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The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan: A Hercule Poirot Short Story

The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan: A Hercule Poirot Short Story Agatha Christie A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings are on holiday at the opulent Grand Metropolitan Hotel in Brighton, where they meet the wife of a wealthy stockbroker. As they discuss the jewels worn by Mrs Opalsen, the great detective relates his experiences in cases which have concerned some of the best-known jewels in the world. Excited by his anecdotes, the wealthy matron eagerly offers to show him a very expensive pearl necklace, but when she goes to retrieve it, she discovers that it has been stolen… THE JEWEL ROBBERY AT THE GRAND METROPOLITAN A Short Story by Agatha Christie Copyright This short story is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental. Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk) ‘The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan’ was first published as ‘The Curious Disappearance of the Opalsen Pearls’ in The Sketch, 14 March 1923. This ePub edition published April 2012. Copyright © 2012 Agatha Christie Ltd. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library 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. EPub Edition © 2012 ISBN: 9780007486526 Version: 2017-04-18 Contents Cover (#ua34d5089-220a-5a95-8efa-b9f866ec23e3) Title Page (#u8a09bd6b-629b-59ec-841c-13a96c20e235) Copyright The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan About the Publisher (#litres_trial_promo) The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan ‘The Jewel Robbery at the Grand Metropolitan’ was first published as ‘The Curious Disappearance of the Opalsen Pearls’ in The Sketch, 14 March 1923. ‘Poirot,’ I said, ‘a change of air would do you good.’ ‘You think so, mon ami?’ ‘I am sure of it.’ ‘Eh – eh?’ said my friend, smiling. ‘It is all arranged, then?’ ‘You will come?’ ‘Where do you propose to take me?’ ‘Brighton. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine in the City put me on to a very good thing, and – well, I have money to burn, as the saying goes. I think a weekend at the Grand Metropolitan would do us all the good in the world.’ ‘Thank you, I accept most gratefully. You have the good heart to think of an old man. And the good heart, it is in the end worth all the little grey cells. Yes, yes, I who speak to you am in danger of forgetting that sometimes.’ I did not relish the implication. I fancy that Poirot is sometimes a little inclined to underestimate my mental capacities. But his pleasure was so evident that I put my slight annoyance aside. ‘Then, that’s all right,’ I said hastily. Saturday evening saw us dining at the Grand Metropolitan in the midst of a gay throng. All the world and his wife seemed to be at Brighton. The dresses were marvellous, and the jewels – worn sometimes with more love of display than good taste – were something magnificent. ‘Hein, it is a good sight, this!’ murmured Poirot. ‘This is the home of the Profiteer, is it not so, Hastings?’ ‘Supposed to be,’ I replied. ‘But we’ll hope they aren’t all tarred with the Profiteering brush.’ Poirot gazed round him placidly. ‘The sight of so many jewels makes me wish I had turned my brains to crime, instead of to its detection. What a magnificent opportunity for some thief of distinction! Regard, Hastings, that stout woman by the pillar. She is, as you would say, plastered with gems.’ I followed his eyes. ‘Why,’ I exclaimed, ‘it’s Mrs Opalsen.’ ‘You know her?’ ‘Slightly. Her husband is a rich stockbroker who made a fortune in the recent oil boom.’ After dinner we ran across the Opalsens in the lounge, and I introduced Poirot to them. We chatted for a few minutes, and ended by having our coffee together. Poirot said a few words in praise of some of the costlier gems displayed on the lady’s ample bosom, and she brightened up at once. ‘It’s a perfect hobby of mine, Mr Poirot. I just love jewellery. Ed knows my weakness, and every time things go well he brings me something new. You are interested in precious stones?’ ‘I have had a good deal to do with them one time and another, madame. My profession has brought me into contact with some of the most famous jewels in the world.’ He went on to narrate, with discreet pseudonyms, the story of the historic jewels of a reigning house, and Mrs Opalsen listened with bated breath. ‘There now,’ she exclaimed, as he ended. ‘If it isn’t just like a play! You know, I’ve got some pearls of my own that have a history attached to them. I believe it’s supposed to be one of the finest necklaces in the world – the pearls are so beautifully matched and so perfect in colour. I declare I really must run up and get it!’ ‘Oh, madame,’ protested Poirot, ‘you are too amiable. Pray do not derange yourself!’ ‘Oh, but I’d like to show it to you.’ The buxom dame waddled across to the lift briskly enough. Her husband, who had been talking to me, looked at Poirot inquiringly. ‘Madame your wife is so amiable as to insist on showing me her pearl necklace,’ explained the latter. ‘Oh, the pearls!’ Opalsen smiled in a satisfied fashion. ‘Well, they are worth seeing. Cost a pretty penny too! Still, the money’s there all right; I could get what I paid for them any day – perhaps more. May have to, too, if things go on as they are now. Money’s confoundedly tight in the City. All this infernal EPD.’ He rambled on, launching into technicalities where I could not follow him. He was interrupted by a small page-boy who approached him and murmured something in his ear. ‘Eh – what? I’ll come at once. Not taken ill, is she? Excuse me, gentlemen.’ He left us abruptly. Poirot leaned back and lit one of his tiny Russian cigarettes. Then, carefully and meticulously, he arranged the empty coffee-cups in a neat row, and beamed happily on the result. The minutes passed. The Opalsens did not return. ‘Curious,’ I remarked, at length. ‘I wonder when they will come back.’ Poirot watched the ascending spirals of smoke, and then said thoughtfully: ‘They will not come back.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because, my friend, something has happened.’ ‘What sort of thing? How do you know?’ I asked curiously. Poirot smiled. ‘A few minutes ago the manager came hurriedly out of his office and ran upstairs. He was much agitated. The liftboy is deep in talk with one of the pages. The lift-bell has rung three times, but he heeds it not. Thirdly, even the waiters are distrait; and to make a waiter distrait –’ Poirot shook his head with an air of finality. ‘The affair must indeed be of the first magnitude. Ah, it is as I thought! Here come the police.’ Two men had just entered the hotel – one in uniform, the other in plain clothes. They spoke to a page, and were immediately ushered upstairs. A few minutes later, the same boy descended and came up to where we were sitting. ‘Mr Opalsen’s compliments, and would you step upstairs?’ Poirot sprang nimbly to his feet. One would have said that he awaited the summons. I followed with no less alacrity. Конец ознакомительного фрагмента. Текст предоставлен ООО «ЛитРес». Прочитайте эту книгу целиком, купив полную легальную версию (https://www.litres.ru/agata-kristi/the-jewel-robbery-at-the-grand-metropolitan-a-hercule-poirot/?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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