The Murder on the Links

The Murder on the Links is a work of detective fiction by Agatha Christie, first published in the US by Dodd, Mead & Co in the same year. and in the UK by The Bodley Head in May 1923, It features Hercule Poirot and Arthur Hastings. The UK edition retailed at seven shillings and sixpence, and the US edition at $1.75.

Genre: Mystery
Year:
1923
481 Views

								
TO MY HUSBAND A fellow enthusiast for detective stories, and to whom I am indebted for much helpful advice and criticism. CONTENTS 1: A Fellow Traveller 2: An Appeal for Help 3: At the Villa Geneviève 4: The Letter Signed "Bella" 5: Mrs. Renauld's Story 6: The Scene of the Crime 7: The Mysterious Madame Daubreuil 8: An Unexpected Meeting 9: M. Giraud Finds Some Clues 10: Gabriel Stonor 11: Jack Renauld 12: Poirot Elucidates Certain Points 13: The Girl with the Anxious Eyes 14: The Second Body 15: A Photograph 16: The Beroldy Case 17: We Make Further Investigations 18: Giraud Acts 19: I Use My Grey Cells 20: An Amazing Statement 21: Hercule Poirot on the Case! 22: I Find Love 23: Difficulties Ahead 24: "Save Him!" 25: An Unexpected Dénouement 26: I Receive a Letter 27: Jack Renauld's Story 28: Journey's End 1 A Fellow Traveller I believe that a well-known anecdote exists to the effect that a young writer, determined to make the commencement of his story forcible and original enough to catch and rivet the attention of the most blasé of editors, penned the following sentence: "'Hell!' said the Duchess." Strangely enough, this tale of mine opens in much the same fashion. Only the lady who gave utterance to the exclamation was not a Duchess! It was a day in early June. I had been transacting some business in Paris and was returning by the morning service to London where I was still sharing rooms with my old friend, the Belgian ex-detective, Hercule Poirot. The Calais express was singularly empty--in fact, my own compartment held only one other traveller. I had made a somewhat hurried departure from the hotel and was busy assuring myself that I had duly collected all my traps when the train started. Up till then I had hardly noticed my companion, but I was now violently recalled to the fact of her existence. Jumping up from her seat, she let down the window and stuck her head out, withdrawing it a moment later with the brief and forcible ejaculation "Hell!" Now I am old-fashioned. A woman, I consider, should be womanly. I have no patience with the modern neurotic girl who jazzes from morning to night, smokes like a chimney, and uses language which would make a Billingsgate fishwoman blush! I looked up now, frowning slightly, into a pretty, impudent face, surmounted by a rakish little red hat. A thick cluster of black curls hid each ear. I judged that she was little more than seventeen, but her face was covered with powder, and her lips were quite impossibly scarlet. Nothing abashed, she returned my glance, and executed an expressive grimace. "Dear me, we've shocked the kind gentleman!" she observed to an imaginary audience. "I apologize for my language! Most unladylike, and all that, but Oh, Lord, there's reason enough for it! Do you know I've lost my only sister?" "Really?" I said politely. "How unfortunate." "He disapproves!" remarked the lady. "He disapproves utterly--of me, and my sister--which last is unfair, because he hasn't seen her!" I opened my mouth, but she forestalled me. "Say no more! Nobody loves me! I shall go into the garden and eat worms! Boohoo! I am crushed!" She buried herself behind a large comic French paper. In a minute or two I saw her eyes stealthily peeping at me over the top. In spite of myself I could not help smiling, and in a minute she had tossed the paper aside, and had burst into a merry peal of laughter. "I knew you weren't such a mutt as you looked," she cried. Her laughter was so infectious that I could not help joining in, though I hardly cared for the word "mutt." The girl was certainly all that I most disliked, but that was no reason why I should make myself ridiculous by my attitude. I prepared to unbend. After all, she was decidedly pretty. . . . "There! Now we're friends!" declared the minx. "Say you're sorry about my sister--" "I am desolated!" "That's a good boy!" "Let me finish. I was going to add that, although I am desolated, I can manage to put up with her absence very well." I made a little bow. But this most unaccountable of damsels frowned and shook her head. "Cut it out. I prefer the 'dignified disapproval' stunt. Oh, your face! 'Not one of us,' it said. And you were right there--though, mind you, it's pretty hard to tell nowadays. It's not every one who can distinguish between a demi and a duchess. There now, I believe I've shocked you again! You've been dug out of the backwoods, you have. Not that I mind that. We could do with a few more of your sort. I just hate a fellow who gets fresh. It makes me mad." She shook her head vigorously. "What are you like when you're mad?" I inquired with a smile. "A regular little devil! Don't care what I say, or what I do, either! I nearly did a chap in once. Yes, really. He'd have deserved it too. Italian blood I've got. I shall get into trouble one of these days." "Well," I begged, "don't get mad with me." "I shan't. I like you--did the first moment I set eyes on you. But you looked so disapproving that I never thought we should make friends." "Well, we have. Tell me something about yourself." "I'm an actress. No--not the kind you're thinking of, lunching at the Savoy covered with jewellery, and with their photograph in every paper saying how much they love Madame So and So's face cream. I've been on the boards since I was a kid of six--tumbling." "I beg your pardon," I said puzzled. "Haven't you seen child acrobats?" "Oh, I understand." "I'm American born, but I've spent most of my life in England. We got a new show now--" "We?" "My sister and I. Sort of song and dance, and a bit of patter, and a dash of the old business thrown in. It's quite a new idea,
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Agatha Christie

Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, DBE was an English writer. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, particularly those revolving around her fictional detectives Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple. more…

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