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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 13, Episode 5 - Curtain: Poirot's Last Case - full transcript

An ailing Poirot returns to Styles with Hastings nearly three decades after solving their first mystery there in order to prevent a serial killer from claiming more victims.


Captain Hastings, I presume.
Daisy Luttrell. Delighted.

How d'you do?

Poor Poirot has been so looking forward
to your coming; he's quite beside himself.

How is he?

He'll be much the better for seeing you.

Toby! It's Captain Hastings.

- How do you do!
- Came by the three-forty?

We bought this place in a fit of madness.

Guest-housekeepers at our age!
Still, needs must these days

and at least one of us has
a good business head - don't I, Toby?

Chop, chop!
Take the Captain up to his room

Unless of course you'd prefer
to see Monsieur. Poirot first.

Yes, I would.

Drawing room, Toby,
and then see to the cases.

Norton.

Ah, it's a pair of nesting blackcaps
down by the sycamore.

This is a...

Blasted builders!

Bill, this is Captain Hastings.

Hastings, yes.

Sir William Boyd Carrington.

Excuse the tantrum.

Having my old place tarted up -
Knatton Hall, y' know?

Lazy blighters need a good kick
up the backside.

So you're the famous Hastings?

The little Belgian never stops talking
about you, and your daughter is here.

- Yes.
- Fine girl.

Pity Franklin has her slicing up rats
and rabbits all day.

Excuse me
while I give 'em another earful.

Tadminster 7211

Poirot?
There's someone to see you.

Hastings,

my Hastings my dear, dear, Hastings.

Poirot, old chap.

Oh Mon ami, mon ami!

But I forget myself.

This is the talented Mademoiselle Cole.

Captain Hastings.

You have worn well, Mon ami: with
the straight back, the grey of the hair.

But the wound that is still fresh?

No man could have wished for better.

Still, she died, as she would have wanted.
No long drawn out suffering.

And how are you?

Me I am a wreck, no a ruin.

I cannot walk,
I am crippled and twisted,

and have to be attended to like a baby,

but the core, Hastings -
that is still sound.

You have the best heart in the world, Poirot.

The heart, no, but the brain -
as magnificent as ever.

Hastings, do stop do!!...

It is not a wheelbarrow.

Sorry, old chap.

So is it good to be back
after all these years?

The food, it is disgusting.

Rationing, I suppose.

No it is the English cooking,
and the water,

always so tepid, and the towels,
so thin, they're of no use at all.

Then why did you come?

Because when I see the advertisement
in the news paper and discover

that your daughter will be here,
I conceive of a plan:

I will persuade my old friend
Hastings to join us

and we shall all be together en famille.
It is most agreeable, n'est-ce pas?

You're up to something, aren't you?

I knew it! Otherwise why come back
to the scene of our first murder?

Because, mon ami, I fear it will soon
be the scene of another.

Are you sure about this?

You think
I have the softening of the brain?

No, no, it seems so unlikely -

another murder all these years later,
under the same roof.

Tres bien, that is how it is.

Can't you stop it?

- How do you propose that I do that?
- You could warn the victim.

- I do not know who is the victim.
- But you must know who the killer is.

No.

Well then how on earth do you know
it's going to happen?

I cannot say.

Why not?

Because

you are still the same old Hastings.

You have the speaking countenance, mom ami,

and I do not wish you to sit staring at
all the guests with your mouth wide open

and give, as you say, the game away.

I say, Poirot, that's a bit strong.

I do play poker, you know.

Yes, and always lose.

But this is not a game, mon ami,
make no mistake.

There is here work to be done
and that is why I ask you here.

Now the thinking you will leave to me,
but I need you, my invaluable Hastings,

to be my eyes and my ears, to go to places
where I cannot go, to sniff out

the snatched conversation, the shared
confidence, then report back to me.

There is here amongst us a murderer,
and that person must be stopped.

Here is, Curtiss my Valet.

Your valet! Where is George?

It was necessary for him to go to
Eastbourne to care for his ailing father.

Well I got here.

Very clever of you.

You remember my father?

Hello, I hear you work my daughter
very hard, Dr. Franklin.

Nonsense.

I'm afraid I get so awfully wrapped up
in a thing.

How did you find Uncle Hercule?

Not well. Not well at all.

I promised I'd read to Barbara.
I'd better

As if she couldn't read herself.

How is Mrs. Franklin?

The same and rather more so.

She just likes making a fuss.

- That's rather harsh
- It's true.

She takes no interest in John's work,
goes on and on about her health.

Ah, there you are. Thought Frankenstein
had dragged you off to his lab again.

This is my father.

- Allerton.
- Hastings.

Heard a lot about you.
Poirot's loyal lieutenant, eh?

I'm so glad you're here.

Uncle Hercule always manages
to bring you out of yourself.

He gets so sad.

You must allow him that, mon cher.

But what's the use of
dwelling on the past?

We must all look forward.

You know,
you've been rather queer all evening.

I don't know what you mean.

Staring at everyone.
You're so transparent.

Maybe it's being back here
with its memories and ghosts.

There was a murder, wasn't there?

Yes. The lady of the house...
she was poisoned.

She controlled the as you say
the purse strings,

but her stepchildren felt
they had no life of their own.

That's so selfish.

Old people, sick people shouldn't be
allowed to ruin the lives of others.

Judith!

Oh, I didn't mean...

Selfishness is not the monopoly of
the old, I can assure you, mon cher.

It's just this case of a man
who treated his daughters appallingly.

But then the eldest steeled herself
in order that her sisters might go free.

Margaret Litchfield.

Yes. How did you know?

It is a case most famous.

Well, I think she was very brave.

And Dr. Franklin what does he think?

He thinks it served the old man right.

Some people just ask to be murdered.

Murder is never justified, Judith.

But when a situation is so extreme.

And who has been putting in
to your head these ideas?

- Nobody.
- Pernicious nonsense!

Actually I came over to give you a message
from Mrs. Franklin.

She's invited you to her room.
Excuse me.

I've never understood that girl.

She is her own woman,
and a good one too, Hastings.

But she's become so cold-hearted.

I put it down to the company she keeps:
that wretched Dr. Franklin... And Allerton.

I don't like that man.

What you call the nasty bit of goods, eh?
But most attractive to ladies.

Isn't that always the way?

I'm delighted you're here, Captain Hastings.

Dear Monsieur Poirot must be so pleased.

Sharp as a knife, old Poirot,
even though he is falling to bits.

And it will be so nice for Judith;

the child has been working far too hard.

She looks very well on it.

Oh how I envy her.

III health has been the bane of my life.

Pillows, Craven.

Yes, my husband's a real slave driver,
aren't you, John?

What's that, Barbara?

She was just saying how you work
poor Judith into the ground.

JudHh, yes.

There was something we had to
Do excuse me.

Oh I feel so inadequate.
I know I ought to take more interest.

You shouldn't worry yourself, Babs.

But I find it all so nasty,

the guinea pigs, the rats and everything.
It makes me feel quite sick.

I just want to think of lovely,
happy things.

Babs and I are old playmates even
though she is fifteen years younger.

Darling Bill.

...then when I came back from Burma
to find her a beautiful young lady.

We used to live in this part of the world
and Bill came to stay at Knatton Hall.

A mausoleum of a place.
Needs a woman's hand.

I don't mind telling you
I completely lost my heart,

but she went and married Franklin.

The fellow doesn't understand her.
He's only interested in his test tubes!

Hearts, you stupid man!

Oh, there's nothing for it;
we'll have to start again.

I don't know what's got into me.
I'm all at sixes-and-sevens.

- He starts to deal.
- We haven't out yet!

Oh, I'm sorry, dear, I'm so sorry...

Well, that was pretty g-ghastly.

It gets my back up
to see him bullied like that.

Keep it down.

But it's too bad, it really is,
and what's worse, he just takes it.

Couldn't assert himself if he tried.

Oughtn't we to shut that?

Ah, I don't think everybody's in yet.

Who's still out?

Your daughter, I think, and Allerton.

Still about, old chap?

I couldn't sleep. I was going
to get some pills off Poirot.

Oh, I'll fix you up.
No need to wake him.

Do you normally stay up this late?

I never go to bed
when there's sport abroad.

These moonlit evenings
aren't made to be wasted.

This is the real stuff.
It'll make you sleep like a log.

Slumberyl. Is it dangerous?

It is if you take too much of it.
It's one of the barbiturates.

Don't you need a prescription?

Damned right. But an old friend of mine
gave me a few useful introductions.

Dead now, sadly.
Chap called Etherington.

Leonard Etherington?

That's the one. That wife of his.
Who'd have thought she'd have it in her?

- Arsenic, wasn't it?
- Yes.

Knew him too, did you?

No I read about it.

I see. Funny chap,
but good company - in small doses.

Sleep well.

This is the Calabar bean. I've been
experimenting with various alkaloids

derived from it. But this stuffs
really more up your street than mine.

How is that, mon ami?

It's also called the ordeal bean,
supposed to prove innocence or guilt.

Don't you like rats, father?

I certainly don't like Allerton.

So that's it!

And I suspect you don't either.

Why shouldn't I like him?

He's not your type.

And what is my type?
You have no idea, have you?

Well as it happens
I find him most amusing.

Amusing, yes.

And very attractive.
Any woman would.

- Well that's the trouble.
- Really, father!

- You two were out very late last night.
- What has that to do with you?

This is most interesting.

I would find it a great help if I could
test so easily the guilt or innocence.

Then you have to ask,
what is guilt or innocence?

Pretty obvious. One would always
feel guilt when it comes to murder.

You think so?

There are lots of people I'd like to kill
without my conscience being troubled.

I do so hate making a fuss.

I sometimes think, if one isn't healthy,
one should be quietly put away.

Ah no, Madame.

Look at me,

all cramped and twisted, not able
to move, yet I do not think of quitting.

I enjoy still what I can.

But you have only yourself to consider.
In my case there's poor John.

I feel such a millstone round his neck.

But I'm sure
he's never said such a thing.

These scientist chaps can be
quite obsessive about their work.

Absolutely.

Sometimes, Monsieur Poirot,
I think I can hear

those poor little creatures
screaming in the night.

Perfectly horrid.

Stephen and I are as one on this.

I get so terribly depressed that I think
what a relief it would be to end it all.

Oh come, Madame.

But what use am I to anybody?
Just one step and John would be free.

I'll fetch your malted milk.

I will come with you. Hastings!

Madame, monsieur.

Alright, old chap?

Yes, I need to rest.

I gather you were here in the first war.

Yes, in 1916.
I came here to convalesce.

That's when I met Poirot.

Didn't an old lady get murdered?

I was once in a house where there was
a murder. She was one of my patients.

It was not by any chance
the case of Miss Sharples, was it?

Yes it was, actually.

Her niece Freda Clay was accused
of her poisoning

but there was evidence insufficient
to prosecute.

How did you know?

Oh my dear, it was my job to know,
Nurse Craven.

He doesn't miss a trick.

Blasted pigeons.
They do a lot of damage, y'know.

Toby's always been a fine shot.

Oh I Used to be.

You know I often used to think
of evenings like this out in India,

but nothing's ever quite
as you picture it.

I don't know why,
but I've got quite a thirst on.

Have a drink on the house!
What d'you say?

Splendid idea!

Have you done the tropics, Norton?

No-no, my hands were tied with mother.

Alright, old chap?

Can't stand blood.

You'd get used to it.

Nothing like bagging a few birds and
blasting the odd bunny, eh, Hastings?

Darned good fun.

What on earth do you think
you're doing, Toby?

I just thought
I'd give the fellows a snifter.

- No. Give that bottle to me!
- But, Daisy...

How will we ever make this place pay
if you keep standing people drinks?

They're old friends, Daisy.

Locked up - that's the way of it.

I won't have it.

You won't have it?
And who are you I'd like to know?

I'm, I'm awfully sorry, you chaps.

We seem to have run out of whisky.

Do you know, I'm not that thirsty anyway.

We'll soon be having dinner.

Oh, dinner, yes.

Don't worry, Toby old chap,
we'll live.

Right...
Stretch the old pins before mess call.

Splendid chap, isn't he?

Yes.

Whatever he's turned his hand to,
always made a success of it.

Some chaps have all the luck.

All he needs now is a wife.

So long as she doesn't bully him.

He won't get bullied.
He wouldn't let himself.

- There's a damned rabbit!
- Is there?

Nibbling the bark!
I thought I'd wired the place.

My God!

Get Franklin!

It's alright Mrs. Lutterell.

It's alright. That's it. It's fine.

Franklin's with Daisy,
she's going to be fine.

Do you think he did it on purpose?

Well, I did until I saw them together,
but now I'm not so sure.

Poor old Luttrell.

I mean Daisy's a good sort, I suppose,
but a chap can only take so much.

After the bridge Norton said as much,
I'm sure Luttrell heard every word.

The killer is here! I know it!

How do you know?

I know! Whether Luttrell shot his wife
by accident or whether he meant to,

it is impossible to prove.

Oh, you'll prove it alright.
You always do.

If only life were that simple.

Poirot always gets his man.

Perhaps this time he does not wish to!

You've lost me there, old chap.

Unless, of course

Someone was hiding in the bushes, and at
the moment the Colonel fired, he fired too.

Who might be this mystery killer
in the bushes, Hastings?

Well, I wouldn't put it past
that drug-addled Lothario Allerton.

- Drug-addled?
- He was a chum of Leonard Etherington.

That addict who was poisoned by his wife.

- And how do you know this?
- He told me.

- And you did not think to tell it to me?
- Well?

The trouble with you, Hastings,
is that you are lazy mentally.

I know I'm not much of a fellow
but you don't have to rub it in.

You do not like to work with this.

Perhaps we should get someone else
on board. Boyd Carrington, for instance.

- Certainly not.
- He's a good deal cleverer than me.

- That would not be difficult.
- But Boyd Carrington...

...Is a pompous bore
whose memory is so bad...

that he tells back to you the story
that you have told to him!

Now I forbid you to speak of this matter
to anyone, do you understand?

Yes.

It is up to you to follow people
where I cannot go,

to talk to them, to listen to them,
to spy on them, watch through keyholes.

I will not look through keyholes.

Oh very well, very well,
you will not look through keyholes.

You will remain the English gentleman
and someone will be killed.

Dash it all, Poirot.

You can be quite obstinate at times,
do you know that, Hastings?

I also wish there was someone else I could
trust. So I will have to put up with you,

and since you cannot use your little grey
cells because you do not possess them,

at any rate use your eyes,
your ears and your nose, if need be -

but only of course as far
as the dictates of honour will allow.

Now go away.

I am very tired.

At it again, are you,
at your deadly exercise?

Oh, I knew you would be.

For my sins, I knew you would.

But while I have breath in my body -
I will...

I will damn you to hell,
whatever the cost!

He doesn't look too happy.

He isn't. He was offered the chance of
going to Africa to continue his research,

but his wife protested.

He probably felt he couldn't leave her.

Do you know much about her, Captain?

Only that she's an invalid.

She certainly enjoys ill health.

So you don't think
there's very much the matter?

She always seems to be able
to do anything she wants.

You know the Franklins well, do you?

Err no. What I've told you
I learnt from your daughter -

she's up in arms on his behalf.

What do you think of Mr. Norton?

- Why do you ask?
- You seem to get on well.

We have a good deal in common,

and he's awfully kind,
if a little ineffectual.

He's a gentle soul.

He lived with his mother for many years,
she was very bossy -

and I don't think he had a good time
at school either.

He's very perceptive, you know -

quiet people often are.

Yes.

That's the depressing thing about places
like this: it's full of failures.

It's having endured another war. We've
all had the stuffing knocked out of us.

Did you see much action,
Captain Hastings?

Oh, Not allowed to this time round.
Gammy leg,

and let's face it,
I'm pushing it a bit.

But your life's just beginning.
Anything might happen?

If you mean marriage,
I could never think of it,

not with my history.

What do you mean?

You have no idea who I am, have you?

I know your name.

It isn't Cole. It's Litchfield.

- Matthew Litchfield.
- He was my father.

A wicked man, Captain Hastings.

He was our jailer
until my sister Margaret...

Yes I know. It was in all the papers.

But you don't.

It's inconceivable she'd murder him.

I know she gave herself up, but...

I've always felt it wasn't true.

It wasn't Margaret.
It can't have been.

Good morning, gentlemen.

Good morning, Mrs. Franklin.

You sound very happy today, Madame.

I am, I am, Monsieur. Poirot.
I'm going on a little outing...

with Sir William to Knatton Hall
to advise him on his cretonnes.

Silly me left my handbag in the studio
yesterday when I was talking to John.

Where is Dr. Franklin?

He and Judith have driven into Tadminster
for some chemical or other.

I'm so glad I don't have a scientific mind.
On a day like this it all seems so puerile.

Do not let the scientists hear
you say that, Madame.

Oh you mustn't think
I don't admire my husband, monsieur.

The way he lives for his work
is really tremendous,

but it makes me nervous
the lengths to which he might go.

What exactly do you mean, Madame?

Well, this horrible Calabar bean thing -

I'm so afraid he's going
to start experimenting on himself.

You see,
he can only learn so much from animals.

He'd take every precaution, surely.

You don't know John -

absolutely oblivious of his own safety.
He really is a sort of saint.

You ready, Babs?

Mustn't keep the baronet waiting.

Dr. Franklin, the modern saint.

She's a feather for every wind.

You think she is a fool,
do you not Hastings?

Well, she's not
the most brilliant intellect.

First her handbag, now her gloves.

I don't know
how that girl puts up with it.

I can't help noticing, Captain,

that you're looking a little uneasy.

Am I?

And I have to say,

well I'd feel the same way.

Things change all the time, don't they?

Girls are more independent now;

Isuppose
the war had a lot to do with that.

What are you trying to say, Norton?

Well, don't let it go further,
but when it comes to young women,

Allerton has rather
a special technique in that line.

I happen to know something
pretty foul about him, actually.

And what would that be?

Not long ago I heard of a girl just like
Judith falling prey to the Major's charms.

Once he'd got her in his clutches,
he abandoned her,

leaving her desperate.

So devastated was she, she took
her own life: an overdose of Veronal.

Poor old woman. Devilish pain.

Overdose of morphia finished her off
and her niece Freda, said it was a slip-up.

The police had other ideas but didn't
have enough evidence to prosecute.

You knew her, did you, Freda Clay?

Yes.

It is just that
I have heard that story before.

So have I, from someone
who was there, actually.

Ah, have you?

It was in all the papers.

Get a bit erm...

fuddled in the old brain-box sometimes.

Bill, can't you find something jollier
to talk about?

I'm sure Monsieur Poirot is fed up to the
back teeth with people killing and dying

and who did what and why.

She certainly keeps us on our toes,
eh, Franklin?

Just the ticket.

They do say, don't they,
that men tend to marry their mothers.

I'm not quite sure about that.

Better ask Norton. He's the expert.

A full complement!
What a treat! Isn't it, Toby?

Yes, my sweet.

Our little dinners are not the same
without you, Monsieur Poirot.

No, they're not. I don't like the thought
of your eating alone.

I myself do not like
to miss anything, mon cher.

Never a moment's rest
in your line of work.

No, no, Monsieur Norton,

there is always so much more to do,
but the clock ticks.

Such is the will of God.

We'll all miss you, old chap,
but you won't be forgotten.

- Damned good claret. But my point is...
- Now, Bill!

You can see where this Freda was coming
from, putting someone out of their misery.

Don't you think it should only be done
with the patient's consent?

It can't be left to the patient.

It's the duty of someone who loves them
to take responsibility.

And end up being charged with murder?

If you love someone, you'd take that risk.

Would you?

Yes, I would.

Well, I certainly wouldn't, and neither
would Toby, would you, dear?

Sip of water. That'll shift it.

You can't have people taking
the law into their own hands.

I quite agree.

- What do you think, Franklin?
- What?

Euthanasia. You must have
an opinion; you're a doctor.

Sorry My mind was elsewhere.

Most people wouldn't have the nerve.

I don't believe you would
if it came to it.

Don't you?

Unless, of course,
you had an axe to grind.

You don't understand, do you? Of course
I couldn't if the motive was personal.

Even if it weren't, I'm not sure that
you would actually pull the trigger.

Can't we talk about something else?

I quite agree. It's all far too grim.

I don't hold life as sacred
as you people do.

Unfit lives, useless lives -
they should be got out of the way.

- Judith!
- There's so much mess about.

She might have a point.

It's really a question of c-courage.

Does one got the guts,
to put it vulgarly?

And you see, Miss Hastings,
I don't believe you have.

Oh, Judith's got guts all right.

More than you think, Mr. Norton.

Excuse me.

Judith!

I do understand, you know.

Your mother was so much better at this
than I am, but I do understand.

I'm not so sure that you do.

He isn't worth it.
Believe me, he isn't.

I know you care about him,
but it's no good.

Perhaps I know that as well as you.

It has no future.

He'll break your heart and
I can't bear to see that happen.

He's worth everything
in the world to me.

Judith, please.

And I don't want
you ever to speak of him again,

because if you do, I'll hate you even more.
Do you understand that?

Well, I never! A speckled woodpecker.
Such a lovely bird!

What is it?

Flown away.

Let me see.

I think I might of made a mistake.

It's gone, Captain Hastings.

What's wrong?

The bird's gone.

Hello, you chaps!

Hello, Sir William.

We've had
a perfectly marvelous morning.

I haven't been able to do
a good shop for simply ages.

Oh Bill, could you take that one up?
It's very fragile.

I can bring the rest.

Thanks awfully.

- Is anything the matter, Stephen?
- No,..

You look as if you've seen a ghost.

No, no, -no, n-no ghosts.
Just thinking...

Monsieur. Poirot.

What is it?
Is anything the matter?

The matter, monsieur?

What should be the matter?

Do you know,
I'm suddenly terribly tired?

If you could bring those up

Thank you so much...

Babs!

Well I must say, Nurse is very good
at the old palm-reading.

Take these, Craven,
and fix me an egg-flip.

I'm exhausted.

Can I do anything, Babs?

Yes, Bill, you can go away.
I'm dead on my feet.

Has it all been too much for you?

I don't want to mention it.

I do so hate being tiresome.

I reckon we're in for
a storm tonight, eh, Hastings?

Yes, probably right.

Excuse me.

Care to take a stroll
around the garden.

Not now, Norton.

But, Captain

Allerton!

- You can't.
- Let go of me!

- There's nothing you can do.
- The expert parent, eh?

This won't get you anywhere.

That's settled then. Go up to town and
I'll say I'm off to Ipswich for two nights.

Wire from London
that you can't make it back

and then we'll have a charming little
dinner at my flat. You won't regret it.

Please, Hastings!
What you need is a I-large scotch.

Ah, the prodigal returns!

I'm sorry but I've got a blinder of
a headache. Must be the thunder in the air.

No, no, no, Hastings.
It is because you sit around in draughts.

- Is it?
- Most assuredly. The draughts will be

the death of us all. But I have just
the thing. The hot chocolate.

It nourishes the nerves,
you comprehend? Drink, drink.

Do you not already feel much improved?
Drink it all, cher ami, every last drop.

My God, Poirot,
what was I thinking of?

What indeed!

Why did you not tell me last night?

I was afraid you'd stop me.

Most assuredly I would.

I don't want to see you hanged on account
of such a scoundrel as Allerton?

They wouldn't have caught me.
I'd wiped my fingerprints off the bottle.

Yes and also those of Allerton's.

And then when he is found dead,

they establish he died of an overdose,

and whether by accident or by design,

he would of had no reason
to wipe off his own finger prints

and then they find the aspirin.

Well everyone has aspirin.

Not mixed with their sleeping pills,
and not everyone who has a daughter

whom Allerton is pursuing
with the intentions so dishonorable.

And then of course it is possible
someone may have seen you.

Oh I can assure you, they didn't.

But Hastings someone might have been
peeping through the keyhole.

People do not spend their time
peeping through keyholes.

It's simply not done.

Anyway, it didn't come off
and thank heavens for that,

but there's still the problem of my Judith
and that wretched Allerton.

She's going to London with him today -
to his flat! Straight into the lion's den.

Hastings, you are not clever enough
to deal with those two.

I would advise you to trust her.

Oh, Judith!

The poison works
and must be stopped,

God help us

God help me...

Are the Luttrell's joining us?

They're s-setting up the cards.

Miss Hastings,
you look splendid this evening.

Like your namesake might have appeared
before cutting off the head of Holofernes.

That's a bit grim old boy.

Oh no, she did it for strictly
moral reasons, to save others.

"Jealousy is a green-eyed monster,"
this person said.

Shakespeare.

Oh now was it Othello or Emilia?

Iago.

Look! A shooting star!

Where?

And another one!
Oh, you must come and see, Uncle Hercule.

No, no, no ...Merci.

I insist.

You're supposed to make a wish, Captain.

Babs, come on over why don't you?

Oh I'm too tired.

Nonsense. It's too good to miss.

Bill! Put me down!

What are you doing?

I was just seeing
if there was a copy of err...

Mother told me how you once carried her
out onto a balcony to look at the stars.

Ah, here we are.

Life's quite hard at times, isn't it?

Othello.

Now... where is it?

"O beware, my lord, of jealousy
it is a green eyed monster."

You were right, Poirot. It was Iago.

But of course.

Did I miss anything?

I do not know, Hastings. Did you?

Oh, but you did, Captain Hastings.

I've never seen so many shooting stars.

Where's Craven?

Not sure.

I need my drops.

Where are they?

In the bathroom cabinet.

Oh thank you, dear.

Think I'll take a stroll.

You seem pleased with yourself, doctor.

I am.

Oh there you are!
Open my drops, would you?

It's established that Barbara Franklin
died as a result of poisoning

by physostigmine sulphate and
other alkaloids of the Calabar bean.

Could you tell the court how Mrs. Franklin
seemed to you before her death?

On the day before her death I had
a conversation with Madame Franklin.

She appeared very depressed

and several times expressed the desire
to be, how do you say, out of it all.

Her health and fits of melancholy made
her life seem not to be worth living.

On the morning of October 10th
you were sitting outside the laboratory?

Oui.

Did you see Mrs. Franklin
come out of the laboratory?

Yes I did.

And did she have anything
in her hand, Monsieur. Poirot?

She had a small bottle
clasped in her right hand.

You are quite sure of that?

Yes, quite sure.

Did you not see it also?

The question is, did you?

You think I would lie?

That would be perjury.

No I was not on oath.

So it was a lie?

You yourself heard her speak of suicide.

But she was a woman of many moods;
you didn't clarify that.

Perhaps I did not wish to.

You mean you wanted
the verdict to be suicide?

You think she was murdered, don't you?

She was.

But this verdict stops
all further enquiry.

What on earth are you playing at, Poirot?

This is not a game, mon ami,
I assure you.

I must say, old man,
you really should see a doctor.

Doctors, doctors!

You are looking pretty ropey.

They have done all they can for me.

I do wish you would.

Very well, very well.

- I will see Dr. Franklin.
- Franklin?

Hastings Just do as I tell you for once.

How is he?

He's for it, I'm afraid.

Does he know?

Oh yes. I gather he's worried about
getting something finished.

That's right.

Then I hope he does.

Isn't there any treatment?

Nothing doing.

Just his ampoules of amyl nitrite
when he feels angina coming on.

A remarkable man. He has a great respect
for human life, hasn't he?

Yes, absolutely.

Unlike me. Since death comes anyway,
what's it matter?

- Oh well, ten days and I'm off.
- Where to?

Africa. The job's still open.

Isn't that rather soon?

What's to stop me?

It's no good pretending that Barbara's
death wasn't the greatest relief.

And it doesn't worry you
that she's just committed suicide?

But I don't really believe she did.

Then what do you think happened?

I don't know -

and I don't want to know. Understand?

Norton, what's the matter?

When a thing's right or wrong,
it should be awfully simple to say so.

- Do you see what I mean?
- No.

What I'm t-trying to say is

say, for example, you happened to -
open a letter that wasn't yours -

by mistake, of course - or saw something -
through a keyhole, say?

- A keyhole?
- Yes.

Why on earth would you
be looking through a keyhole?

The key might have got stuck.

Norton, stop beating about the bush:
did you see something through a keyhole?

No.

But you did see something through
those glasses of yours, didn't you?

That day we went out
rambling with Miss Cole,

and there was something
you didn't want me to see, wasn't there?

Yes...

Well, no.

What was it?

I don't know if I ought to say.
I didn't mean to see it.

There really was a speckled woodpecker,
children and then I saw the other thing.

Is it something to do
with Mrs. Franklin's death?

Oh, damn it all,
I don't know what to do!

He saw something
that he will not tell you?

That's right.

Has he told anyone else?

I don't think so.

Ask him to see me after dinner,
just a friendly little visit...

And be careful, Hastings,
be very careful.

I'm moving back to the old pile tomorrow.

Don't mind telling you,
I'll be glad to be shot of this place.

Gives me the creeps.

Poor Babs, for instance.

If she killed herself,
I'm a monkey's uncle.

Know what I think?

It was that husband of hers.

You don't mean that.

And I'm not the only one.

Had the tip from someone who ought
to know - talk of the devil.

I thought she'd left after the funeral.

She's back for the night
between engagements.

Monsieur Poirot?

Poirot?

He puts his ear to the door.

How are you, old chap?

Not dead yet.

Did you have a good chat with Norton?

Oui.

And he told you what he saw?

Oui.

Well what was it?

- You might misunderstand.
- Of course I won't.

He tells to me he saw two people.

Judith and Allerton! I knew it!

You see? No not Judith and Allerton!

You have lard for a brain.

That's a bit harsh.

- Drink.
- No thanks.

- For me!
- Oh sorry.

Now, if anything should happen

Nothing will happen to you, Poirot.

You will find in here
all the clues you need...

with this.

What kind of clues?

Indications that will lead you
to the truth.

Why do you make things so difficult?
I'm completely in the dark as it is!

Rest assured, mon ami,
when you see the light,

you may wish you had not.

And now...

I need to think.

But, Poirot...

Go down to breakfast, mon ami.
The case, it is ended.

Is it?

Only loose ends to be tied.

You're late up this morning.

I didn't get much sleep.
Have you seen Norton?

He wasn't at breakfast.

He locked the door. I heard him.

He shot himself?

Well that's what they're saying.

The door was locked, the key was in
his pocket and the gun was in his hand.

I suppose he must have done.

It is like a conjuring trick,
n'est-ce pas?

Ah, Hastings,
sometimes you are like a little child,

so innocent, so trusting...

Poirot, you're looking pretty awful.
Don't you think I should call a doctor?

What good would that do?
What will be will be.

I have always tried to do my best,
you know.

You do believe that, Hastings?

How could I not?

Do you think God will forgive me?

Of course he'll forgive you.

You're a good man,
the best a fellow could know.

Ah, my heart bleeds for you,
my poor lonely Hastings.

Poirot

Go now. Cher ami. Let me rest.

It was not suicide.

It was murder.

Cher ami...

Forgive me Forgive...

Captain Hastings?

It was bound to happen.

That doesn't make it any easier.

No. No, of course it doesn't.

Natural causes. I wonder.

You're not suggesting foul play,
Ihope?

It doesn't seem very likely, does it?

Father, he had a heart attack.

All the same...

Anything could have triggered it-

or perhaps nothing.

Perhaps his time had come.

And it surely wasn't suicide
like poor Mr. Norton.

Bad investments, so they say.
The coroner did think it strange...

that he would shoot himself
through the centre of his forehead.

What a suspicious soul you are!

All those years with Poirot, I expect.

He was my dearest friend, you know.
He was always there,

keeping an eye on me, ticking me off...
like a father, really.

I'm not quite sure
how I'll cope without him...

Father, I have something to tell you.

Oh dear. I don't like the sound of that.

I haven't told you before,
but the fact is, I'm going to Africa.

- Africa?
- Yes, with Dr. Franklin.

You can't do that!
What would people say?

I don't care what people say.
The fact is, I'm going.

It's one thing to be his assistant
here in England with his wife alive,

but shooting off to Africa
with him now she's dead.

I'm not going as his assistant;
I'm going as his wife.

But - what about Allerton?

There was never anything in that.

I'd have told you
if you hadn't made me so angry.

But I saw him kiss you.

Oh, these things happen.

You can't marry Franklin - not yet!
It's so soon.

I can and I will.

- But, Judith...
- We've nothing to wait for now.

When you see the light,
you may wish you had not.

I believe Monsieur.
Poirot left you some sort of message.

- Message, sir?
- Yes, for me.

No, sir, not that I'm aware of.

Are you quite sure?

Yes, sir, I'd remember that.

Well My mistake, I suppose.

How is your father?

My father?
He's very well, thank you, sir.

He's better then?

Better than what, sir?

But that's why you had to leave Monsieur.
Poirot, wasn't it, to look after him?

I didn't want to leave, sir.
Monsieur Poirot sent me away.

Why would he do that?

I can only suggest that he discharged me
because he wanted to engage Curtiss.

But why?

I couldn't say, sir. Not the brightest
specimen, although he was strong,

but I'd hardly have thought he was quite
the class Monsieur Poirot would have liked.

He'd been an assistant in a mental home.

A mental home?

It wouldn't surprise me
if he'd started off there as a patient.

I have instructed my lawyers
to deliver this manuscript to you

four months after my death,

by which time you will no doubt have
evolved the most preposterous theories.

But really you should by now have been
able to work out who killed Norton.

As to who killed Barbara Franklin,
that may come as more of a shock.

When you asked if I knew who the killer
was, I did not quite tell the truth;

I knew, but had to make sure.

I had never met this person before
and had never seen this person in action.

It did not take me long.

At last, at the end of my career,
I had come across the perfect criminal -

well, nearly perfect...

Pair of nesting blackcaps
down by the sycamore.

No one gets the better of Hercule Poirot.
Not even Stephen Norton.

Well, I'll be...

Yes, Norton was our man.

He'd been a sickly boy
with a domineering mother,

he had had a tough time at school,

and disliked blood and violence,

a trait most un-English.

But he had a sympathetic character.

And soon discovered
how easy it was to make use of it.

By understanding people, he could
penetrate their innermost thoughts.

He's very perceptive,
you know - quiet people often are.

And then make them do things
they did not want to,

compensation for a lifetime of derision.

This sense of power gradually developed
into a morbid taste

for violence at second-hand
which soon turned into an obsession.

Our gentle Norton was in fact a sadist
addicted to pain and mental torture.

Remember the remarks he made
the first evening you played bridge.

It gets my back up to see him
bullied like that.

Keep it down.

Norton meant him to hear.

Couldn't assert himself if he tried.

Sometimes successful, sometimes not...
It was a drug he constantly craved.

No motive, no evidence, no proof,

simply evil for the sake of it, a criminal
who could never be convicted of his crimes.

You will have realized by now that Franklin
was in love with Judith and she with him.

But with Madame Franklin alive,
life was very difficult for Judith,

and Norton knew exactly how the wind lay.

He played most cleverly
on the theme of useless lives...

I don't hold life as sacred
as you people do.

Unfit lives, useless lives -
they should be got out of the way.

He gently ridiculed the idea that she would
have the nerve to take decisive action.

Does one have the guts,
to put it vulgarly?

And you see, Miss Hastings,
I don't believe you have.

But with a murder addict,
one iron in the fire it is not enough.

He sees opportunities for pleasure
everywhere,

and found one in you, mon ami.

He discovered every weak spot to exacerbate
your profound dislike of Major Allerton.

When it comes to young women, Allerton has
rather a special technique in that line.

Then you saw Allerton and Judith kiss.

You can't.

Norton hauled you away
so that you didn't see what followed.

You went to the glass house and thought
you heard Allerton talking to Judith.

Wire from London
that you can't make it back

and then we'll have
a charming little dinner at my flat.

Yet you did not see her
or even hear her speak -

Norton made sure of that,
for if you had, you'd have discovered

there had never been any question of
Judith going to London that day.

It was Nurse Craven
with whom he was having an affair,

but you fell headlong into the trap
of Norton and made up your mind to murder.

I heard you come up that evening. And was
already exercised about your state of mind...

So when I heard you in the corridor
and go into the bathroom of Allerton...

I slipped out of my room.

Slipped out of your room?

But...

How, I hear you say. You see, Hastings,
I was not helpless at all.

What?!

Why do you think I sent George away?
Because I could not have fooled him

into believing that I had suddenly lost the use of my limbs.

I heard you in the bathroom of Allerton and
promptly dropped to my knees.

I realized what you were up to, made my
preparations and sent Curtiss to fetch you.

I'm awfully sorry old boy
got a blinder of a headache.

So I gave you the hot chocolate.

It nourishes the nerves, you comprehend?

Drink, drink.

But I also, mon ami, have sleeping pills.

No, no, no, every last drop.

The next morning you were your ownself
horrified at what you had nearly done.

But it decided me, Hastings.

You are not a murderer,
but might have been hanged for one.

I knew that I must act
and could put it off no longer,

but before I was able to...

Barbara Franklin died, and I do not think
that you have once suspected the truth.

For you see, Hastings, you killed her.

I killed her?!

Yes, mon ami, you did.

There was, you see,
yet another angle to the triangle,

one that I had not fully taken
into account.

Did it ever enter your mind why Madame
Franklin was willing to come to Styles?

She enjoys the good life,
yet insisted on staying in a guest-house,

and I have no doubt that Norton knew why.

Hello, you chaps!

Boyd Carrington. Madame Franklin
was a disappointed woman.

She had expected Dr. Franklin
to have a brilliant career,

There was something we had to err...

not shut himself away in esoteric research,

and here is Boyd Carrington,
rich and aristocratic,

who'd nearly asked to marry her
when she was a girl, still paying court...

So the only way was for her husband to die

and Norton had found
her only too ready a tool.

These scientist chaps can get
to obsessive about their work.

It was so obvious,

her protestations of admiration,
then her fears for her husband.

But it makes me nervous the lengths
to which he might go.

What exactly do you mean, Madame?

Well, this horrible Calabar bean thing -

I'm so afraid
he'll start experimenting on himself.

But when she saw Nurse Craven reading
the palm of Carrington, she had a fright.

She knew he would be susceptible
to the charms of an attractive woman

and perhaps Nurse Craven might end up
as Lady Boyd Carrington instead of her,

so she decided to act quickly.

She invites us all up
to her room for coffee.

Her cup is beside her and that
of her husband's is on the other side.

Look, a shooting star.

Then everyone goes
to watch the shooting stars

except you, mon ami,

left with your crossword
and your memories

What are you doing?

You hide your emotion by swinging round
the bookcase as if looking for a book.

And so when we all return.

Madame Franklin drinks the poisoned
coffee meant for her husband,

and he drinks the coffee meant for her.

I realized what must have happened,
that she'd poisoned the coffee

and you'd unwittingly turned the table,
but I could not prove it.

If the death of Madame Franklin
was thought to be anything but suicide,

suspicion would inevitably fall
on either Franklin or Judith.

That is why I was so insistent
that Madame Franklin had killed herself,

and I knew
that my statement would be accepted

because I am Hercule Poirot.

You were not pleased, but mercifully
you did not suspect the true danger.

Will it come into your mind
after I am gone like some dark serpent

that now and then raises its head and says,
"Suppose, just suppose, it was my Judith?"

And therefore you must know the truth.

There was one person most
unhappy with the verdict. Norton.

He was deprived, you see,
of his pound of flesh.

Madame Franklin had died, yes.
But not how he desired.

The murder he had arranged
had gone awry,

so what to do?

Norton...

He began to throw out hints about what he
saw that day with you and Miss Cole.

What's the matter?

He'd never said anything definite,

so if he could convey the impression

that it was Franklin and Judith he saw,
not Allerton and Judith,

then that could open up an interesting
new angle on the suicide case,

perhaps even throw doubts on the verdict.

And I realized that what I had planned
all along had to be done at once,

the moment I had dreaded -

the most difficult decision of my life.

That is why I invited Norton to my room
and told him all that I knew.

Madame Etherington tried to poison
her husband, who is most sadistic

addicted to drugs and with whom
you were on terms most intimate.

Norah Sharples poisoned
by her niece Freda Clay.

I hope you're not suggesting
I was on intimate terms with her.

You and Mademoiselle Clay
taking a walk together.

You see I do my homework, Mr. Norton.

And Matthew Litchfield.

Now you visited the house on the night
he was killed by his daughter Margaret.

What is your ppoint, Monsieur Poirot?

My point is this Monsieur Norton
that in none of these murders

is there any real doubt - there was
one clear suspect and no other-

but you, Monsieur Norton, are the one
factor malevolent common to all.

Dear, Monsieur Poirot, is that the best
your little grey cells can come up with?

Your proximity to three murders was too
much of a coincidence and I smelt the rat.

That is why I came to Styles;
to observe you function and

you have not disappointed Monsieur.

No! You are a man who is very clever,

but not clever enough

for Hercule Poirot.

So what are you going to do about it?

Execute you.

Execute me!

Oui.

Then do get on with it.
I promised myself an early night.

Justice is no joking matter, Monsieur.

I do what I can to serve it, but if I fail,
there is a higherjustice, believe me.

You pathetic self-important little man.

Murder me?

There's a mortal sin
if ever there was.

And then what?

Suicide to escape the ignominy of hanging?

Your God will give you a hell of a time.

All those years of piety up
in smoke because of me.

You don't think I'd let you die on me,
deprive me of my ultimate triumph?

Please please

You see, if you don't succeed,
I am a free man, and even if you do,

it will be a victory of sorts, because
in the eyes of the law I am still innocent,

whereas you and your reputation,

your precious reputation - blown to bits.

Je vous en prie

Je vous en prie.

You can hear them now:
"Went off his rocker.

You can never trust a foreigner."

See how good I am to you, old man?

There we go.

Take your t-time, and see
how it all p-pans out, shall we?

Who will be there at the final curtain?

I pity you, Norton.

How very sad to find this great and
beautiful world so foul and disappointing.

And your mother I pity even more.

My mother? You pity my mother?

To endure the agony of bringing you forth
only to discover that between her loins

she nurtured such wickedness -
is that not worthy of pity?

It is you who is not worthy.
She meant the world to me.

And you to her?

She loved me
loved me more than

more than...

Did she ever hold you, Norton,

as mothers do,

and stroke your hair, and kiss your cheek?

She... She...

She scared you, did she not,
she pushed you away,

and starved you of what we all desire,

because she knew everything about you.

My mother knew nothing.

Oh, Monsieur. Norton, mothers know.
They always know.

Shots in the dark, Poirot,

shots in the dark.

Chocolate?

Would you mind awfully
if I drank yours instead?

Not at all.

It was quite immaterial.

I take the sleeping tablets and
have acquired a certain tolerance.

The dose that would send Norton
to sleep would have little effect on me.

With the greatest difficulty
I put him in my wheelchair,

then when the coast was clear,
I wheeled him to his room.

You didn't realized, Hastings,
that recently I wore a false moustache.

Even George does not know that.

I put on the dressing-gown of Norton...

Tapped on your door...

Then went into Norton's bathroom.

Presently I heard you open your door,

I left the bathroom and returned to
Norton's room locking the door behind me.

I put the dressing-gown on Norton
and lay him on his bed.

I had a pistol which I had placed
on the dressing table of Norton's

when he was out so that the maid
would have seen it.

I put the key in his dressing-gown pocket
and locked the door from the outside

with a duplicate I had made. Then returned
to my room and began writing this.

I played the game, as you English say.

I gave you the clues and every chance
to discover the truth about Stephen Norton.

My only weakness was to shoot him
in the centre of his forehead,

but I could not bring myself
to produce an effect so lopsided.

That, mon ami, is my nature and
should have told you the truth.

Take my advice for the last time:

tell Mademoiselle Cole all
that I have said,

that you too might have done
what her sister did had

there been no watchful Poirot to stop you.

Show how Norton was responsible
for the death of her father's.

Captain Hastings?

I have no more to say.

Am I justified in what I have done?

I do not know.

I do not believe that a man should
take the law into his own hands,

but by taking the life of Norton,
have I not saved others?

I have always been so sure, but now

When the moment comes,
I will not try to save myself,

but humbly offer my soul to God

and pray for his mercy.

It is for him to decide.

Hastings, my dear friend,

they were good days.

Yes, they have been good days.

Hercule Poirot.