sunday Dispatch, 23 September 1928. I had called in at my friend Poirot’s rooms to find him sadly overworked. So much had he become the rage that every rich woman who had mislaid a bracelet or lost a pet kitten rushed to secure the services of the great Hercule Poirot. My little friend was a strange mixture of Flemish thrift and artistic fervour. He accepted many cases in which he had little interest owing to the first instinct being predominant. He also undertook cases in which there was a little or no monetary reward sheerly because the problem involved interested him. The result was that, as I say, he was overworking himself. He admitted as much himself, and I found little difficulty in persuading him to accompany me for a week’s holiday to that well-known South Coast resort, Ebermouth. We had spent four very agreeable days when Poirot came to me, an open letter in his hand. ‘Mon ami, you remember my friend Joseph Aarons, the theatrical agent?’ I assented after a moment’s thought. Poirot’s friends are so many and so varied, and range from dustmen to dukes. ‘Eh bien, Hastings, Joseph Aarons finds himself at Charlock Bay. He is far from well, and there is a little affair that it seems is worrying him. He begs me to go over and see him. I think, mon ami, that I must accede to his request. He is a faithful friend, the good Joseph Aarons, and has done much to assist me in the past.’ ‘Certainly, if you think so,’ I said. ‘I believe Charlock Bay is a beautiful spot, and as it happens I’ve never been there.’ ‘Then we combine business with pleasure,’ said Poirot. ‘You will inquire the trains, yes?’ ‘It will probably mean a change or two,’ I said with a grimace. ‘You know what these cross-country lines are. To go from the South Devon coast to the North Devon coast is sometimes a day’s journey.’ However, on inquiry, I found that the journey could be accomplished by only one change at Exeter and that the trains were good. I was hastening back to Poirot with the information when I happened to pass the offices of the Speedy cars and saw written up: Tomorrow. All-day excursion to Charlock Bay. Starting 8.30 through some of the most beautiful scenery in Devon. I inquired a few particulars and returned to the hotel full of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, I found it hard to make Poirot share my feelings. ‘My friend, why this passion for the motor coach? The train, see you, it is true? The tyres, they do not burst; the accidents, they do not happen. One is not incommoded by too much air. The windows can be shut and no draughts admitted.’ I hinted delicately that the advantage of fresh air was what attracted me most to the motor-coach scheme. ‘And if it rains? Your English climate is so uncertain.’ ‘There’s a hood and all that. Besides, if it rains badly, the excursion doesn’t take place.’ ‘Ah!’ said Poirot. ‘Then let us hope that it rains.’ ‘Of course, if you feel like that and …’ ‘No, no, mon ami. I see that you have set your heart on the trip. Fortunately, I have my greatcoat with me and two mufflers.’ He sighed. ‘But shall we have sufficient time at Charlock Bay?’ ‘Well, I’m afraid it means staying the night there. You see, the tour goes round by Dartmoor. We have lunch at Monkhampton. We arrive at Charlock Bay about four o’clock, and the coach starts back at five, arriving here at ten o’clock.’ ‘So!’ said Poirot. ‘And there are people who do this for pleasure! We shall, of course, get a reduction of the fare since we do not make the return journey?’ ‘I hardly think that’s likely.’ ‘You must insist.’ ‘Come now, Poirot, don’t be mean. You know you’re coining money.’ ‘My friend, it is not the meanness. It is the business sense. If I were a millionaire, I would pay only what was just and right.’ As I had foreseen, however, Poirot was doomed to fail in this respect. The gentleman who issued tickets at the Speedy office was calm and unimpassioned but adamant. His point was that we ought to return. He even implied that we ought to pay extra for the privilege of leaving the coach at Charlock Bay. Defeated, Poirot paid over the required sum and left the office. ‘The English, they have no sense of money,’ he grumbled. ‘Did you observe a young man, Hastings, who paid over the full fare and yet mentioned his intention of leaving the coach at Monkhampton?’ ‘I don’t think I did. As a matter of fact …’ ‘You were observing the pretty young lady who booked No. 5, the next seat to ours. Ah! Yes, my friend, I saw you. And that is why when I was on the point of taking seats No. 13 and 14 – which are in the middle and as well sheltered as it is possible to be – you rudely pushed yourself forward and said that 3 and 4 would be better.’ ‘Really, Poirot,’ I said, blushing. ‘Auburn hair – always the auburn hair!’ ‘At any rate, she was more worth looking at than an odd young man.’ ‘That depends upon the point of view. To me, the young man was interesting.’ Something rather significant in Poirot’s tone made me look at him quickly. ‘Why? What do you mean?’ ‘Oh, do not excite yourself. Shall I say that he interested me because he was trying to grow a moustache and as yet the result is poor.’ Poirot stroked his own magnificent moustache tenderly. ‘It is an art,’ he murmured, ‘the growing of the moustache! I have sympathy for all who attempt it.’ It is always difficult with Poirot to know when he is serious and when he is merely amusing himself at one’s expense. I judged it safest to say no more. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/double-sin-a-hercule-poirot-short-story/?lfrom=334617187) на ЛитРес. Безопасно оплатить книгу можно банковской картой Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, со счета мобильного телефона, с платежного терминала, в салоне МТС или Связной, через PayPal, WebMoney, Яндекс.Деньги, QIWI Кошелек, бонусными картами или другим удобным Вам способом.
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