Join us on Wednesday, August 10th at 1:30 as we discuss, Murder on the Orient Express…..
Hercule Poirot is traveling when he is suddenly called back to London. He travels back with a friend, a director of the the Wagon Lit. Company, to Calais. During the first night of the trip the train is forced to stop due to a snow drift that has partially obstructed the tracks. The next morning the body of one of the passengers is found, the victim having suffered multiple stab wounds. At the request of the company’s director Poirot launches an investigation into the man’s death, and quickly discovers that there is no shortage of suspects among the travelers.
Returning from an important case in Palestine, Hercule Poirot boards the Orient Express in Istanbul. The train is unusually crowded for the time of year. Poirot secures a berth only with the help of his friend M. Bouc, a director of theCompagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits. When a Mr. Harris fails to show up, Poirot takes his place. On the second night, Poirot gets a compartment to himself.
That night, near Belgrade, at about twenty-three minutes before 1:00 am, Poirot wakes to the sound of a loud noise. It seems to come from the compartment next to his, which is occupied by Mr. Ratchett. When Poirot peeks out his door, he sees the conductor knock on Mr. Ratchett’s door and ask if he is all right. A man replies in French “Ce n’est rien. Je me suis trompé“, which means “It’s nothing. I made a mistake”, and the conductor moves on to answer a bell down the passage. Poirot decides to go back to bed, but he is disturbed by the fact that the train is unusually still and his mouth is dry.
As he lies awake, he hears a Mrs. Hubbard ringing the bell urgently. When Poirot then rings the conductor for a bottle of mineral water, he learns that Mrs. Hubbard claimed that someone had been in her compartment. He also learns that the train has stopped due to a snowstorm. Poirot dismisses the conductor and tries to go back to sleep, only to be wakened again by a thump on his door. This time when Poirot gets up and looks out of his compartment, the passage is completely silent, and he sees nothing except the back of a woman in a scarlet kimono retreating down the passage in the distance.
The next day he awakens to find that Ratchett is dead, having been stabbed twelve times in his sleep, M. Bouc suggesting that Poirot take the case because it is so obviously his kind of case; nothing more is required than for him to sit, think, and take in the available evidence.