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The Crackler: An Agatha Christie Short Story

The Crackler: An Agatha Christie Short Story
The Crackler: An Agatha Christie Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.Scotland Yard ask the Beresfords to infiltrate a gang to find the source of counterfeit money. Delighted at the chance to use the methods of Edgar Wallace, they revel in gambling, drinking and the affections of the opposite sex while chasing a trail of crisp counterfeit notes… The Crackler A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright (#ulink_2b1465a4-1390-5559-9702-c6d4718fff44) Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) Copyright © 2008 Agatha Christie Ltd. 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. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins e-books. HarperCollinsPublishers has made every reasonable effort to ensure that any picture content and written content in this ebook has been included or removed in accordance with the contractual and technological constraints in operation at the time of publication. Ebook Edition © MAY 2013 ISBN 9780007526567 Version: 2017-04-13 Contents Cover (#u5ed1a6f4-42c9-50fc-9335-f494a0e7579a) Title Page (#u077e4e84-3b9a-5711-9078-7432e4db23c9) Copyright (#ulink_cb4cd422-5c32-5150-bf4c-72e46a9089a7) The Crackler (#ulink_ffe8cf64-645c-5bf1-906e-76de7f01ec33) Related Products About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The Crackler (#ulink_4f782d8f-2721-5389-85a7-0bad6e6a44e3) ‘The Crackler’ was first published as ‘The Affair of the Forged Notes’ in The Sketch, 19 November 1924. The Busies were created by Edgar Wallace (1875–1932). ‘Tuppence,’ said Tommy. ‘We shall have to move into a much larger office.’ ‘Nonsense,’ said Tuppence. ‘You mustn’t get swollen-headed and think you are a millionaire just because you solved two or three twopenny half-penny cases with the aid of the most amazing luck.’ ‘What some call luck, others call skill.’ ‘Of course, if you really think you are Sherlock Holmes, Thorndyke, McCarty and the Brothers Okewood all rolled into one, there is no more to be said. Personally I would much rather have luck on my side than all the skill in the world.’ ‘Perhaps there is something in that,’ conceded Tommy. ‘All the same, Tuppence, we do need a larger office.’ ‘Why?’ ‘The classics,’ said Tommy. ‘We need several hundreds of yards of extra bookshelf if Edgar Wallace is to be properly represented.’ ‘We haven’t had an Edgar Wallace case yet.’ ‘I’m afraid we never shall,’ said Tommy. ‘If you notice he never does give the amateur sleuth much of a chance. It is all stern Scotland Yard kind of stuff – the real thing and no base counterfeit.’ Albert, the office boy, appeared at the door. ‘Inspector Marriot to see you,’ he announced. ‘The mystery man of Scotland Yard,’ murmured Tommy. ‘The busiest of the Busies,’ said Tuppence. ‘Or is it “Noses”? I always get mixed between Busies and Noses.’ The Inspector advanced upon them with a beaming smile of welcome. ‘Well, and how are things?’ he asked breezily. ‘None the worse for our little adventure the other day?’ ‘Oh, rather not,’ said Tuppence. ‘Too, too marvellous, wasn’t it?’ ‘Well, I don’t know that I would describe it exactly that way myself,’ said Marriot cautiously. ‘What has brought you here today, Marriot?’ asked Tommy. ‘Not just solicitude for our nervous systems, is it?’ ‘No,’ said the Inspector. ‘It is work for the brilliant Mr Blunt.’ ‘Ha!’ said Tommy. ‘Let me put my brilliant expression on.’ ‘I have come to make you a proposition, Mr Beresford. What would you say to rounding up a really big gang?’ ‘Is there such a thing?’ asked Tommy. ‘What do you mean, is there such a thing?’ ‘I always thought that gangs were confined to fiction – like master crooks and super criminals.’ ‘The master crook isn’t very common,’ agreed the Inspector. ‘But Lord bless you, sir, there’s any amount of gangs knocking about.’ ‘I don’t know that I should be at my best dealing with a gang,’ said Tommy. ‘The amateur crime, the crime of quiet family life – that is where I flatter myself that I shine. Drama of strong domestic interest. That’s the thing – with Tuppence at hand to supply all those little feminine details which are so important, and so apt to be ignored by the denser male.’ His eloquence was arrested abruptly as Tuppence threw a cushion at him and requested him not to talk nonsense. ‘Will have your little bit of fun, won’t you, sir?’ said Inspector Marriot, smiling paternally at them both. ‘If you’ll not take offence at my saying so, it’s a pleasure to see two young people enjoying life as much as you two do.’ ‘Do we enjoy life?’ said Tuppence, opening her eyes very wide. ‘I suppose we do. I’ve never thought about it before.’ ‘To return to that gang you were talking about,’ said Tommy. ‘In spite of my extensive private practice – duchesses, millionaires, and all the best charwomen – I might, perhaps, condescend to look into the matter for you. I don’t like to see Scotland Yard at fault. You’ll have the Daily Mail after you before you know where you are.’ ‘As I said before, you must have your bit of fun. Well, it’s like this.’ Again he hitched his chair forward. ‘There’s any amount of forged notes going about just now – hundreds of ’em! The amount of counterfeit Treasury notes in circulation would surprise you. Most artistic bit of work it is. Here’s one of ’em.’ He took a one pound note from his pocket and handed it to Tommy. ‘Looks all right, doesn’t it?’ Tommy examined the note with great interest. ‘By Jove, I’d never spot there was anything wrong with that.’ ‘No more would most people. Now here’s a genuine one. I’ll show you the differences – very slight they are, but you’ll soon learn to tell them apart. Take this magnifying glass.’ At the end of five minutes’ coaching both Tommy and Tuppence were fairly expert. ‘What do you want us to do, Inspector Marriot?’ asked Tuppence. ‘Just keep our eyes open for these things?’ ‘A great deal more than that, Mrs Beresford. I’m pinning my faith on you to get to the bottom of the matter. You see, we’ve discovered that the notes are being circulated from the West End. Somebody pretty high up in the social scale is doing the distributing. They’re passing them the other side of the Channel as well. Now there’s a certain person who is interesting us very much. A Major Laidlaw – perhaps you’ve heard the name?’ Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/the-crackler-an-agatha-christie-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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