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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 1, Episode 4 - Four and Twenty Blackbirds - full transcript

When a reclusive painter is found dead, Poirot finds the vital clue in the dead man's last meal.

There's very little
I can do for him now, Mrs. Hill.

He's very weak.

Oh, dear.

Is there no hope?

I'm afraid not.

It's more a matter of hours
rather than days now.

Doesn't Mr. Anthony have
any relatives?

Just a brother -- Henry -- but
they haven't spoken in 20 years.

No one else?

Well, yes, there's Mr. George,
his nephew in London.

I expect he'd want to know.

First reaching for his hatchet,

which he's got near him,
close by,

the noble fireman
goes to fight --

No, no, hold on.
Maestro, please.

Have you ever been a fireman?

No, but I've sat next to one.

And what's this "Jolly Laughing
Cobbler Song" all about?

It's all about this cobbler
who's always...

Sorry to drag you away, George,
but there's a call for you.

Can't you take a message?

It's your uncle, old son.

I'm afraid he's in a bad way.

I see.

Thanks, Harry.
I'll come right away.

You see, sir, when I'm singing
this song, I'll be cobbling,

and I'll have a boot.

Oh, you'll get a boot,
all right.

It was the doctor himself
said I should call.

He's very bad, Mr. Lorrimer.

And I'm very grateful,
Mrs. Hill.

This is very distressing.

But I can't travel to Brighton
before Sunday, at the earliest.

He's at his last breath,
Mr. Lorrimer.

Sunday might be too late.

Oh, Lord, I'm sorry.

There really is
nothing I can do.

Well, what about
Mr. Henry Gascoigne, sir?

Do you think
I should try to reach him?

Uncle Henry?

Good God, no.
He'd welcome the news.

No, when the time comes,
I'll break it to him myself.

As you say, Mr. Lorrimer.

Till Sunday, then.


Goodbye, Mrs. Hill.

Oh, dear.

And following Hendren's defeat

in the first Test
at Trent Bridge,

the selectors made two changes.

R.E.S. Wyatt returned to
captain's side,

and Bill Bowes
was preferred to Mitchell.

Cricket -- the English enigma.

I know not of any other game

where even the players
are unsure of the rules.

Thank you, Miss Lemon.

Aussies are one up already.

You can bet "The Don" will be
looking for three figures

at the hallowed ground.

Hastings, I have no time
for this Don

and his crusade
at the hallowed ground.

I have a dinner engagement
with my dentist.

Your dentist?

Positively morbid.

But you're always
trying to avoid him.

Not at all.

Off duty, he's quite charming.

Besides, he likes to see
the end product at work.

For England, Bowes and Farnes

will return to excellent
figures, with 5 for 102...

You won't get any of your fancy
French kickshaws here,

I'm afraid, Poirot,

just good,
well-cooked English fare.

And I could ask for nothing
more, Bonnington, my friend.

That's why I place myself
in your hands, unreservedly.


Yes, well --
Now, where's Molly?

Good evening, sir.

Ah, Molly.

Now, what speciality have you
for us this evening?

You're in luck today,
Mr. Bonnington.

There's your favorite --

roast turkey
with chestnut stuffing

and fillet of sole to start.

Oh, excellent.

For both of us.

Now, here is a girl who knows
exactly what I like, Poirot.

Well, I ought to know by now,
sir, I'm sure.

Do people always have
the same thing?

Mostly, sir, though
I'll you something odd.

You see old Mr. Gascoigne
sitting on his own over there?

I'd say he's been eating here

since the old queen died.

Henry Gascoigne --
painter of some sort, I'm told.

Well, he's at that table every
Wednesday and Saturday evening,

never misses, except last week,
he arrived on Monday.

Give me quite a turn.

Interesting deviation
from habit.

I wonder what the reason was.

Well, I reckon he must have
forgotten himself.

You know, he can't bear
suet puddings or blackberries,

and I've never known him take
thick soup.

Yet last Monday,
do you know what he ordered?

Thick tomato soup,
steak and kidney pudding,

and washed it all down
with a blackberry crumble.

Ah, mon Dieu.

And he was back again
on Wednesday, as usual,

his old self again.

Anyway, I mustn't stand here,

She's a good girl, that.

And she knows a thing or two
about food.

You know, I find that
extraordinarily interesting.


That old man's deviation
from habit.

Oh, the change in diet,
you mean.

Well, doctor's orders, I'd say.

It's common enough.

I think not,

unless, of course,
he thinks the old man

would benefit from indigestion.

To my good friend,
Hercule Poirot,

for whom life without mystery

would be like roast beef
without the mustard.

C'est la vrit, mon ami.


I see that bicuspid
is still sensitive, Poirot.

We must take a look at that.

-Ah, no, no --
-It must be the heat.

What's that, Molly?

Old Mr. Gascoigne --
he's at it again --

steak-and-kidney pudding
and blackberry crumble.



What's all the noise?

It's this milk.

It's been out here
for three days.

Dirty old devil.

Hasn't had a bath
since last Pancake Day, either.

Not a sound from inside.

He might have taken ill.

Oh, cold as ice.

Oh, poor love.

Must have taken a fall.

Here's a funny thing, Poirot.

Remember that old fellow we saw
at Bishop's the other night,

the one that Molly remarked on,
about how he'd changed his diet?

Ah, ah, try not to talk.

Well, I'm afraid he's eaten
his last blackberry crumble.

The poor old chap's
kicked the bucket.

It seems when he got home
that night,

he fell down the stairs
of his lodgings.

Yes, he's lived here
as long as anybody can remember.

Kept himself to himself.

You never spoke?

Well, we'd pass in the street
of an evening and say hello.

Except last week,
I might have been a ghost.

He walked right past me
and never said a word, he did.

Excuse me, madame.

Do you remember
which day last week?

Who are you, anyway,
asking all these questions?

Who's he?

He's not English, is he?
Begging your pardon.

He's Hercule Poirot,
private detective.


Oh, yeah, well, they all
say that, don't they?

You tell him
it was last Saturday

that old Gascoigne passed me by
in the street.

That was the last time
I saw him alive.



He was lying just here in
his dressing gown and slippers.

Shabby old thing, it was.

Wouldn't surprise me

if he didn't trip over the cord
or something.

Tripped over the cord.

Yes, thank you, madame.

And then you called the police?


They just wrapped his body up
in a blanket and carried it out.

Didn't pay much attention
to anything else.

Poor old devil.

Did M. Gascoigne receive
many visitors, madame?

Only his model.

He was an artist, you see.


She's up there now.

Thank you, Mme. Mullen.

Excusez-moi, mademoiselle?

Who are you?

I am Hercule Poirot,
a private investigator,

and my associate,
Captain Hastings.


Is there something here
that requires an investigation?

Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no.

It's more a matter
of professional curiosity.

That is all.

A small idea.

Perhaps you can help us,

Is there any reason
why I should?

Is there any reason
why you should not?

My name is Dulcie Lang.

I was Henry Gascoigne's model.

What else do you want from me?

I don't know,
but that is most helpful.

The bond between the artist
and his model is legendary.

-Oh, yes.

But you would have noticed

if his behavior had been
in any way unusual.

I doubt it.

A painter's behavior
is always unusual.

They can never make up
their mind

whether to commit suicide
or give a party.

So, nothing out of the way
about him.

No, no worse than any of them.

He had some odd arrangement
with his agent, I believe --

Peter Makinson.

But you'd have to ask him
about that.

An agent?
So he was successful?

Oh, don't be misled by all this.

Henry wasn't a poor man,
just mean.

Did he have a family?

Well, there was a nephew that
he mentioned from time to time,

a music-hall man.

There was a brother, too,
somewhere or other.

Anthony -- yes, Anthony.

But there'd been a falling-out
between them.

He certainly never spoke
of the man like a brother.


Remarkable likeness.

They could have been twins.

Yes, two pins in a pot.

This small idea of yours --

what is it?

Oh, it's simply a notion.

I saw M. Gascoigne
on the evening of his death.

I was told that his behavior
had recently been,

uh -- How do you say? --

But more than that,

the mantle of life should fit

like a well-tailored
suit of clothes, hmm?

But it did not hang so well on
that old man in the restaurant.

You see, mademoiselle,

I cannot accept that the fall
of M. Gascoigne was accidental.

Hardly the kind of woman to push
an old man to his death, Poirot.

Ah, the auburn hair, mon ami,
always the auburn hair.

No, I just find it really hard
to believe. That's all.

Well, she did not seem to be
unduly upset

by M. Gascoigne's
untimely demise.

Well, why should she?

What about that brother --

Yes, we need to find
the brother,

but also the artist's agent,
Peter Makinson.

Thank you, driver.

This is where the future

of criminal investigation
lies --

our new forensic division,
the most advanced in the world.

It won't be long

before the likes of you and me
will be gone forever,

cast onto the scrap heap of life
like so much... scrap.

And you think
there is nothing to save us?

Not even all those little
gray cells of yours.

Gascoigne, H.

We'll all be extinct,
Poirot, dinosaurs.

Henry Gascoigne, 68 years
of age, artist by profession.

What's your interest in this,

Well, he was an acquaintance
of a friend of mine,

and I merely wish to put
his mind at rest.

Mm. Died from broken neck caused
by fall down the stairs.

Apparently, he was a recluse,
a bit of an eccentric.

None of the neighbors
can remember seeing any visitors

that evening
or the following morning.

That evening?

The estimated time of death

was at or around 9:30 p.m.
on Saturday, June the 16th.


Your forensic division
is very precise, no?

Uh, well, no.

There was a letter in the old
boy's dressing-gown pocket.

It was posted that morning
in West 1

and arrived by the 9:30 delivery
that evening.

He must have gone down
to collect it

and fallen on his way back

I see.

May I see this letter?

The pathologists still got it,
with all Gascoigne's clothes.

Perhaps you remember
who might have sent it.

No, I don't.
It was harmless enough.

Of course.

Who was the pathologist,
did you say?

I didn't.

You take it from me, Poirot --
this case is closed.

Yes, well, let us hope,
Chief Inspector,

that the forensic sciences
of which you are so proud,

will not replace every aspect
of the detective's work.

Let us hope that camaraderie

will still play
a significant role, hmm?

His name is Cutter.


I'd better telephone him to make
sure he knows what to expect.

You see, Chief Inspector,

we are still very far
from being the species extinct.

Au revoir, mon ami.

Strong-looking fellow,
had years in him, I'd say --

still got his own teeth.


And the cause of death
was a broken neck?


Second and third vertebrae,
here and here.

You will also notice
extensive bruising

to the rib cage
and to the arms and legs,

consistent with a steep,
tumbling fall.

Down the stairs, yes.

Is it possible that M. Gascoigne

might have suffered
a seizure of the heart

or perhaps that of the brain?

No, he simply slipped and fell.

I see.

I believe
you were able to determine

the time of death
with some accuracy.


It is never an easy task

to ascertain
the precise time of death.


But this letter confirmed
your medical evidence, huh?


Gascoigne had been seen
in a restaurant

at about 7:30 that evening.

Yes, I was there myself.

And this letter arrived
with the 9:30 evening post?


An examination of the contents
of Gascoigne's stomach revealed

that he had eaten a light supper

two to three hours
before his death.

So it all fits together nicely,

May I please borrow this letter,

Well, I'm sure
you can be entrusted

with its safekeeping,
Mr. Poirot.

Of course.

Are you sitting down, Hastings?

Yes. Yes, I am.

Very good.

I'm coming.

Oh, fine, fine.


Hastings, this is
a recipe of my mother --


cooked in the style of Lige.

Well, I bet it's better

than rabbit cooked
in the style of Hastings.

Yes, that is quite funny,

However, when you are grown up,

you will find that food

is not really the subject
suitable for the humor.


Smells delicious.


The aroma is the most important
ingredient in any dish.

No, no, no, Hastings.

Use your spoon.

That is the Lige way.

To use the knife
is an insult to the cook.

It implies the meat is tough.


You're not eating?

Oh, unfortunately, no.

My left bicuspid

is still causing me
the considerable discomfort.


Is it good, Hastings?

Please do not be stinting
with your praise.

Oh, it's wonderful.


It tastes more, um --

well, rabbity than any rabbit
I've ever tasted.

That is the juniper berries.

Shall I give you
some more sauce?

No, no, no.
Not yet.

What was in that envelope they
found in old Gascoigne's pocket?


"You are invited to a preview of
contemporary European paintings

recently acquired
by the Farringdon Gallery."

Well, this may be both
informative and pleasurable,


And it's tomorrow.


"Man Throwing a Stone
at a Bird."


Which is which?

Joan Mir, Hastings, an exponent
of the surrealist vision.

A work inspired by the dream,

Yes, a man with a most
individual imagination.

Is there some way
I can help you gentlemen?

My name is Makinson.

Peter Makinson?

The agent of Henry Gascoigne?

What a tragic loss.


I understand that your
contractual agreement

with Henry Gascoigne

was an unusual one, monsieur.


Have you ever heard of an artist
who wouldn't sell his paintings?

Wouldn't sell?
You mean not at all?

Well, that must have made
your work impossible.

Oh, I could sell
the smaller pieces --

the sketches and watercolors.

But the oils were never to fall

into the hands
of the Philistines --

his name for all collectors
and dealers.

So no one actually owns
a Gascoigne painting?

He made gifts of some --
gestures of friendship.

I have a small collection,

and Dulcie Lane, his model,
has several works.

But he was a man of few friends.

And now, of course,
after his death,

his paintings can be sold, hmm?

I imagine that would be so.

And you, monsieur --

you are free to sell
your own collection, yes?

Look, what is all this about?

You're not a collector, are you?

No, monsieur.

I am Hercule Poirot,
a private detective.

And I am investigating

the circumstances surrounding
the death of Henry Gascoigne.

I see.

Perhaps we'd better talk
about this in my office.


Thank you.

Ah, that is a picture
by M. Gascoigne, is it not?

But not his usual model.

No, that was painted years
before he met Dulcie Lang.

She is Charlotte Gascoigne,
a rare beauty.


His wife?

No, Charlotte was married to
Anthony Gascoigne, his brother.


There was, I understand,
some ill feeling between them.


Henry arrived here one day
with this painting

and asked me to take it
into safekeeping.

For what reason?

I don't think brother Anthony

was keen on the idea
of his wife's naked body

being displayed in public.

You know,
the way I see it, Poirot,

everyone stands to benefit
from the old boy's death.

Indeed, mon ami.

His work was in demand,
but unobtainable.

His death will create
much attention.

Probably push the prices
through the roof.


Whoever is fortunate enough
to own an original Gascoigne

can expect to feather
their nest,

including Makinson
and Mlle. Dulcie Lang.


No, no, no, mon ami.

Even the closest acquaintances
could be tempted.

Well, they could have
played for lunch.


England won the toss,
went in to bat.

Sutcliffe and Hammond were back
in the pavilion before lunch --

78 for 2 at the end
of the opening session.

Chipperfield trapped them both.


Of course, Hastings.

Don't you see?

See what, old man?

4 and 20 blackbirds
baked in a crumble.

I think you mean "pie,"
don't you?

"But that's what they have done
in all these cases.

An upstairs door
found screwed up,

when things were
at their height..."

-Miss Lemon?
-Mr. Poirot.

"...and jewels with him before
alarm could be raised."

-Raffles, Mr. Poirot.

"Not so old as it looks,"
said Raffles...

Such a dashing figure.

...choosing the cigars
and handing me mine.

Miss Lemon?

How did you get on
with the music halls?

George Lorrimer is the manager
of the Carlton Theater,

Bethnal Green.

Excellent work, Miss Lemon.

Miss Lemon, back to M. Raffles.

But Raffles only shook
his head.

"I don't believe
in that rope-ladder, Bunny,

except as a blind."

Hastings, tonight we must visit
the theater.

What's all this about
blackbirds, Poirot?

That Saturday evening,

Henry Gascoigne finished
his meal with a blackbird,

or, rather,
the blackberry crumble.

Now, the juice of the blackberry
leaves a dark stain,

and yet the teeth
of Henry Gascoigne

were not discolored.

I looked most particularly.

Oh, then, the waitress
must have been mistake.

It's easily done, you know.

According to the pathologist,

Henry Gascoigne died two hours
after eating a light meal.

Now, I do not consider soup,

followed by the steak and kidney
pudding, to be the light meal.

But suppose that meal
was not dinner, but lunch.

But the old boy was seen
at the restaurant at 7:30.

You saw him.


But that was not
Henry Gascoigne.

That Saturday night, mon ami, I
dined not with Henry Gascoigne,

but with his murderer.

Henry Gascoigne
was already lying dead

at the foot of the stairs.

And the killer,
disguised as the old man,

was able to leave
the scene of the crime

without arousing suspicion.

Not quite.

He walked past the neighbor,
Mrs. Mullen,

without so much as a "good day."

But why take the old boy's place
at the restaurant?

To make it appear
that Gascoigne was still alive.

So, the question is, "Who could
imitate Henry Gascoigne?"


I vote for the brother.

Well, Hastings,
it would certainly take

a long stretch
of the imagination

to see Miss Dulcie Lang in
the white wig and the whiskers.

Steady on, Poirot.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Next class, same time tomorrow.

Oh, Mr. Robinson, could I have
a word with you, please?

Ah, the detectives
with the small idea.

Please, mademoiselle,
forgive this intrusion.

Oh, not at all, gentlemen.

As you have already seen
for yourselves,

I have nothing to hide.

No, no, we were up
in the gallery.

Miss Lang, I am now
completely convinced

that the death
of Henry Gascoigne

was deliberately arranged

and by someone he knew well.

Am I a suspect?

I understand Henry Gascoigne
gave you a number of paintings.

Yes, four life studies.

So you are aware, no doubt,
of their value?

Yes, I've had
a number of generous offers.

Well, you could be
a wealthy woman, Miss Lang.

You think I'd part with them
at any price?

Miss Lang, one final question.

Henry Gascoigne's twin brother,
Anthony --

do you know
where he might be found?

No, I don't.

Perhaps you should ask
the nephew.

Ah, thank you, Miss Lang.

And now, ladies and gentlemen,

it gives me great pleasure
to introduce Mr. Tommy Pinner!

Well, who better to masquerade
as the old man

than his twin brother?

Yes, the idea seems
most attractive, mon ami.

I'll give you
just one more chance.

What else can you do?

Oh, I'll sing you songs!

It's called
"Dinah Come and Hold My Hand."

Dinah, come and hold your hand?

-Yes, sir.
-It sounds pathetic.

And when it's over,

Dinah comes out
and holds my hand!

-Does she?
-Yes, sir, and that's the end.

It certainly is.

It's awful, atrocious.

-Atrocious, sir?


And the fireman, sir?

Oh, that -- worse still.

Ohh, but, sir --

Well, what now?

Do you want a sword swallower?


Good house, bad house,
good house.

On the house.

They love you.

Yeah, we got time
for a quick one.


Come in.

M. George Lorrimer?

No, actually, I'm Harry Clarke,
George's assistant.

He's not here tonight.


Can you tell me where I might
find him this evening, monsieur?

Well, I'm afraid not.

He's out of town, in Brighton,

attending to his uncle's
funeral arrangements.

In Brighton?

Yes, is there something wrong?

No, no.

C'est difficile, monsieur.

You see, we were led to believe

that Henry Gascoigne would not
be buried until next week

and, then, here in London.


You've got the wrong chappie.

George was talking about his
Uncle Anthony -- died last week.


The funeral's tomorrow.

We therefore commit his body
to the ground,

earth to earth, ashes to ashes,

dust to dust.

A quiet affair,
is it not, Hastings?

With both the brothers dead,

there aren't many Gascoignes
left to pay their respects.

Not too many suspects left,
either, hein?

I'm Lorrimer, George Lorrimer,
Anthony's nephew.

Captain Hastings.

Hercule Poirot, monsieur.

The name is familiar.

Should I know you?

Oh, perhaps Henry Gascoigne

might have mentioned me
in passing.

Ah, you knew Uncle Henry.

I was an acquaintance,
but many years ago.

I only heard of the double
tragedy last evening,

and I felt the need to express
my condolences to Mrs. Gascoigne

and to yourself in person,

I'm sorry?
Mrs. Gascoigne?

Yes, the wife of Anthony.

Oh, you mean Mrs. Hill,
the housekeeper.

She looked after him for years.

Then Mme. Gascoigne...

Dead, yes.

10 years now.

Marked the beginning of the end
for old Anthony.

He became a virtual recluse.

But listen --
I'm being terribly impolite.

Why don't you both come back
to the house?

Oh, oh, there's no wake,
you understand.

But I'm sure Mrs. Hill

will provide us
with some refreshment.

An offer that is most generous,

We accept.

The least I can do.

Thank you.

Anyway, I'd like to hear
about you and Henry.

Henry's passion for painting

once lit the small fires
of my own imagination,

but, alas,
my talent as a painter

was not as great as my ambition.

May I be of some assistance,
Mrs. Hill?

I can manage very well,
thank you, sir.

Have a seat.

Thank you.

Mr. Hastings.


And the two brothers?

They were twins?

Yes, not identical, but they
bore a great resemblance.


And also they had together
the great rapport, no?

No, not at all.

They hadn't spoken in 20 years.


Well, what could have caused
such disharmony?

Well, years ago,
Charlotte was Henry's model.

But that's too light a word.

She was more his inspiration.

Ah -- the muse.

And then along came Anthony
and stole the girl's heart.

He whisked her away, leaving
his brother a broken man.


And the wounds from such
a battle run deep.

Well, their differences
are well and truly buried now.

They both had a good innings.


Up stumps
and back to the pavilion.

If you'll excuse the expression.

Oh, yes.

A most distressing time for you,

Nursemaid and companion, I was,

cook and cleaner
all those years.

And then he goes just like that,

not a thank-you
for all my trouble,

not a penny
by way of remembrance.

Not even a small legacy
in the will for your services?

There was no will.

Paper? Paper, sir?

Get your flags here.

I expect it all goes
to him, the next of kin.

His right, I suppose, though
he doesn't deserve any of it.

Wouldn't come to see his uncle
when he was at his last breath.

Thank you so much.

Get your flags here!

Mrs. Hill,
could you please tell me --

exactly when did
M. Anthony Gascoigne pass away?

1:00 in the afternoon,
last Friday.

There was just me and him
at the end.

I told Mr. George --

Mr. Lorrimer, that is --
that there wasn't much time.

But it was the Sunday
before he arrived.

By tea on the second day, the
Aussies are 63, without loss,

chasing England's
first inning's total of 440.

Leyland made 109 and Ames 120.

You know, that's the first time
a keeper's made a century

in a Test.

I wonder if the weather
will hold there.

The crickets.

It occupies too many
of your little gray cells.

Mrs. Hill, thank you so much
for giving us of your time.

Would you like us now to walk
you back to the house?

No, thank you, sir.

I just want to sit and listen
to the band for a bit.

Well, that was quite a yarn
you were spinning back there,

old man -- the fires
of artistic endeavor?

I nearly blushed.

Ah, Hastings, you do not
understand the finer feelings.

But you were lying.

No, no, no, Hastings.

I did not want to cause
M. Lorrimer further grief

with the revelation that one of
his uncles had been murdered.

And by posing as an acquaintance
of Henry Gascoigne,

my inquiries appeared no more
than innocent curiosity.

Well, it certainly puts paid
to my theory, anyway.

Ah, yes, you expected more
from this brotherly intrigue.

Le crime passionnel, hein?

No, no, no, mon ami.

We have been running up
the wrong tree.

Twice every week,

Henry Gascoigne walked
from his house here

to the Bishop's Chophouse.

So he was a man of routine.

There would be no variation.

Now, that Saturday evening,

after the imposter had pushed
Henry Gascoigne to his death,

he would have followed
this route

as a matter of course.

Hastings, where of an evening

can a man be seen to enter
a place as one character

and emerge as another
completely different character?

Well, he could use
a boarding house or a hotel.

Without arousing
the slightest suspicion?

After the masquerade
at the restaurant,

he'd need to abandon
his disguise.

He would want to change back
into his own clothes in a hurry

and secure his alibi, hmm?

Discretion would be the problem.

I think I have seen the answer,
mon ami.

Well, if you're expecting a show
or something, governor,

you've come to the wrong shop.

I can assure you, monsieur,
that I am in the right shop.

Oh, don't you come the old acid
with me, squire.

I'm sorry -- "the old...?"

Or I'll make sure...

No, no, no, no, no,
I do not think so.

And if I mistake not,
that beret you are wearing

would suit better a man
of an artistic calling.

What's going here?

You are aware, are you not,
that the withholding of evidence

that might lead to the
conviction of a known criminal

is a most serious offense?

What evidence?

The yellow neckerchief worn by
a man wanted for questioning

in connection with the murder
of Henry Gascoigne.

There will also be the corduroy
jacket with the trousers,

a waistcoat with the berets,

and a cane in a dark wood.

All that was just lying there,
wasn't it?

I was gonna throw them out,

thought I'd make a few bob
with it down the line.

You have been diligent
and honest, sir.

I trust
that this will compensate

for the few bob
you might have made.

Well, Dulcie Lang was sitting
for a life class

from 1:00 until 5:00
on Saturday afternoon,

so we can eliminate her.

Oh, yes, Miss Lang is innocent.

He is running in now --

one, two, three, four,
and his arm goes over.

Oh, Darling staggers back
with his right foot.

Makinson, too, I'm afraid.

He was in Paris.

That brings us back
to square one.

No, no, mon ami, far from it.

We are about to make
our final move.

Kindly ask Miss Lemon to get me
the Chief Inspector Japp

on the telephone.

He's hit the ball this time.

Oh, Darling -- it's good.

The ball's in the air,
and Sutcliffe's taken it.

Simple catch,
and Darling is out for naught.

That's Verity's third wicket
of the morning.

Australia now 204 for 4.

Afternoon, Freddie.

Hello, sir.

Ah, M. Lorrimer, I'm so glad.

Please to come up here.

Poirot? What's going on?

Who are your friends?

Captain Hastings
of course you know.

And this is Chief Inspector Japp
from Scotland Yard.

We have reason to believe,
Mr. Lorrimer,

that your uncle's death
was not an accident.

Not an accident?


This clothing was part of
the assassin's disguise.

It was discarded close to
the Bishop's Chophouse

after he had masqueraded as
your uncle following the murder.

These strands of white hair are
from the wig, sir.

The darker hairs
would be the guilty party's.

They should be an easy match.



Yes, a devious finale to
a most sinister plot, monsieur.

You see, that Saturday evening,

after he had pushed
Henry Gascoigne to his death,

the assassin searched through
the correspondence on his desk.

He retrieved this envelope,

which he had sent
the day before.

Now, what could be more innocent

than an invitation
to an art gallery, eh?

However, he had one last
artistic task to perform.

But he was not
a skilled craftsman.


He changed the postmark
from the 15th to the 16th...

...and smudged the mark
on the blotter

to further conceal the forgery.

He placed the envelope in your
uncle's dressing-gown pocket,

and then,
disguised as the old man,

he took his place
at the Bishop's Chophouse.

And so it appeared
that Henry Gascoigne

had fallen to his death that
Saturday evening -- oh, yes --

but after the 9:30 post
had been delivered.

Whoever could do such a thing?

Oh, well, at first I suspected
his colleagues,

but they all had
the solid alibis.

And then naturally I turned
my attention towards his family.

But Anthony was dead.

It appeared that you were
the only living relative,

and of course you were.

And where were you when your
uncle was murdered, monsieur?

Where was I?

Well, I-I'd have been here
at the theater

for the second performance.

Of course.

Ah, yes, but that would have
been a Saturday evening,

Mr. Lorrimer.

Neither the staff
nor the artists here

can remember seeing you
on that Saturday afternoon.

At which time, I would say,

you were attending
to some business, yes?


The murder of your uncle.

You think I killed Henry?

Well, this is madness.

I had no quarrel with him.

After Anthony's death,

Henry was the only living
relative to stand between you

and the Gascoigne estate.

This is a lie!
A damned lie!


We have acquired
a sample of typeface

from the typewriter
in your office, monsieur.

I am certain that it will be
the perfect match

with the address
on the envelope --

the signature of the murderer.

So, it was the musical act
that made you suspect Lorrimer.

Well, it was a very good
impression of an old man,

and Lorrimer must have seen it
many times.


And Lorrimer had been ready
for many weeks.

When Mrs. Hill, the housekeeper,

telephoned with word
of Anthony's imminent death,

Lorrimer knew
that all of Anthony's money

will go to Henry Gascoigne
because there was no will.

But why on earth would Lorrimer
masquerade as old Gascoigne

on the previous Monday night?

Dress rehearsal --

had to be sure of the disguise
on the night.

He nearly got away with it.

Yes, but you cannot play Othello

simply by blacking your face,

You have to think
like a Moorish general.

Lorrimer's performance
was fatally flawed.

suddenly you look very pale.

Are you feeling unwell?

The Test, Poirot.

Listen -- "Verity takes
14 wickets for 70 runs

on a day when England bowled out
Australia twice

to win the second Test."

Six wickets in the last hour.

And after the weekend rains,
you are surprised, mon ami?

Australians are used to
hard pitches.

The Lord's wickets would have
been decidedly sticky, no?

So it's not a day
for the stroke play.

No, it's a day
for the art of spin bowling.

And Hedley Verity is
the greatest exponent alive,

bowling left arm, the leg
breakers to the right-handers.

He would have them marching

through the long room
in no time, eh?

He has flight variation,
the chinaman,

and the most deadly quick of all
that dips into a Yorker.

Oh, yes.

On such a day,
M. Verity would consider,

what, 14 for 70, a fair hole.