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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 13, Episode 3 - Dead Man's Folly - full transcript

With summer in the air, wealthy squire Sir George Stubbs and his fragile, childlike wife Hattie plan a grand fête for their Devonshire neighbors to celebrate their recent acquisition of Nasse House. Fancy dress, fortune telling, and a coconut shy are all scheduled, as well as a murder hunt designed by mystery novelist Ariadne Oliver. But Mrs Oliver is convinced something is amiss, and asks Hercule Poirot to attend the festivities as a means to put her mind at rest. Poirot scrutinizes the eclectic lot, which includes officious politicos, a put-upon secretary, a rakish architect, warring holidaymakers, a garrulous ferryman, an urbane foreigner, and Nasse's former matriarch, now content to be a humble lodger. They certainly have secrets to hide, but are any of them likely murderers? Or victims? When Mrs Oliver's fears are realized, however, the events are far from how she imagined them to unfold. A murder occurs as anticipated, but bizarrely, the victim is Marlene Tucker, a local Girl Guide who was assigned the role of the victim in Mrs Oliver's murder game! Her seemingly senseless death precipitates an even greater intrigue when Hattie Stubbs vanishes into thin air, clothes and all. Then the ferryman dies in a seemingly unrelated accident. What could all of this mean? Was Marlene silenced as a witness? Was Hattie abducted against her will? Was Mrs Oliver unknowingly manipulated by an unscrupulous murderer? And how does Sir George's hideous folly figure into the mystery, if at all? Poirot is on the case, determined to put the follies of Nasse House to rest once and for all.

Welcome, Sir George, Lady Stubbs.

- Good evening, Sir George.
- Good evening.

I'm so thankful you're here at last.

A shocking night.

Hattie should get straight to bed
or she'll catch a chill.

Come along, my dear.

"Come at once, Nasse House, Devon.

Need help. Urgent.

Ariadne Oliver."

You been here before, sir?

Non. Take the scenic route
along the river, shall I?

Non, merci.

Afternoon, ladies.

You don't mind, do you, sir?
Foreigners, see. Can't read a map.


Thank you. It is most kind, please.

Miles yet to the youth hostel.

Oh, her is not speak English.

We meet first time this morning
on the platform at Exeter.

And now we are big friends.

We explore Devon together.

I could show you a few beauty spots,
if you like.

The hostel's that way. Don't
cross Sir George's land, though.
He don't like it.

Grazie, mille.

Thank you, Stan.

If you please, may we hurry?

Welcome to Nasse, monsieur.

I believe Mrs Oliver to be down by
the battery, sir, that way.

Help, help! Someone, quick!

Help! Help!

Help! Help!

Someone, quick!

Oh, hello, Poirot.

What is wrong, madame?

Nothing's wrong.

I just wanted to see if someone
would come.

How loudly one might have to shout.
These woods are frightfully dense.

I thought you were in danger!
Certainly not.

How are you, Poirot?

Un peu enerve, cher madame.

You telegrammed to me that you need

and for this reason I come by the
express from London.


I do need help.

I'm most awfully worried.

There are some very strange people

Very strange indeed.

They're holding a fete tomorrow
and thought they'd have a treasure

Then they thought,
"No, that's been done to death."

So they thought
they'd have a murder hunt instead.

And they offered me a tidy sum
to come and dream it up.

Well, anything's better than

So I've been busily inventing
motives and suspects and victims
and so forth.

It costs a bob to enter and all
you get for that is the first clue.

Good fun.

Poirot, he is arrived to Devon, mais

Because there's something amiss.

I think someone's going to die.

If there were to be a real murder
tomorrow instead of a fake one,

I shouldn't be in the least

Whose idea was it, this murder hunt?

The Warburtons, I think.
The owners of the property?

No, no, that's Sir George Stubbs.

Awfully rich and awfully common.

Bought the place a year or so ago,
along with his wife...

who's outrageously beautiful.

But as dumb as a fish.

The corpse will be in here.

Sally Legge was going to do it,

but now they want her to dress up in
a turban and tell fortunes.

So it's a Girl Guide called
Marlene Tucker.

Hideous child!

Just has to sit here and read

I've written a clue on one of them.

..and flop down when she hears
someone coming with this around her

Hello. I've brought lemonade.

Oh, that is most kind, Miss Brewis.

Good afternoon, sir.

Lady Stubbs must be rushed off her
feet with all the preparations. Do
thank her for the drinks.

Lady Stubbs has one of her

She's not yet up.

I've planned every detail
and it all dovetails nicely.

But things keep changing.

The fortune-telling's a good example.

I feel I'm being jockeyed along.

"Jockeyed along"?

So someone is making the suggestions?

I just can't stand suggestions.

If you suggest something,
we do exactly the opposite.

But I am being jockeyed along.

And I can't figure out how.

To tell the truth, I'm worried.

Perhaps the big suggestion it is
put, hein?

To which you, of course, say no,
because it is preposterous.

But then an idea most trivial may be
found to have been smuggled in.

Yes, yes, something like that. Yes.

Who is making these alterations?

Different people. It would be easier
if it were just one, wouldn't it?

And you have told to them that
Hercule Poirot, he is coming?

Yes, I said you'd be giving away
the prizes for the murder hunt.
Everyone's thrilled.

Mrs Oliver! Hang on,
I'll walk up with you.

All safe, sir.

That's Michael Weyman.

An architect.

I'm meant to be designing a tennis
pavilion. Do you know what he's
asked for?

A Chinese pagoda.

Selfmade men!

Stinking with money
but with no taste whatsoever.

For instance, look at this.

It's quite nice of its kind...

well, in keeping with the house.

But these things are meant to be...

What's the phrase?

..situated on an eminence.

And here's this poor little devil
tucked away in the woods.

Perhaps there wasn't anywhere else?

What about the grassy bank by
the house? It's perfect, but no.

A tree comes down in a gale.

"Right," says the selfmade twerp,
"We'll put the folly there,
tidy up the place."

It's only on a yard of concrete,
subsiding already.

These people are extraordinary.

That's Amy Folliat.

Here people owned Nasse originally.

Then she lost both her sons
and had to sell up.

And yet she lives here still?


Odd or what?

Is this the great Monsieur Poirot?

Enchante, Madame Folliat.

It is kind of you to help out with
our prizes.

This clever lady has contrived
a most intricate problem.

I have been admiring the house.

I thank you.

It was built by my husband's

There was an Elizabethan manor

But it burnt down.

It must be hard for you to have
strangers living in residence now.

So many things are hard, monsieur.

If you'll excuse me, I'll see if
they have your room ready.

What do you think?


It is only one instant since I have

Well, I've been here three days.

And every time someone says
something, I get the strongest
impression they're lying.

My intuition tells me something is

Ah, la.

I'm well aware you think me

Madame, one calls things by
different names, hein?

It may indeed be that you have seen

it may indeed be
that you have heard something.

And it may be...if I may so put it...

..that you do not know what it is
that you know.

You are aware only of the result.

And that, madame,
it is your intuition.

Whatever it is,

I feel certain someone is going to

We must do something about it.

Poirot, is it?

Welcome. Welcome, old man.

Merci, monsieur.
George Stubbs.

It's a pleasure to meet you.
Delighted you could come.

Ah, yes. Let me introduce you to
some people.

The fortunetelling.

Over by the magnolia or at the far
end of the lawn by the

By the magnolia.

My tent can't go by the magnolia,
it will cause a bottleneck.

Down at the end, please, Captain.

What about the coconut shy?

Not too near the house, Jim.
I've just replaced the windows.

Fair point.

Now, may I introduce the famous
gent, Hercule Poirot.

Yes, indeed, Monsieur Poirot.

Captain and Mrs Warburton.


And Alec and Sally Legge.

Monsieur. Madame.

We'll find you a job later on.

Watch out, Poirot. Sally can make a
man do anything, what!

Come and meet the wife.

Excuse me.

This is Mr Poirot, he's our guest.


You chat nicely while I go
and locate some coconuts.


Do you mind if I sit down, madame?
So much walking.


It's pretty, isn't it?
Tres jolie.

It's an emerald.

George gave it to me,
he gives me lots of things.

Devonshire is a county most pleasant,
n'estce pas?

It is when it isn't raining
but there aren't any nightclubs.

Ah, bon, you like the nightclub?
Oh, yes.

I love music and dancing
and champagne

and wearing my nicest clothes
and all my jewels.

It's best to be rich, isn't it?

Perhaps if I was not rich,
I should look like her.


Tea, my lady.

Tea is stupid.

Perhaps our guest would like some,

Shall I be Mother?

Is it going to be like Ascot
tomorrow? I can wear a very big hat.

Not quite like Ascot, dear.

There's so much to do.

You really should be helping out
instead of staying in bed till
after lunch.

I've got a new dress. Come and see.

We're just having a cup of tea.

Come with me, come now.
Oh, very well.

Please excuse us.

You really must try to be more

Beautiful creature, isn't she?

See that ring that George bought

Whether he spotted she's away with
the fairies, I couldn't say.

But then he's hardly an intellectual
himself, is he?

Sir George, he's inside the stocks
and shares, I believe?

Yes. Not exactly a gentleman's game,

But still, you are the friends?

Good grief, no choice.
Not with an election coming up.

Jim, you've got to settle this.

We agreed my tent should be at the
far end by the rhododendrons,
it's the only place.

My wife doesn't think so.

You're the Member of Parliament.
Show her who's boss.

Are you out of your mind?
All right, I'll see what I can do.

Have you seen Amy Folliat?

I believe that Madame Folliat
is inside with the Lady Stubbs.

She seems to be most solicitous
towards her.

Ah, yes, well,
she was Hattie's guardian.

Before I walked her up the aisle,
of course.

Her people were in sugar in the

But there was a typhus epidemic
and both her mother and father lost
their lives.

Rotten bloody luck, actually.

But Amy Folliat was a friend of the
family and took young Hattie under
the wing.

Oh, that is commendable.
She's a damn good egg, actually.

Ah, Amanda. I want you to go
and order some wire fencing
straightaway, please.

I don't think you're allowed to pen
people in the tea tent, sir.

Not the tea tent, dear, no.

Over in the woods,
where they're coming through.
They keep wandering in.

Who are?

Foreigners, cutting through, you
see, Poirot, through to the ferry.

Girls in little short trousers.

Oui, d'accord. The trousers of the
girls are... Exactly.

I have a gentleman on the telephone
with coconuts.

Right, the coconuts, yes.

Right, so, how many's he got?
As many as you like, sir.

Look at them all buzzing around.

Busy, busy bees.

The world's going to pot
and they're holding a garden party.

Une fete de jardin?

But that is an activity honoured by
time, monsieur.

The apathy of these people.

They're all feeble-minded.

Do you know what I should like to
see done in this country?

I'd like to see every feeble-minded
person put out.

Don't let them breed.

Finish them off, all the simpletons.

How would you do that, Monsieur

Oh, I'm a chemist.

I could do it easily.

Any theories?

Everybody seems to me
to be completely normal.

Are you trying to be amusing?

Perhaps that is not the right word.

Lady Stubbs, it appears,
is subnormal, Alec Legge abnormal.

He's all right. He's just having a
nervous breakdown.

But everyone seems in a state of

which, I believe, is characteristic
of the preparations for a fete in

Mrs Oliver, your corpse is here.

Ah, hello, Marlene.

Remember, a Guide is honest,
reliable and can be trusted.

Can you come and have a look at her

I was going to be stabbed.

Now she says I'm gonna be strangled.

That's not fair.

This gentleman knows all about
murder. Why don't you ask him?

Seen a lot of killings, have you?

One or two, mademoiselle, oui.

Any sex maniacs?

I like sex maniacs,
I've read about them.

I do not think you would like to meet

If someone leaves a woman's body in
the woods with no clothes on, dead,

he's liable to be a sex maniac,
ain't he?

That would be an assumption
most reasonable, oui.

That's what my granddad said.

But he's daft
so no one believes him.

Marlene, come and try your

Hattie, come back!

You're completely mad!

You permit, madame?


I'm so sorry Hattie dragged me off
earlier. It was rude of her.

Lady Stubbs is a little...

Comment on dit?


Hattie is a dear good child.

I know her very well, you see.

Because she was once your ward?

My husband died in Flanders.

My elder son was killed on active
service against the Pashtun.

And to cap a sorry tale,

my...younger son took up aviation.

And crashed trying
to break the record to Nairobi.

That meant three lots of death


Nasse had to be sold.

I was very unhappy
and I was glad of the distraction

of having a young person to look

For a time, we lived in Paris.

My, we had fun.

I became very fond of Hattie.

All the more so when I realised
that she was not terribly...


Thank heaven there was no money to
speak of.

Had she been an heiress,
I dread to think how vulnerable
she might have been.

Her father died bankrupt.

And we felt ourselves fortunate
when George Stubbs came along.

It was most fortunate indeed.

George Stubbs is a good man.

Oh, I know he's a complete

But he is fundamentally decent.

Oui, I think that you have made
the arrangement most prudent, madame.

I am not like the English,
a romantic about these matters.

Et voici, here you are, still at
Nasse House.

Sir George lets me live in the

And I count myself very lucky.

Indeed, you have found for yourself
a haven most peaceful, madame.

A haven from the storm.


The world is a wicked place,
Monsieur Poirot.

There are very wicked people in it.

Thank you.

What do you want me to put on this

Madam Zuleika, or Romany Lee,
Gypsy Queen?

No one likes gypsies round here.

Better make it Madam Zuleika.

With a snake around her neck.

Snake in the grass.

I had a snake once.

But it swallowed the rabbit.
Had to chop it up - quite good fun!

Do you still paint, Michael,
like you used to?

Sold out, Sally.

30 pieces of silver.

Everyone has to earn a living, what?

In Parliament, Jim?
That's not really an honest living,
now, is it?

Waste of time, Parliament.

Don't be such a rotten old sulk!

Alec has a point. What do you think,
Mrs Oliver?

Should all politicians be


I don't know.

They make ever such good suspects,
as a rule.

They certainly do.
I mean, just look at my husband.

You couldn't get more shifty
if you tried.

Excuse me, I'm going to bed.

I feel strange.
Darling? Darling, we're at dinner!

Oh, Lady Stubbs has gone early to

Malheureusement, oui.

She suffers, perhaps,
from the mental confusion?

Oh, no.

She knows exactly what she's doing.

What do you think?

I think, madame, that I take the
little walk.


Do you want the ferry, sir?

Oh, non. Non, merci.

I stay at Nasse.


'Tis up at Nasse, you are?

I worked for the Folliats
many a year.

None them left now, of course,
except old Mum at up the lodge.

Met her, have 'ee?

Madame Folliat? Oui.

Bad luck, her's had.

Trouble with her husband,
trouble with her sons.

They were all right when they was
boys, always down here crabbing.

But when they grows up... pah!

Master Henry, he died for his
country, fair dos.

But Master James?

He was wild!

One of they as couldn't go straight.

By, he was vexing, Master James!

Aeroplanes, flying.

That's no way to die.

No, indeed.

What is your opinion of Sir George?
Pardon, Monsieur...?

John Murdle.

..Monsieur Merdell?

Oh, non. Non, merci.

Gentleman be powerful rich,
wife's a fine lady from London.

Yeah, I remember the night they

Worst gale we ever had.

Big tree down in the woods made a
rare mess.

Where the folly it now stands?

Damn silly place for it too.

Never happened in t'Squire's day,
London nonsense.

It is sad, is it not,
that the time for the Folliat family,
it is finished?

Always be Folliats at Nasse.


Old Mum still be here, b'aint she?

Good night, sir.

Bonne nuit.


here are some new ideas for the

What do you think?



Oh, no.
What is it, darling?

It's from my cousin Etienne,
he's coming here.
He's coming in his yacht!

Oh, no!

Oh, may I see?

Who is this Etienne De Souza?

A distant cousin.

He says he's coming here today!

Pity he's dropping by
on the afternoon of the fete
but we'll make him welcome.

No, we can't! I need to lie down!
We can.

I have a headache!
Hattie, dear...

Take some aspirin
and then it will go away.

Shall I bring you some?

Sweetheart... Excuse me.

Hattie, darling...
I don't want to see Etienne!

I don't like him, he's wicked,
he does foreign things!

No, Rogers, put the urn on the left!

Righto, ma'am.
The left!

Oh, the left?


Hello, Poirot.

Bonjour, madame.
What a beautiful day!


And isn't it nice to have Nasse
lived in again?

We were all so afraid it would
become an hotel.

So many houses have.

"AA: three stars",
and what have you.


I must say, George Stubbs
has done wonders for the place.

He's got good blood in him

Father a gent and mother a barmaid,
that's my guess.

I see she got her way
with the fortuneteller's tent.

No, no, no!

No, you're trespassing!
You can't come through here,
do you understand?

The youth hostel is that way!

This is private land! Hop it!

This won't do!


Might I meet you in the study?

What's that, Hattie?
Yes, I'll shut it.

I put a padlock on the gate
but they come through the wood.

They don't understand a word I'm
talking about. They jabber on in
Dutch or French or whatever.

One of them was, I think, Italian.

Precisely, yes, foreign.

Er...Poirot. Will you answer me a
question with the benefit of all
your experience?

Most certainly, monsieur, I will try.

Is Michael Weyman after my wife?


Well, she's behaving damn oddly.

All these headaches
and this constant lying down.

Every time I look at her,
there's Michael bloody Weyman
hovering nearby.

Sorry, I'm just being...pathetic.

If you should see her getting up to

I mean, anything at all... will let me know?

You look ridiculous.

Everybody, this way.

Come along. Gather round, please.

Now, I declare the garden fete open.


Madame, let us separate.

We shall watch with the peeled eye.

Mr and Mrs Hopper!

This is just like old times!

Isn't it the greatest success?
I've restocked with floribundas.

Just one small bomb would do it.

What about you, ladies?
Would you like to have a go?

Here, sir! It's for charity, sir.

Children's fancy dress!

Form up, please.

You've won! Well done.
Congratulations, sir.

Here's the first clue.

It's a photograph.

Work out what it is
and you'll get the second clue.

Good luck.

I see you're enjoying yourself.

It is most horrible, is it not?

Ladies and gentlemen,
we have a new champion!

Little girl?
Un petit cadeau pour toi, hein?

Thank you.



As far as I can tell,
they're just enjoying themselves,
which is a little galling.

How are you?
Good to see you.

Bonjour, mademoiselle.
You come also to the fete?

It is so fun!

My friend comes later
and then we go by bus to Torquay.

You remember my friend?
Oui, I saw her this morning.

Yes, the man was rude.

Now he is polite.

Mademoiselle Brewis.

Someone's made a speedy recovery.

Look, some ice cream!


That which you wear on your head,
it is a creation most beautiful.

Like something from the Royal Ascot,
n'estce pas?

You will make a long journey.

Possibly by train.

I see a luxurious train.

And great riches will be yours
at the end of your quest.

Madame Oliver told to me that
originally you were to be the victim.

But that you had been snatched from
her by the occult.

I wish I was the body.

Ah, this is exhausting!

Is it four o'clock yet?

I want my tea.

What do you think?

Je crois que vous avez raison.
There is something that is

And a murder hunt would be awfully
convenient if you wanted to conceal
a murder.

But a murder, madame, requires
a victim. So who is this victim?

This is what we must discover.

I say, seen Lady Stubbs?

She's meant to be judging the
fancy dress. Non.

What's the woman playing at?
I'll have to get someone else.

Has anyone seen Lady Stubbs?


Thank you.

Excuse me!

Is this the house of
Sir George Stubbs?

Oui, d'accord.

I am Etienne De Souza.

Enchante, monsieur.

I am Hercule Poirot.

De Souza, is it?

George Stubbs.
Good day to you.

A jolly busy one, actually.
Welcome to Nasse.

And delighted...
delighted to meet you.

My cousin Hattie is here?

Yes, she is.

You will dine with us this evening,
I hope? Can we put you up?

I will sleep on my yacht,
The Esperance.

Now, where the devil is my wife?

You hang on here
and I'll be straight back.

So it is some time
since last you saw your cousin?

I have not seen her since she was
14 years old.


Then her parents suddenly died
and she was sent abroad.

As a child,
she promised to have good looks.

She is a woman most beautiful,

And...that is her husband?


Have you seen Lady Stubbs?
Have you seen my wife, Lady Stubbs?

Has anyone seen Lady Stubbs?

You haven't seen Lady Stubbs,
have you? Big hat and sunglasses?

She seems to have completely

I feel certain that someone
is going to die.

Lady Stubbs? No?

I saw her last over there.

The world is a wicked place,
Monsieur Poirot.

Have you seen Lady Stubbs? Hattie?

Have you seen Lady Stubbs?

Lady Stubbs, you haven't seen her?
We don't know where she is.

Lady Stubbs, she has disappeared.
They look everywhere. She is gone.
Where can she be?

Did anyone think of the boathouse?


It's locked, to make sure
nobody finds the body by accident.

Rather brilliant, don't you think?

Marlene, it's Mrs Oliver.
I'm coming in.

Marlene, you can get up.
It's only me.



That which you have feared
has happened, madame.

Elle est morte.

You don't mean...

You don't mean... Oh!


Marlene Tucker, local girl.

Lift, I got it.

Garrotted with a length of rope.

The doctor says she's still warm.

Dead no more than an hour.

So the killer isn't far away?

I daresay. But who'd want to murder
a 14-year-old child?

"Johnny goes with Kate.

Georgie pinchers hikers in the

Sir George Stubbs.

I'll need a room, sir.
And I'll want to question both
yourself and Lady Stubbs.

Yes, of course, but my wife seems
to have disappeared from view.

I'll find her eventually,
but I doubt she'll be much help.

I feel awful.

Put that in capital letters. Awful!

Because, you see, it's my murder.

I organised it.

I don't usually drink but Poirot
gave me this for the shock.

Did you say Poirot?

I don't suppose you remember me,
Monsieur Poirot.

Most assuredly.

It is the young Sergeant Bland,
whom I met...

it is now since 14, 15 years.


What a memory.

I cannot for the life of me remember
why I should have wanted

the Yugoslavian wife of a biochemist
to be the victim.

And I wasn't expecting a man in a

What man in a yacht?

He sent a letter to Lady Stubbs
and she was frightened.

Frightened of what?
Frightened of him.

And now she's disappeared.

Can you tell me anything
about a man and a yacht?

Oui, bien sur. Etienne De Souza.

The cousin of Lady Stubbs.

Who was afraid of this Etienne
De Souza. Do you know why?

I heard her say he was a bad man.

Oh. Do you think her fear was real?

If it was not,
she is an actress very clever.

You came ashore in a launch
at Nassecombe Quay.

Did you see a small wooden boathouse
on your way?

Yes, and had I known it belonged to
Nasse House, I should have come
ashore there,

but I didn't.

Did you see any signs of activity?

In the boathouse?


Originally, the part of the victim
was to have been played by
Sally Legge.

But one evening, Sally told all our
fortunes and she was thought to be
strikingly good at it.

Someone suggested one of the Girl
Guides could be the corpse instead,

so Sally became Madam Zuleika.

Was Marlene Tucker happy to be the

Oh, she was thrilled.

I noticed a plate and a glass.

Yes, she had some jam tarts
and a fruit drink.

I took the tray down myself,
Lady Stubbs asked me to.

What time, exactly?

Oh, let's see...I'd say about
quarter past four.

Where were you between a quarter
past four and five o'clock?

How do you pin it down so exactly?

Miss Brewer saw Marlene at 4.15.

Lady Stubbs asked her to take down
some food and drink to the

Lady Stubbs asked her?
Hardly think so.

Lady Stubbs's mind revolves
entirely around herself.

Marlene could die of malnutrition
for all she'd care.

At a quarter past four,
Marlene Tucker was alive and well?

Oh, yes. I called out and she opened
the door. She was fine.

Moronic, but fine.

Do you enjoy working for Sir George?

I can't imagine doing anything else.

You listen here, Bland.

You've simply got to do something.

My wife has been missing for two

I am going half mad with worry.

I've got men looking into it.
We do have a murder to deal with,

Let's hope it's not two, then!

This is a murder investigation,
so would you answer my question,
please, sir?

Where were you this afternoon?

I went to the pub across the river.

Working for these lunatics
has driven me to drink.

How well do you know your cousin?
My second cousin.

I don't know her well.

Yet you just thought you'd pay her
a surprise visit?

Hardly a surprise visit, Inspector.

I wrote to her three weeks ago from
St Malo.

I said I hoped to arrive in Nascombe
around about today.

It is hard to be specific on a

Did she reply?

To be frank with you, gentlemen,

I don't think Cousin Hattie
has the mental capacity for writing

Though I understand she has grown
into a lovely woman.

Haven't you seen her?
No, I have not.

Where is she?

She's probably just gone for a walk.
She's a grown woman.

Rather a helpless one,
by all accounts. Yes.

When she wants to be.

Tell me everything you know
about Lady Stubbs.

How would you describe her?

I'd describe her as...ornamental.

Like a trefoil or a crocket,
pretty, but...



No. Cunning little minx.

She didn't leave by boat.

The road was closed. I reckon she's
still on the property somewhere.

Why? Nothing to stop her hopping
across the fence and making off
across country.

Madam was wearing
"a biascut chiffon dress,

with double rouleau
straps"...whatever that is,

"..a large red hat
and shoes with three-inch heels."

I don't think she'll be doing no
crosscountry run.

She could have changed her clothes.

Her maid says nothing's missing.

No suitcase packed.


Lady Stubbs?

Lady Stubbs?
Lady Stubbs?

Hoskins, stand the men down.

Uh-huh, very well, sir.

Inspector Bland.

Poirot, he should have prevented
the murder of Marlene Tucker.

The least he can do is to find the

Si vous permettez,
I would like to help.

Anything?, sir.

I'm sorry.

Sir George, there is something
I should like to ask you.

Did your wife receive a letter
from Mr De Souza three weeks ago,

saying he was coming to this

No, we only heard the man was
arriving this morning.

Well, why did she dread seeing him
so much?

Blessed if I know.

Exactly what did she say?

She said...

he kills people.

Well, she couldn't actually say who
De Souza was supposed to have killed
or where or why.

But don't tell me he arrives off his
yacht and immediately strangles a
girl in my boathouse.

The door to the boathouse,
it has the Yale lock, oui?

So no one may enter without a key.

So if you permit me to ask,
there are how many keys?

Well, three.

One was a clue in a murder hunt,
concealed in foliage at the top of
the garden.

The second key
was in the possession of Mrs Oliver.
Where's the third key?

It's here.

Where... always is.

Do you see what that means?

The only people who could
have got into the boathouse,

were, firstly, whoever completed
the murder hunt and found the key

which didn't happen,

secondly, Mrs Oliver or someone
to whom she gave her key

which she says didn't happen
and Poirot was with her.

Or thirdly, someone whom Marlene
herself admitted to the room.

But that could be anyone out
of 200 or 300 people, couldn't it?

No, Sir George, because when the girl
heard someone to approach,

she was to lie down and pretend to be

She was to be discovered by the
person who had found the final clue -
the key.

The only other people she could have
admitted when they called to her from

were those people who had organised
this murder hunt.

Yourself, Lady Stubbs, Miss Brewis,
Mrs Oliver...

Who else did Marlene know,
Sir George?

Ah, right, erm...

Alec and Sally Legge...

Michael Weyman...

..the Warburtons...

oh, and er...Mrs Folliat.


It is as you said to me yesterday,

A world that is very wicked.

Well, it's true.

This morning Lady Stubbs,
she also spoke of wickedness.

I shouldn't pay too much attention
to the things Hattie says.

So everyone tells to me.

She has always had the mental age of
a child.

As you know, madame, such people
are not always accountable for their

In a fit of rage...

..they might even kill.

Hattie was a gentle,
warm-hearted girl.

She would never have killed anyone.

Then can you think who might have
killed Marlene Tucker?

No, I can't.

What can you tell me about the
local people?

Captain Warburton? He was working
hard at the fete all afternoon.

Mrs Warburton?

Enid Warburton runs the Girl Guides
and the gymkhana.

She's clearly beyond reproach.

And the Legges?
What do you know about them?

They're just holidaying here.

Madame Legge, she's a lady most
attractive, n'estce pas?


Is it possible, do you think,
that Sir George Stubbs felt the
attractions to Madame Legge?

Good heavens, no. Sir George is
extremely fond of his wife.

Was it you or Lady Stubbs

who asked Miss Brewis to take jam
tarts down to the girl in the

Goodness. All these questions.

I remember Miss Brewis collecting
some cakes but I don't recall that
anyone asked her to do so.

You were serving in the tea tent
between four and five o'clock.

I believe Mrs Legge came in there at
that time for her tea?

No, she didn't.

She was dressed as Madame Zuleika,

She never set foot in the tea tent.

Sorry it's so late, Mrs Legge.

Please, tell me when you last saw
Lady Stubbs.

I think when I came out of my tent
to go and have tea.

I remember her hat.

Massive, wasn't it?

When did you take your tea?

Four o'clock.

In the tea tent?

Was it crowded?

Yes, awfully.

A coach party from Torquay.

Did you see anyone you knew there?

Not a soul.

Good morning, sir.

Is there any sign of Lady Stubbs?

No, I do not believe so.

Oh, Monsieur Henden,
tell to me if you please,

for how long a time
have you been here the butler?

Just over a 12-month, sir.



It's an invitation from the
Lord Lieutenant of the county.


And Hodgson's written about the
state of the milking sheds.

Damn the milking sheds to hell!

Where is my wife?

Women don't just disappear, do they?

Utter, utter fool!

What on earth possessed him to marry

Eh bien, it has been a marriage


All she ever does is spend his

Why, this year alone she's bought
two minx and a Russian ermine.

He's such a...

He's such an innocent.

And she's a sly,
scheming clever cat.

You say "is" and not "was".

She isn't dead.

She's gone off with another man.

She likes men.

She's already made a fool of
Michael Weyman.

But Monsieur Weyman,
he designs her tennis court.

Tennis! She wouldn't know
a double fault from a fruit cake.

Weyman tried it on.
She gave him the heave-ho
because she's found someone else,

so he has too.

If Monsieur Weyman
no longer pursues Lady Stubbs,

what is it about her
that makes you so suspicious of her?

She meets someone on the sly,

She slips out of the house and into
the woods.

She was out the night before last.

All the yawning
and saying she's too tired for

Half an hour later
she slips out by the kitchen door.

She's an alley cat, Hattie Stubbs.

It's an unpleasant thing to have to

But I'd say we've some kind of
psychological lunatic wandering
freely in Devon.

He won't be local.

Somerset, perhaps.


Therefore a question, if you please.

How is it possible for a strange man
to have gained access into the


She came out.

She got bored.

Girls do. Trust me.

The most likely thing is that
Marlene saw Hattie Stubbs being

so she had to be disposed of too.

Crush her windpipe, drag her back
inside, flick the Yale. Easy.

Oui. Sir George Stubbs believes that
his wife she is still alive.

Men will believe anything.

Look, I like George Stubbs.

He and his wife have done wonders
for Nasse.

Amy Folliat has sponsored them,
of course.

And she has influence in the county.

Why, there have been Folliats here
since Tudor times.

"Always been Folliats at Nasse".

Oh, Marlene, Marlene.

Alors, she spies.


She looks and she learns.

But something it is not...en point.


Your brain, it is so slow.

They've found something.

Is it hers?

Let me see.

Christ, it's her hat.

Where is she? Where's my wife?
I don't think we'll find her here.

I'll tell you where you will find
her, where you're too bloody stupid
to have looked.

And where's that, sir?

On that fellow's... that fellow's
yacht, Etienne De Souza.

Damn coincidence, isn't it? I mean,
he turns up and all bloody hell
breaks loose.

I've got a warrant to search your

Do you think I'm hiding my little
cousin on board?

I don't think anything, sir.
Rather as I suspected.

You have lost something, madame?

Oh, you made me jump.

Yes, I have.

Or must one rendezvous when one can?

I don't know what you mean.


Poirot is not a husband, alas,

but...he knows that they can be

I doubt mine is.

I hoped, when I came down here,
that everything would get better.

But it hasn't.

Alec's just...


He's still Alec.

I don't want to live like this.


Have a look here, sir.

Got something?
Yes, sir.

This is the jacket
the gentleman was wearing yesterday.

And look what I found in the pocket.

What is it?

It is the ring worn by Lady Stubbs
at the time of her disappearance.

It matches Sir George's description.

How do you come to have this,
Mr De Souza?

I have no idea.

I've never seen it before.

Maybe you have, maybe you haven't,
but it's grounds enough for me to
arrest you.

For what, may I ask?
For being foreign?

For the murder of Harriet Stubbs.

For the...

You have no proof at all.

This is meant to be a civilised

We like to think so, sir.


Is this what you were looking for,

Oh, yes.

Thank you, Monsieur Poirot.

I must have dropped it.

We've got him, Poirot.

Her ring is in the pocket of his

That and all the hearsay evidence,
I reckon I can get a conviction.

For the murder of Lady Stubbs,
whose body has never been found?

Well, it was dumped in the river.
It floated out to sea.

It'll turn up in time.

No, I'm sure she was killed here at

I closed the roads, put a man at
the quay, checked all the buses
and trains.

There was never a sign of her.

No, she was dumped in the river
near where we found her hat.

And Marlene Tucker saw it happening.

So, probably,
De Souza fixed her too.

No. It is not Etienne De Souza.

Why not?

How did he know where to find her
when his boat, it had only just


It does not make any sense.

Bonjour, Monsieur Merdell.

Do 'ee want the ferry, sir?

Non, merci. I return today to London.

Poor fella.

Why must 'ee do that?

Because Poirot, he has failed.


Poirot is an imbecile.

Did Hattie Stubbs ask
Mademoiselle Brewis

to take the jam tarts to
Marlene Tucker in the boathouse?

If not, why does she say that
she did?

Is it possible that Mademoiselle
Brewis found Marlene Tucker already

In which case,
why does she not report this?

She is a woman most sensible.
Unless she killed her, of course.

Non. Pas de motive.

Why did Etienne De Souza
lie about writing to his cousin

three weeks before his arrival at
Nasse House?

Is it perhaps an attempt to make his
visit appear natural or expected?

Sir George receives him amicably.

Although he does not know him.


Sir George does not know
Etienne De Souza, oui?

But his wife who does know him
does not see him.

So is it conceivable...

that the Etienne De Souza who arrives
at the fete is not the real Etienne
De Souza?

When is his trial?

In three weeks.

The jury will take one look at
De Souza and they will convict him.

This man will hang.

Usually the villain's the husband.

Oui. Je sais.

This husband, he has the alibi.

There are 200 people willing to
testify that Sir George never left
the fete.

But there is someone...someone
who knows what happened to
Hattie Stubbs.

Do you think the body's still there?

It appears that she has been thrown
into the river.

But it is possible that
she is in the grounds.

There isn't a priest's hole or
anything like that, is there?

No, I asked this question to
Monsieur Weyman.

He tells to me that the house
is not of the correct period for

All the same,
there might be something... the structure
that only the family know about.

But the only member of the family
who is left is Madame Folliat.

Well, she knows everything there is
to know about Nasse, doesn't she?

It is a true thing that you say.

She knows everything.

Par exemple, she knows straight away
that Hattie Stubbs is dead.

She knows even before
the death of Marlene Tucker

that the world it is a place most

What is there that she does not know?

Monsieur Legge...

You are leaving Nasse House?


Sally's cleared out.

With that bastard Weyman.

I do not think she will be as happy
with him as she would be with you.

You think so, do you?
Yes, I do, Monsieur.

And shall I tell you what else
I think?

I think that your opinions so extreme
have made you impossible to live

Your wife, Sally Legge,
she is a woman of loyalty,

but you have pushed her too hard,

You are a man who is very lonely,
very desperate,

and if you had told your wife, Madame
Sally, just how you are so lonely

and how you are so desperate,

she would never have left you
for Michael Weyman.

You don't know how right you are.

I've been an absolute dummy.

It's politics, eh, Poirot?

It's hardly worth losing your wife

Non, I do not think they are,


What shall I do?

I think what you should do, monsieur,
is to find Madame Sally immediately.

Ask her to forgive you
and beg her to come back.

And Hercule Poirot,
he is always right, monsieur.

Do you know, I think I will.

And I'll go to the bloody Chelsea
Arts Club and I'll get hold of
Michael Weyman

and I'll throttle the ponce with
his ridiculous tie. Bon.

And if you please, Monsieur Legge,

do not actually kill him, hein.

Bonjour, madame.

I feel very sorry for George.
The strain's been very great.

So Sir George still believes that
his wife, she is alive?

I think he's given up hope.

He does not say so but...

Of course,
I've hardly seen him lately.

Spends most of his time in London.

He's drinking too much.

I am very tired, Monsieur Poirot.

I have not much to live for.

But you have your home.

Monsieur, I am grateful to George
Stubbs for renting me the lodge

but I do rent it.
I pay him a yearly sum for it

with a right to walk in the grounds.

The grounds of my ancestral home.
Oh, je suis desole.

Madame, I do not mean to offend.

I mean only to say
that this is a place so beautiful.

It is in fact one of the most
beautiful places
I have seen in England.

It has about it the great peace
and the great serenity.


But is there still the same peace
and serenity now, madame?

Why shouldn't there be?

Because a murder,
it has gone unavenged and blood,
it has been spilled.

And here is the smell of it,
the reek of it, drifting across
the lawn on the breeze.

I think that is quite enough.

Until the curse is lifted,
there will be no peace at Nasse.
You know this is true.

You know a great deal, perhaps
everything, about the murder.

You know who killed the girl.
You know why.

You know who killed Hattie Stubbs and
you know perhaps where the body it
now lies.

I have only my suspicions.

And to speak out on mere suspicion
would be wrong.


As wicked as what was done here,
it is not since five weeks.

As wicked as the killing of the girl
who was only 14 years of age.

Don't talk about it.
It's over and done. It's finished.

No, madame.
It is never finished with a murder.


where is Monsieur Merdell?


He's dead.


So Monsieur Merdell was your

Your grandfather, he was very old.

He didn't die cos he was old.

He died cos he was drunk.

He slipped when getting off the boat
one night and fell in.

Washed up two days later at

And how do you call yourself?

Gertie Tucker.

A relation to Marlene Tucker?

Her was my sister.

So Monsieur Merdell was her
grandfather also.

He got cross at her
when she got the makeup.

The makeup, Gertie?
Loads of lipstick she had.

And scent.
Hid 'em in her knicker drawer.

Lovely, they was.

Tell to me, Gertie, how did Marlene
get the money to buy these things?

- Her see goings-on in the woods.
- (Gertie...)

Marlene'll promise not to tell
and they give her money.

- (Gertie...)
- But who would give her mon...

At last, at last.

Poirot, he begins to see.

"Come at once.

Nasse House, Devon."

Mais pourquoi?

Because it is important, madame.

I should hope so.

I was due to give a talk.
That's why I'm dressed in this
ridiculous outfit.

I ran for the Express train.

What was the subject of your talk?

My writing. Pleased not to have to
give it as a matter of fact.

I mean, what does one say
about how one writes books?

You just think of an idea
and force yourself to write it.

What am I going to say
for the other 59 minutes?

Madame, your hat...

C'est magnifique.

Oh, thank you.

Jolly expensive.

Hats are really a symbol nowadays,
aren't they?

They don't keep your head warm
or shield you from the sun

or hide your face from people
you don't want to meet.
I mean, they're just ornamental.

Always you give to me the ideas.

Tell to me, madame, in your murder
hunt you have as one of your suspects
a biochemist.

Do you know a biochemist personally?

Yes, I know Alec Legge.

And you also know his wife Sally
Legge but she is not Yugoslavian,
is she?

So what gives to you the idea of
having a wife who is Yugoslavian
for the victim?

Oh, I don't know.
All those youth hostellers perhaps.

All those girls in shorts.

But, madame, I am most interested in
how you write.

You are a woman who is most

You are affected by the atmosphere,
by the personalities that surround

These are the inspirations for
your brain that is so fertile.

So tell to me, madame, when you first
designed your murder hunt,

did you intend for the body
to be discovered in the boathouse?

No, I did not.

I intended it to be found in that
pavilion. Tucked away among the

But then someone...

I can't remember who.

..began insisting it should be found
in the folly.

Well, that was obviously bonkers.

I mean, anyone could have strolled
in there quite casually.

I couldn't agree to that.

So you accepted the boathouse

And that was the technique
that you described to me on that
first day.

The jockeying along.

One last thing, madame.

Do you remember telling me
that there was a final clue

on one of the comics that was given
to Marlene Tucker to read?

Was it something like
"Biddy Fox has a secret den"?

Good gracious me, no.

Nothing silly like that.

No, it was a perfectly
straightforward clue.

"Look in the hiker's rucksack."


The comic on which that was written
would have to be taken away.


Because immediatement
it points to the murderer.

Inspector Bland, you must telephone
to Scotland Yard tout de suite.

Why? Because Etienne De Souza,
he is innocent.

He is a man of great wealth.

So what?

What is his motive?

Let me put to you the facts.

What facts?

The fact that old John Merdell
was the grandfather of Marlene

The fact that Lady Stubbs always wore
those particular types of floppy hat.

The fact that Marlene Tucker had
cosmetics hidden in the back of her

and the fact that Mademoiselle Brewis

maintains it was Lady Stubbs who
asked her to take refreshments to
the boathouse.

You call those facts, do you,
in London?

You prefer the hard evidence?

Such as the body of Lady Stubbs?

I know where it is hidden
and who hid it there.

So, if you please to make that
telephone call to Scotland Yard.

Why did you ask me to come here?

I think that you know, madame.

Good evening, sir.

There have now been three murders.

Hattie Stubbs.

Marlene Tucker.

And John Merdell.


That was an accident. He fell from
the quayside. He was drunk.

No. No, it was not an accident,

He knew too much.

He knew all about the Folliat family.

He knew about your husband.
He knew about your two sons
who died abroad.

Only they did not, did they?

Henry was indeed killed in action
on the Northwest frontier but

No, he did not die as you said.

James...who was so brilliant,
so wild.

James, who was also to you
so shaming.

John Merdell told me of him, madame,
and the records have been checked.

What did he do to that young dairy
maid when he was only, what,
14 years of age?

You know?

And where did you send him, madame?

South Africa.


You said you never saw him again.

You heard that he had died
in an aeroplane crash.

You mourned, you said your prayers,

What then has happened, madame?

He came back.

Because your son, he made the
pretence of his own death.

And then you learned that he is
pursued by the police in several

And you agree, and he must have been
so persuasive...

You agree to give him one more

Just one.

I believe that you are a woman most

And most moral.

And I believe that it was from the
best of your intentions

that you did everything you could
to give to your son, who was wayward,

a new life.

At that time you had in your charge
a young girl who was sadly subnormal.

But she was rich.
So rich. She was worth a fortune.

But you gave it out that her parents
had lost all their money.

And you were advising her to marry
a man who was wealthy and older than

And who could disbelieve you?

Your lawyers in Paris where
you were living at that time handled

And Hattie Stubbs,
when she came of age...

..would sign whatever you put in
front of her.

And so in the end, Sir George Stubbs,

the new identity assumed by your son

became a man who was very rich.

Rich enough to buy Nasse House.

And there your plans, they ended,

Your son, he was a wealthy man.
He had his ancestral home.

And Hattie Stubbs, well...

You could take care of her.

Ca marche.

I never dreamed...

No, you never dreamed that your son
James, he was already married.

He was married to a girl he met in

A girl of the criminal underworld

who is determined
not to be parted from your son.

She's a wicked, wicked creature.

But your Hattie knew no-one in

Good evening, Hattie.

Come along, my dear.

When they arrived back at Nasse House
after their marriage,

all of the servants,
who were new, including the butler,

barely caught sight of her that first

And the following morning, the woman
that they met was not Hattie Stubbs,
non, but this Italian

made up to look like Hattie,
behaving as Hattie.

But Hattie, the real Hattie,

was dead.

She was killed the first evening
she arrived here by your son.

Oui. By your son, madame,
James Folliat.

And this plan, it was so clever.

The false Hattie Stubbs over the
years would respond to treatment.

She would get better and better
and make a full recovery.

But this Italian
did not convince Mademoiselle Brewis.

I have a headache!

Who was herself in love with
Sir George.

But then something unforeseen occurs.

A cousin of Hattie, Etienne De Souza,

writes to her a telegram...

Oh, no.

..telling her he is visiting England
on a yachting trip.

What is it, darling?

Alors, he would not be deceived
by an imposter.

It is strange, is it not,
that although the thought,
it did cross my mind

that this Etienne De Souza
may not be Etienne De Souza,

it never occurred to Poirot that
Hattie Stubbs was not Hattie Stubbs.

And there was a further complication.

John Merdell used to...

What is the word?


to his granddaughter Marlene Tucker.

If someone leaves a woman's body
in the woods with no clothes on,

he's liable to be a sex maniac,
isn't he?

Well, nobody else would listen to him
because they thought he was a little

But he told to his granddaughter
Marlene that Sir George was in fact
Master James.

Alors, Marlene Tucker,
she blackmailed Sir George
for her silence.

But in so doing,
she signs her death warrant.

They arrange it so that Marlene
Tucker is killed and Hattie Stubbs
goes missing

in such a way, the suspicion it is
thrown onto her cousin
Etienne De Souza.

Hence the references
to him being a man most wicked.

Delighted to meet you at last.

And Sir George,
he plants the evidence.

This Lady Stubbs
was to disappear permanently.

After a period of mourning,
Sir George would rejoin her in Italy

where they would again be married.

All that was necessary for her now

was to double the parts for
a little more than a period of, what,
24 hours.

When Hercule Poirot, he arrives,
Hattie Stubbs takes the bus to

Afternoon, ladies.

And travelled back in the company of
a youth hosteller she meets on the

You don't mind, do you, sir?

She books into the hostel with this
Dutch girl.

But by teatime, she is here,
back at her window.

After dinner she retires early to

I feel strange.

But Mademoiselle Brewis sees her
slip out of the back door.

She spends the night in the youth

returns to Nasse for breakfast,

after which she spends the rest of
the morning in her room with her

She then stages her appearance... a trespasser.

You can't come through here!

Sir George shouts to her
from the window of his wife.

What's that, Hattie?

He turns and even pretends to speak
to her inside.

But she is not there.

No-one would ever dream that these
two women were the same person

and no-one did.

And so the final act of this drama,
it is staged.

A little before four o'clock on the
day of the fete

Hattie Stubbs tells to Mademoiselle
Brewis to take the jam tarts to

because she is afraid that
Mademoiselle Brewis may do this

and that would be fatal to their

She slips into the tent of the
fortune teller while Sally Legge
is out.

And she has a secret rendezvous
with Michael Weyman.

She goes through the back into the
pavilion where she changes into the
costume of a hiker,

which she kept in her rucksack.

Poirot, he has found the buckle from
the strap.

And that is why the pavilion,
it was not used for the murder.

She then goes down to the boathouse,
calls to Marlene to let her in.

And she strangles her.

She leaves her big floppy hat by the

and hastily joins her Dutch friend
on the lawn.

A little before five,
they take the bus to Torquay.

And a little after five, the police,
they arrive.

Where she is now I do not know.

But I am convinced that the police,
they will find her.

Remember, madame, before they were
not looking for an Italian confidence
trickster. Non.

They were looking for Hattie.

Simple, subnormal.

And dead.

And this you have always known,

You revealed your knowledge to me

when you spoke to me in the dining
room on the evening of the fete.

You revealed most clearly,
although Poirot he did not see it
at the time,

that when speaking of
Hattie Stubbs...

I shouldn't pay too much attention
to the things Hattie says.

You were speaking of two different

Hattie was a gentle, warmhearted
girl. She would never have killed
anyone. Never.

There remained one problem to be
dealt with.

The man who knew the truth about
your son.

John Merdell.

His death is made to look like an

As if he had fallen into the water
while he was drunk.

But in fact it was murder, madame.

Murder committed by your son.

James Folliat.

Alors, if you please to come with me,

It is a good place to bury a body.

A tree, it is uprooted in a storm.

The soil, it is disturbed.

And very soon, a young lady,
she is covered with concrete.

And on the concrete,
a folly it is built.

The folly of the owner of Nasse.

Monsieur Poirot, I will face my
punishment, I assure you of that.

But before I do, will you give me
a few moments with my son?

As a courtesy to an old lady.

As a courtesy from an old gentleman,

I will allow it.

Bless you.

Right, let's bring in Sir George.

If you please to wait.

I have allowed
Madame Folliat a few moments.

You've no authority to do that.


It is done.

Mother. And what are you doing here?


They're digging up the folly.

You know what they will find.

Ruddy good scheme.

Almost worked.

It was like every one of your

It was cruel and criminal.

And it failed.

You have brought disgrace to the
family name.

The name of Folliat.

Oh, dear God.

What am I to do?

You will do, James,

exactly what I tell you.

For once, just for once,

you will obey your mother.

What put you onto them?

Intuition perhaps?

Non, madame.

The deduction.

When old John Merdell told to me
there will always be Folliats at

it was his little private joke.

And Poirot,
he has realised this very late.

You see, madame,

he knew.

So now will you release De Souza?

Yes, all right.

Time's up. Come on.

What's he done? Quick!

Follow me!