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Poirot and the Regatta Mystery: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
Агата Кристи

Poirot and the Regatta Mystery: A Hercule Poirot Short Story
Agatha Christie

A classic Agatha Christie short story, available individually for the first time as an ebook.A party steps off the beautiful yacht the Merrimaid to enjoy the festivities at shore. Amongst the fortune tellers and yachting races everyone is utterly at ease. But, when the youngest member of the party, little Eve, decides to play a trick with a £30,000 diamond named The Morning Star, the playful trick escalates into a dramatic jewel theft. Hercule Poirot is begged to solve the disappearance of The Morning Star by the most suspected member of the party, who pleads that he is not the purloiner, but then, who is?

Poirot and the Regatta Mystery

A Short Story

by Agatha Christie

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Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

Copyright © 2011 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.

EPub Edition © 2011 ISBN: 9780007452002

Version: 2017-04-18


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Poirot and the Regatta Mystery

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Poirot and the Regatta Mystery (#ulink_818d57ba-0e50-59a4-8183-8c44ae664e44)

‘Poirot and the Regatta Mystery’ was first published in the USA in The Chicago Tribune on 3 May 1936, and in The Strand in June the same year. Agatha Christie rewrote the story for its first appearance in book form, substituting Parker Pyne in place of Hercule Poirot, in the American anthology The Regatta Mystery (published by Dodd, Mead in June 1939). The original version is printed here for the first time in more than 60 years.

Mr Isaac Pointz removed a cigar from his lips and said approvingly:

‘Pretty little place.’

Having thus set the seal of his approval upon Dartmouth harbour, he replaced the cigar and looked about him with the air of a man pleased with himself, his appearance, his surroundings and life generally.

As regards the first of these, Mr Isaac Pointz was a man of fifty-eight, in good health and condition, with perhaps a slight tendency to liver. He was not exactly stout, but comfortable looking, and yachting costume, which he wore at the moment, is not the most kindly of attires for a middle-aged man with a tendency to embonpoint. Mr Pointz was very well turned out – correct to every crease and button – his dark and slightly oriental face beaming out under the peak of his yachting cap. As regards his surroundings, these may be taken to mean his companions: his partner Mr Leo Stein, Sir George and Lady Marroway, an American business acquaintance – Mr Samuel Leathern – and his schoolgirl daughter, Eve, Mrs Rustington, and Evan Llewellyn.

The party had just come ashore from Mr Pointz’s yacht, the Merrimaid. In the morning they had watched the yacht racing and they had now come ashore to join for a while in the fun of the fair – Coconut Shies, Fat Ladies, the Human Spider and the Merry-go-rounds. It is hardly to be doubted that these delights were relished most by Eve Leathern. When Mr Pointz finally suggested that it was time to adjourn to the Royal George for dinner, hers was the only dissentient voice.

‘Oh, Mr Pointz, I did so want to have my fortune told by the Real Gipsy in the Caravan.’

Mr Pointz had doubts of the essential realness of the gipsy in question, but he gave indulgent assent.

‘Eve’s just crazy about the Fair,’ said her father apologetically. ‘But don’t you pay any attention if you want to be getting along.’

‘Plenty of time,’ said Mr Pointz benignantly. ‘Let the little lady enjoy herself. I’ll take you on at darts, Leo.’

‘Twenty-five and over wins a prize,’ chanted the man in charge of the darts in a high nasal voice.

‘Bet you a fiver my total score beats yours,’ said Pointz.

‘Done,’ said Stein with alacrity.

The two men were soon whole-heartedly engaged in their battle.

Lady Marroway murmured to Evan Llewellyn:

‘Eve is not the only child in the party.’

Llewellyn smiled assent but somewhat absently. He had been absent-minded all that day. Once or twice his answers had been wide of the point.

Pamela Marroway drew away from him and said to her husband:

‘That young man has something on his mind.’

Sir George murmured, ‘Or someone?’

And his glance swept quickly over Janet Rustington.

Lady Marroway frowned a little. She was a tall woman exquisitely groomed. The scarlet of her fingernails was matched by the dark red coral studs in her ears. Her eyes were dark and watchful. Sir George affected a careless ‘hearty English gentleman’ manner, but his bright blue eyes held the same watchful look as his wife’s.

Isaac Pointz and Leo Stein were Hatton Garden diamond merchants. Sir George and Lady Marroway came from a different world – the world of Antibes and Juan-les-Pins – of golf at St Jean-de-Luz – of bathing from the rocks at Madeira in the winter.

In outward seeming they were as the lilies that toiled not, neither did they spin. But perhaps this was not quite true. There are divers ways of toiling and also of spinning.

‘Here’s the kid back again,’ said Evan Llewellyn to Mrs Rustington.

He was a dark young man; there was a faintly hungry wolfish look about him which some women found attractive.

It was difficult to say whether Mrs Rustington found him so. She did not wear her heart on her sleeve. She had married young – and the marriage had ended in disaster in less than a year. Since that time it was difficult to know what Janet Rustington thought of anyone or anything; her manner was always the same, charming but completely aloof.

Eve Leathern came dancing up to them, her lank fair hair bobbing excitedly. She was fifteen, an awkward child, but full of vitality.

‘I’m going to be married by the time I’m seventeen,’ she exclaimed breathlessly. ‘To a very rich man, and we’re going to have six children, and Tuesdays and Thursdays are my lucky days, and I ought always to wear green or blue, and an emerald is my lucky stone, and –’

‘Why, pet, I think we ought to be getting along,’ said her father.
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