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Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989–2013): Season 6, Episode 3 - Murder on the Links - full transcript

Poirot and Hastings are in Deauville, and Poirot is approached by business-man Paul Renaud concerning threats by Chileans. The next morning the maid finds Madame Renaud bound and gagged and her husband's corpse is later found on a nearby golf course. Giraud, a pompous French police officer, dismissive of Poirot's reputation, lays a wager with him. The detective who fails to catch the killer must make a sacrifice. Giraud will relinquish his trade mark pipe. Poirot must shave off his moustache.

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A man may labour and toil to attain a
certain kind of leisure in retirement,

and then find that, after all,
he yearns for the old busy days

and the old occupations he had
thought himself so glad to leave.

I had already begun to miss the
daily toil of my previous employment

when I was flung back into the midst

of the most perversely fascinating
work that there is in the world,

the study of human nature.

A journal came into my possession

in which a murderer had taken the
trouble to record for posterity

the thoughts that had accompanied
a crime most dastardly.

Rarely have I come
across such bitterness,

such envy and contempt of others,

such haughtiness misplaced.

Our village, Kings Abbott, is, I imagine,
very much like any other English village.

A chilly medieval church stands at the top
of a single street of stone-built cottages.

At the bottom of the street,
a bridge crosses a stream

where the snotty-nosed
offspring of the poor

perfect the most advanced
skill they will ever possess.

Although to the casual observer
Kings Abbott is a friendly place,

everything is not as it seems.

Just scratch the surface

and you will find more jealousies
and rivalries than Ancient Rome.

- Parker.
- I'm calling next door at Mr Poirot's

My little book is about the
murder of Roger Ackroyd -

the events leading up to it, the
subsequent numbskull investigation,

and the final revelation to you alone,
dear reader, of the guilty party.


Now I give up on you. You
shall torment me no longer.

I will kill you!


My dear doctor! I beg of
you a thousand pardons!

But these vegetable marrows have
driven me to the edges of barbarity!

Please to forgive me. I am
ashamed. I prostrate myself.

What's the trouble, Poirot?

Ah, you know, Doctor,

it is my desire to grow a vegetable
marrow of proportions gigantesque.

And you have seen how I nurse her.

Each day I give to her water, each
day I weed her with my best tweezers.

And when those little flowers of hers
they show themselves, I remove them all,

but one, so that her
strength may be conserved.

Does she appreciate this cosseting? No.

She grows to a size that is merely
conventional, then rests upon her laurels.

You mustn't upset yourself, Poirot.

No. No, you are correct.

But you can fiugure at yourself, James.

When one retires, one hurls
oneself into new pursuits.

Oh. Pardon, Monsieur Parker.

- What can I do for you?
- I've come to take you to the factory, sir.

But it is just struck ten o'clock.

My appointment was not until eleven.

Yes, but Mr Ackroyd hoped you
wouldn't mind it being earlier.

He's got a bit of a busy day.

Our only captain of industry is
the vulgarian, Mr Roger Ackroyd.

The factory from which Ackroyd's
ill-gotten wealth emanates

encapsulates the life we lead here
- ferment and turmoil.

- Have you got a penny, Poirot?
- Oui.

Thank you.

Show Monsieur Poirot what
your acid can do, Ted.

It is here that he lines his pockets
by combining unlikely chemicals

to make unnecessary products,

while befouling the very air we breathe.

He likes to think of
himself as a scientist.

I'm afraid the noise was a
bit too much for you, Poirot.

Not at all.

I envy you, mon ami.

Who would have thought those experiments at
the back of your little shop would lead to this?

Your country house but a mile
or two away, and yet here,

we have the challenges and
triumphs of great industry.

I'm eternally grateful to you
for that first loan, Poirot.

And you can't say you're not
without your own triumphs.

And now you've got your reward
- the peace and quiet of the country, your garden.

- You don't regret retiring down here, then?
- Oh, no, no. Not at all.

For 30 years I was exposed
to the dark side of life.

- It takes its toll, you know.
- I'm sure it does.

And now, as you say, I have my reward.

- Excuse me, Mr Ackroyd.
- What is it, Raymond?

- Mr Paton is here, sir.
- Mr Paton?

Your stepson, sir.

I know who Mr Paton is, thank
you, Mr Raymond. Let him in!

Why is it I can't stand that fellow?

Eh bien. Now I must
return to Kings Abbott.

Thank you very much, my friend, for
showing to me your factory magnifique.

I can't understand why you haven't been
before. You've been here nearly a year now.

But all in all, this has
been a good week for me.

Read your newspaper on Saturday morning,
Poirot, under Forthcoming Marriages.

You mean your stepson
and Mademoiselle Flora?

Please to accept my congratulations.

Ah, Ralph, my dear boy. You
remember Monsieur Poirot?

- Yes, of course. How are you, Mr Poirot?
- I am well, thank you.

- I regret I am on the point of departure.
- I'll get Parker to run you home.

- See to it, Raymond, will you?
- Merci.

- Au revoir.
- Goodbye.

What are you doing here?

With his ill-gotten gains,

Ackroyd has built himself
a truly ostentatious house,

spending a fortune on architects'
and surveyors' fees, no doubt.

He lives there with the former wife of
his deceased brother, Mrs Vera Ackroyd,

and her daughter, Flora -

vultures, eagerly awaiting his demise.

- Shall I pour, Mrs Ackroyd?
- Yes.

Oh, tea. Wonderful. Hello, Ursula.

- Shall I pour for you, Miss Flora?
- Yes, thank you.

- Isn't this exciting?
- Tea?

No, you goose. The forthcoming announcement.
And not before its time, either.

Oh! Sorry. I'll um I'll get a cloth.

I really don't know where
Roger finds these girls.

Have you spoken to Ralph?

No, Mummy. He's in London.

You'd think he might telephone
on the occasion of his engagement.

I er came down last night.

I'm staying at the White Hart.

Look, er Father...

What's wrong with Fernly
Park all of a sudden?

There's nothing wrong with Fernly Park.

Look, I heard you're
announcing the engagement.

Flora's all for it.

Well, yes. Perhaps she is.

You've been putting it off and putting
it off for three months now, nearly.

I've been trying to find a job, Father.

I always told your late mother that I would
look after you as if you were my own son.

- I know, but
- No buts. We...

Didn't I say I did not
want to be disturbed?

Mrs Ferrars is on the telephone, sir.


- Hello?
- Roger? It's Dotty.

I've got to see you.

There's something I've got to tell you.


I'll try to come round
late this afternoon.

All right, all right! I'll definitely come
round late this afternoon. I'll be there.

The highly-strung and
unpredictable Dorothy Ferrars

is something of an
enigma to the villagers.

She lives alone, in
considerable comfort,

thanks to the wealth she
inherited from her late husband -

a sot who died in suspicious
circumstances last year.

Dr Sheppard.


In ten minutes.

Who was that?

Inspector Davis.

Now, tell me, Mary, my girl,

why did you come to wake her so early?

Friday was her morning to go riding.

She liked to be out of the
house before six o'clock.

All right, Mary. Thank you.

Go and get yourself a cup of tea, eh?


You think it's suicide?

Ask me after the inquest.

- It's a year since her husband died, isn't it?
- Almost exactly.

Did you find a note?

Not yet.

Sheppard. I want to talk to you.

- You've heard about Mrs Ferrars.
- Yes. I only saw her yesterday afternoon.

Come to Fernly Park tonight. 7:30.

- I've been thinking about Dotty Ferrars.
- Oh, yes?

She must have taken the
Veronal on purpose. Remorse.


You never would listen to me last year when I
told you she'd poisoned that awful husband of hers.

This proves it.


- Oh, hello. Please do come in.
- Thank you.

We have a visitor, James.

- Oh, pardon. You are at your luncheon.
- No, no. We've just finished.

Hercule's come round
with a little job for you.

- Oui. Ma pendule de voyage.
- Pendule?

Ah! A carriage clock.

How say you, James?

- Perhaps I have overwound her?
- No.

It looks as if she
just needs a good clean.


I'll do what I can with it.

It is good, I think,
to have the hobby, no?

You've got your garden, Poirot.


- Good morning.
- Morning.

- Just a little more time. You've got to be patient.
- Oh, for heaven's sake!

My dear girl, it's quite on the cards the
old fellow will cut me off with a shilling.

Of course he won't!

He's pretty fed up with me.
A little more would do it.

And we need the dibs.

I'll be a very rich man
when the old fellow pops off.

So we don't want him to alter his will.

- Then why stay here, not at Fernly Park?
- Look, leave this to me.

- Don't worry.
- Worry! It's all very well for you.

- You'll feel more comfortable in a day or two.
- Thank you, Doctor.

James, I Oh.

Oh, I am sorry.


- He wasn't on your panel.
- No, my dear sister. Cash.

I saw something quite peculiar just now.


First of all, Ralph Paton is here
and staying at the White Hart.

Staying there?

Staying there. And he
was talking to a girl.

I couldn't quite see who she
was. Presumably it was Flora.

But that doesn't make any sense.

Mind you, it makes even
less sense if it wasn't.

There is evil in this village,
Poirot. Downright evil!

Well, tell me what
has happened, mon ami.

You didn't know Ashley Ferrars, did you?

No. I believe that he
died before I arrived here.

Yes, I thought so.

After he died, there were all
sorts of rumours flying about.

Well, this sometimes
happens in a small town.

Anyway, the coroner said gastritis
exacerbated by acute alcoholism,

then peritonitis, and that was that.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday I found out he was poisoned.


Look, I might as well
tell you this, Poirot.

I've been

well, in love with
Dorothy Ferrars for years.

She telephoned me yesterday.

Very upset. Wanted to see me.

She broke down completely.

She told me everything.

Her hatred of that brute of a husband,

her growing feelings for me

and the dreadful means she'd taken to.


Murder! Cold-blooded murder!

I see.

The terrible thing is, she must
have seen the shock in my face.

I mean, I couldn't disguise it.

I drove her to suicide.

But it was reported that
her death was accidental.

You must not blame yourself, mon ami.

I know, but she also
told me something else.

It seemed that there was one person
who'd known about the murder all along

and was blackmailing her for huge sums.

And do you know who was this person?

She wouldn't tell me his name.

As a matter of fact, she didn't
even say it was a man, but

Well, they're not going
to get away with it!

You intend to hunt
down this blackmailer?

If only Dotty had left a note.

She might have given a name.


you must be careful.

Thank you, Ursula.

Ah, Sheppard. Good evening.

Good evening. Evening, Poirot.

- Good evening, James.
- I'm just seeing Monsieur Poirot out.

- Go on into the sitting room, will you?
- Thank you.

Thank you, Monsieur Parker.


Hello, Dr Sheppard. I didn't
know you were coming this evening.

- You know, you've got to congratulate me.
- Indeed?

Look. I'm going to marry Ralph.

I know you'll both be very happy, Flora.

We've been engaged for three months now,
but it's announced officially tomorrow.

Why, Dr Sheppard!

Good evening, Mrs Ackroyd.

Is it true about poor Mrs Ferrars?

She died last night. Yes.

Did she...

Was it suicide?

We don't know yet.

Poor woman.

Oh, well.

Life must go on, I suppose.

I wish you'd tell me about these
antique things, Dr Sheppard.

I'm sure you know what they all are.

Just because I'm an antique myself.

Ah, Sheppard. There you are.

Look, you're staying to dinner,
aren't you? We can talk later.

Fernly Park.

- Is Monsieur Roger Ackroyd available?
- No. He's at dinner, Mr Poirot.

- At dinner?
- Yes.

Could I leave a message for him
to call me back? I'm at my cottage.

I'll ask him to call you.

And will you be sure to
give him the message now?

Certainly, sir.

So I said, just because you're breaking eggs,
it doesn't mean you're making an omelette.

My late husband detested omelettes.

Mr Poirot telephoned, sir. I
told him you were at dinner.

Thank you, Parker. I'll phone him later.

In fact, my late husband disliked
anything even remotely to do with chickens.

- Last post. Feels like it, too.
- Thanks, Barney.

The evening post, sir.

Put the other letters on
the table, Parker, thank you.

Yes, sir.

"My dear, my very dear Roger"

There is one thing a murderer
may rely on for protection.

That the account of every witness

will be radically different
from the account of every other,

even though all were
present on the same occasion.

I trust you enjoyed
your dinner, Dr Sheppard.

Indeed, I did. Thank you, Parker.

- Oh, I'll just go and say good night to the ladies.
- Yes, sir.

- Good night, ladies.
- Oh. Do you have to go, Doctor?

Oh, unfortunately, I do. Good night.

And once again, congratulations, Flora.

Thank you, Dr Sheppard. Good night.

However, I regret to say that the
calls on my purse have been so frequent

that it it impossible for
me to accede to your request.

As you will appreciate

Parker, Mr Ackroyd says he doesn't
want to be disturbed tonight.

Oh. Very well, Miss Flora.

It doesn't sound like a very
interesting evening, I must say.

Didn't you hear anything
about Ralph, even?

Well, yes. I heard he got
officially engaged to Flora at last.

Then what was that I heard him saying
to her this afternoon at the White Hart?

Who can say, my dear?

Why do people always
choose bedtime to get ill?

Doctor Sheppard.



Yes, I'll come at once.

What is it?

- What is it, James?
- It's Parker. From Fernly.

They've just found
Roger Ackroyd murdered.

- Yes, sir?
- Where is he?

Beg your pardon, sir?

- Have you called the police?
- The police, sir?

What's the matter with you, Parker?
Your master has been found murdered.

Murdered, sir?

Didn't you telephone me five minutes
ago and tell me Mr Ackroyd was murdered?

No, indeed, sir. I wouldn't dream.

Do you mean to say it's all a hoax?

Oh, thank God!

Though I should like
to strangle the joker.

I can check, sir. See if
everything's all right.

No, no, there's no point in that.

- Let me just go and see, sir.
- Where's everybody else?

The ladies have gone to bed, sir.
I believe Mr Raymond is still up.

It seems to be locked.

Perhaps he's gone up to bed.

I've never known him to
lock this door before.

The key's in the lock on the other side.


- Ackroyd!
- He may have fallen asleep.

- I'm sorry, Parker.
- Dr Sheppard, sir!

Out of the way!

No. The fewer people disturb
this room, the better.

Ring the police station, Parker.

Yes. Right away. Mr
Ackroyd's been murdered.

What did you say?

It's Mr Ackroyd, sir. He's dead.

In the study.

Oh, my God!

What are you doing here? Oh, I'm
sorry, Mr Poirot. You'd better come in.

Thank you.

I was just telephoning the police.

- What has happened, Monsieur Parker?
- Mr Ackroyd's been killed, sir.


Who would do such a terrible thing?

Oh, Poirot. Thank God!
Nobody's been in here.

What do you think, Poirot?

I have failed my friend.

Our local police are a constant
source of harmless amusement.

A year ago, they could not even see that
the death of Ashley Ferrars was murder.

This time, they will probably claim
that Ackroyd committed suicide.

Ackroyd was in such a
strange mood all day.

Mrs Ferrars dying hit him badly.

Evening, gentlemen.

Has this been moved at all?

I ascertained that life
was extinct, nothing more.

Who found the body?

Parker and myself. I'd
been here to dinner,

but I was back at home when I
got a telephone call from Parker

telling me Mr Ackroyd had been murdered.

Parker had already found the body?

No, sir. I didn't make
any phone call, sir.

Wait a minute. Dr Sheppard says...

I didn't phone, sir. I swear I didn't!

Did it sound like Parker's
voice on the telephone?

I can't say I noticed. I
took it for granted, you see.

How odd. Anyway, you came in here...

Broke the door down. It
was locked from the inside.

Has anyone checked the window?

Well, this is the way the murderer came in
all right, and went out. Look. A footprint.

Made by a boot with a rubber sole, sir.

When was Mr Ackroyd last seen alive?

I left at nine o'clock. He
was certainly alive then.

He was alive at 9.30.

I heard him talking in the study.

- Who was he talking to?
- I don't know.

At the time, I assumed
it was Dr Sheppard.

But in fact, you'd already left.

Did you overhear any
of the conversation?

Just a fragment.

Mr Ackroyd said something like,

"The calls on my purse have
been so frequent of late

that it is impossible for me
to accede to your request."

I didn't hear any more.

But a demand for money.
It may be important.

If you'll excuse me, Inspector Davis.

Miss Flora saw him after half past nine.

I saw her leave the
study at ten past ten.

- Send someone to get her, will you?
- Yes, sir.

- I don't know you, sir. What's your name?
- This is Hercule Poirot, Inspector.

The famous detective?

Oh, yes? What are you doing here?

Monsieur Ackroyd was a
friend of mine, Inspector.

I was with him earlier this evening.

When was the last time
you saw Mr Ackroyd alive?

We said goodbye at
7.36. I then went home.

What are you doing here now?

Monsieur Ackroyd was in
a mood of great upset.

I was worried about him
and I made my return.

Thank you, sir.

I have to say this. Mr Ralph
Paton is down here from London.

He came to the factory to see
Mr Ackroyd. They had words.

What about?

I don't really know.

Something to do with Mr
Ackroyd's will, I think.

Oh, this is awful.

It can't be true.

Miss Ackroyd, I'm afraid I
must ask you a few questions.

Parker says he saw you coming out of your
uncle's study at 10.10. Is that right?

Do you think I am a murderer?

Mademoiselle, if you please, just sit.


We're just trying to place everyone in the
house, find out what they've seen or heard.

All right.

Yes, I I did go in to say
good night to Uncle Roger.

At ten past ten.

I don't know.

Yes. About then.

Was he alone?

Alone. Yes.

Did you notice if the
window was open or shut?

I don't know!

I didn't look.

Well, the curtains were drawn, anyway.

Oh, God!

Can I drive you home, Poirot?

No, merci.

I prefer to walk.

From now on, the
deception began in earnest.

You could scarcely move for people
protesting how innocent they were

or pointing the finger
of guilt at someone else.

There was so much smoke, you could
hardly see across the High Street.

Such larks!

Oh! Hello, Flora.

I came to see Mr Poirot. Is he in?

Well, he's terribly upset, actually.

My brother's with him now.

We both came round.

Who would do a thing like
that to such a man, James?

Well, it's difficult to say.

The question was a
rhetorical one, mon ami.

It's Flora.

- Mr Poirot, I'm sorry to burst in on you.
- Mademoiselle.

But the police think that
Ralph murdered my uncle.

He didn't do it, Mr Poirot.

He really didn't.

I cannot help you, mademoiselle.

But you're a detective.

Your uncle was Monsieur
Poirot's friend, Flora.

In any case, mademoiselle, I am
now retired. I work no longer.

I'II I'll pay you.

- I'll find the money somehow.
- It's not a question of money.

Come on, old girl.

What am I going to do?

What am I going to do?

Where's Ralph now?

I don't know. Not exactly.

Uncle Roger told me yesterday
he was staying at the White Hart.

But he's not there now.

He left in the middle of the night.

But he's left all his things behind.

- I see.
- No, you don't see!

Ralph may have done some
foolish things in the past,

but he wouldn't murder anyone.

Mademoiselle, I cannot
help you as you wish.

But I

But I will go to Inspector
Davis and speak on your behalf.

That may do some good.

Between us, Chief Inspector, my
money's on Ralph Paton, the stepson.

That er foreign gentleman
to see you, Inspector.

I don't want to be disturbed!

I will take only five minutes
of your time, Inspector.

I know that voice!

Chief Inspector Japp!

I knew the name Kings
what-do-you-call-it sounded familiar.

- Oh, my dear friend!
- Poirot.

There was I, thinking you'd retired, and I
find you mixed up in murders and all sorts.

No, no, no, Chief Inspector. I
am not, as you say, all mixed up.

Monsieur Roger Ackroyd was my
very old friend and that is all.

But you'll help us out, won't you?

Help me talk to all
these cabbage-bashers.

Non. Non.

Chief Inspector, I have
been idle for too long.

Come on, Poirot. It'll
be like old times.

Very well.

But er only on the outskirts.

Inspector Davis, MIle Ackroyd tells me
you suspect most strongly Ralph Paton.

It was either him or the butler.

What have we got against Paton?

First, he left the White Hart last
night and hasn't been seen since.

Secondly, it's said he's in
serious financial difficulties

and will probably profit from the will.
And thirdly, he argued with Ackroyd.

Sounds pretty fruity.

Perhaps a little too fruity, mon ami.

We'll see about that.

I've got here a pair of
shoes from the White Hart.

I'll compare them to the
footmarks on the window sill.

Has anyone seen any suspicious
strangers hanging around here?

Any strangers calling on Mr Ackroyd
at all over the last week or so?

Yes, there was.

That young man, called himself
a salesman. On Wednesday.

He was in with Mr Ackroyd a good hour.

No, no, no. That was a
perfectly innocent salesman.

He came to the factory
trying to sell Dictaphones.

Mr Ackroyd had him come
here to demonstrate.

Mr Tuffnell, his name was.

Yes, all right. Now, let's get
back to the events of last night.

There was something last
night, Chief Inspector.


I was on the terrace outside the sitting
room smoking at about 9.30. And I saw

Well, I thought I saw a woman disappearing
into the bushes near the summer house.

Just a gleam of white, you know?

No idea who it was?

I'm not even sure.

It could have been just
a trick of the moonlight.

Yes, all right. Thank you.

Now, when you, Dr Sheppard, and
you, Parker, break the door down,

you are confronted by the sight
of Mr Ackroyd dead in this chair.


- If I may, Chief Inspector?
- Of course.

Thank you.

Is this room exactly as it was then?

The curtains were drawn, sir.
And the electric light was on.

Bon. Anything else?

Yes. That chair was
drawn out a little more.


Show me.

Voila ce qui est curieux.

How say you, Chief Inspector?

No-one would sit in a chair
in such a position, I fancy.

It's an odd place for it to be, all
right. But I can't see that it's important.

It is completely unimportant.

That is why it is so interesting.

These shoes match the marks
on the window sill precisely.

Of course they do, Inspector.

Of course they do.

For the moment, Ralph
Paton is the chief suspect.

If muddy shoes could convict,

they'd have him swinging from
the gallows by the morning.

There is only one problem.

The spineless Lothario
is nowhere to be found.

I helped Mr Ackroyd build
this house, you know,

design it and everything.

These modern houses, you see,

generally, they don't have the
facilities for staff, like proper houses.

Mr Ackroyd, he wanted it just so.

He was a good employer, no?

He could be short with
you, could Mr Ackroyd.

But he was always fair.

We shan't see his like again.

No, indeed.

Tell me, Monsieur Parker, what is your
opinion of the secretary, Monsieur Raymond?

He's a bit of a stick, to tell you the
truth, Mr Poirot, but he's all right.

It's just that he told to
Inspector Davis last night

that he overheard Monsieur Ackroyd
talking in his study at 9.30.

I am not disposed to believe him.

I don't know about that, sir.

I don't think Mr Raymond is
the type to tell an untruth.

- Ah.
- But there is something. I mean

I haven't mentioned it before, but

it's been nagging away at
the back of my mind, like.

It was usually kept in the
display case in the sitting room.

I'm sure it was there
before dinner last night.

Excuse me, Chief Inspector.

Monsieur Parker would like to show
to us something. Monsieur Parker?

It's these.

- They came in the evening post last night.
- So what?

Well, there were five
when I brought them in.

And now there are four.

I noticed particularly because these
are all business sort of letters.

And there was one more
personal one, handwritten.

Dark blue envelope. Quite distinctive.

Perhaps Mr Ackroyd put it in his pocket.

- Was any such letter discovered on the body, Inspector?
- No.

So these are the French
windows into the sitting room.

Yes, Chief Inspector. Inside of which was
the case that contained the murderous weapon,

- conveniently within reach.
- Mm.

And along here, no other

no other window overlooks the terrace till
we come to the study of Monsieur Ackroyd.

Chief Inspector?

I've just had a call from the GPO.

They've traced that telephone
call that Dr Sheppard got.

It was logged at 10.15 last night

from a public telephone box at
Kings Abbott railway station.

And at 10:23 the night
mail leaves for Liverpool.

Why should the murderer telephone at all?
There seems no rhyme nor reason to it.

Oh, there was a reason, Chief
Inspector. Of that you can be sure.

And when we know it,
we will know everything.

Everyone tells me it's been fine
and dry here for a fortnight.

So how did those muddy
footprints get on the window sill?

That is easy, Chief Inspector.

See? The gardener has
left dripping the tap.

Oh, yeah.

Ah, there's the same footprint again.

You see also there the
footprint of the lady?

Well, there's plenty
of women in the house.

Come, Chief Inspector. Let us
investigate together the summer house.

My Emily wanted one of these. But it
didn't seem quite right in Isleworth.

What have you got, Poirot?

It's a bit of cloth from a
handkerchief, or something.


Remember this, Chief Inspector.

The good laundry, it does
not starch the handkerchief.

The organisation, it
is in disorder today?

- Because of Mr Ackroyd's absence?
- Hardly.

His guiding hand, it is not missed?

Mr Ackroyd's guiding hand was
more likely to hold things up than.

I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that.

But the truth is, I handled all the
day-to-day running of the business.

Not that I got any thanks for it.

Sundry creditors, 403 pounds

seven shillings and four pence.

Mr Hammond is Mr Ackroyd's personal
lawyer, as well as acting for the company.

I'm Detective Chief Inspector
Japp of Scotland Yard.

- And this is Hercule Poirot.
- Private detective.

We need to know what's
in Mr Ackroyd's will.

I see. But er I shall be coming down to
the house later on anyway, for the reading.

So much to do. Oh, so
much to do! Whenever

Yes. What's in the will?

Well, the will consists of a
series of legacies and bequests

Such as?

Well, there's 500 to his
secretary, Mr Geoffrey Raymond.

Then, Mrs Vera Ackroyd receives the
income from 10,000 worth of shares,

during her lifetime.

While her daughter, Flora
Ackroyd, inherits 20,000 outright.

And the majority of the estate?

The er residue, including Fernly Park,

and the shares in Ackroyd Chemicals

to his adopted son, Mr Ralph Paton.

Tell me. The estate of Monsieur
Roger Ackroyd, it was very large?

Oh, yes, indeed.

Mr Paton will be a
very wealthy young man.


Tell me, chief Inspector, the stationmaster
at Kings Abbott, was he of any help?

Not a lot, I'm afraid. Nobody
remembers anybody using the phone box.

But about that time, you've got the
London train coming in on one platform,

and the Liverpool train on the other, so

Was anyone seen to board these trains?

Well, a porter remembers a young man
getting on the train to Liverpool.

He thinks. Mind you.


She looks pretty browned off.

Let us go and cheer
her up, Chief Inspector.

Bonjour, Mademoiselle Ackroyd.

Oh, you startled me.

There's something I've
been meaning to ask you.

Did you go anywhere near the summer
house on the night of the murder?

Summer house? No.

Only someone, a lady,
was seen in its vicinity.

Well, it wasn't me.

This would have been
about half past nine?

Thank you, mademoiselle.
You have been most helpful.

I've got to get back
to the house, anyway.

I was just getting started with her.

Very likely. Is she out
of sight, Chief Inspector?

Yeah. What are you doing, Poirot?


Always one must keep the
eyes on the alert, mon ami.

One little glint in the sunlight

et voila!

It's a wedding ring.

Yes, indeed. Oh!

A woman's, probably, by the size of it.

Very likely. Do you
think this will stain?

Funny place to find a wedding ring.

Oh. Hang on. There's an inscription.

From R.

March 13th.

Do we know who R might be?


- Ah, Mr Raymond.
- Not now, Chief Inspector.

- What's going on, Parker?
- I don't rightly know, sir.

Something's gone missing.

I have never thought the staff at
Fernly Park were quite trustworthy.

What happens, madame?

Some money is missing.

- Stolen.
- We don't know that.

40, Monsieur Poirot.

From poor Roger's bedroom.

Mr Hammond is down from
London to read the will.

He asked Raymond if there
was cash in the house.

It has to be included
in the estate, of course.

When Raymond went to get it from
Mr Ackroyd's bedroom, it was gone.

I have never thought the
staff here were trustworthy.

Oh, come, Mrs Ackroyd.

Right. Who's the current suspect?

The parlour maid, Ursula. She
was given her notice yesterday.

Doubtless she thought she'd leave
with a little unearned bonus.

- You are Ursula Bourne?
- Yes, sir.

- I understand you're leaving.
- Yes.

Why is that?

I disarranged some papers
on Mr Ackroyd's desk.

He was very angry about it
and said I had better leave.

A considerable amount of money -
40- is missing from this drawer.

If you think I took it and that is why
Mr Ackroyd dismissed me, you're wrong.

- Well, it seems
- If you please, Inspector?

Mademoiselle Ursula,

it was yesterday afternoon that Monsieur
Ackroyd dismissed you, was it not?

How long did it last, this interview?


Between you and Monsieur
Ackroyd in the study.

- 10 minutes? 20 minutes? Half an hour?
- Something like that.

Half an hour?

Well, not longer, certainly.

Merci, mademoiselle.

Not one flipping penny! Six
years I worked for that bastard!

Not one flipping penny.

Well, that's what
they're like, isn't it?

Well, who do you think's
got the last laugh?

Who knows all the little
family secrets, eh?

Last orders, gentlemen, now, please!

Come on! Plenty of room!

Come on!

Come on, you bastard!

Plenty of room!

First, Roger Ackroyd,
brutally stabbed in his study.

Now his manservant Parker,
deliberately run down by a motorcar.

Has the killer no mercy?

No conception of the difficulty
of finding good servants?

Our dud detectives continue
to run around in circles.

Why would anyone want
to kill the butler?

Perhaps he was going to
reveal to us something.

But tell me, Chief Inspector,

what did you think of the story
told to us by the parlour maid?

- What story?
- The story of her dismissal.

To dismiss a servant,
does it take half an hour?

That was in the afternoon. It can't
have anything to do with the murder.

I am not sure.

Perhaps, in time, the scrap of
cambric that I found will tell us.

You're doing what you always do, Poirot.

- What is that, Chief Inspector?
- Confusing me.

Just when I think I'm
getting a grip on a case.

Tell to me, Chief Inspector

what is your grip?
- You've got to be logical, Poirot.

Oui, bien sr.

All right. Now, what have we got?

The last person to see Roger Ackroyd alive
was Dr Sheppard, who left him at nine o'clock.

No. You forget
Mademoiselle Flora Ackroyd,

who went in to say good night
to him at ten minutes after ten.


Do not disquiet
yourself, Chief Inspector.

I do not believe her.
Please, to continue.

Oh. But why would she...

Anyway, then Raymond heard Ackroyd
talking to somebody at half past nine.

Ralph Paton disappeared from his
lodgings on the night of the murder,

and nobody's seen him since.

The person Ackroyd was talking
to was asking for money.

Ralph Paton was always
in financial trouble,

and he's the chief beneficiary
of the victim's will.

Ralph Paton had a row with the victim,

Ralph Paton's footprints
are all over the window sill.

So, who is the murderer, do
you think, Chief Inspector?

Very amusing, Poirot. If Paton
were innocent, he'd come forward.

Mais oui. That is a theory.

Certainly you have the
little grey cells, of a kind.

But it leaves unaccounted a great deal.

- What, for instance?
- The chair that was moved.

Oh, not the chair again.

It was pulled out, it was pushed back.

Perhaps the murderer was afraid that Monsieur
Parker would realise of its significance.

- I'm trying to deal in facts here, Poirot.
- But the chair is a fact, mon ami!

As are the telephone call, the
wedding ring, the 40 missing

and the murder of Monsieur Parker.

Why, Hercule!

Madame Sheppard.

Isn't it terrible about poor Parker?

- Won't you introduce me to your friend?
- Yes, of course, madame.

The sister of Dr Sheppard
- Chief Inspector Japp of Scotland Yard.

I thought it must be. How exciting.

How d'you do.

Mind you, I don't think that Roger
Ackroyd ever knew about Parker's drinking.

Something for you two
sleuths to think about, eh?

- Excuse me.
- Madame.



Decidedly, it is time for Poirot to act.


Mademoiselle Ursula,
rest here, if you please.

- Doctor, asseyez-vous
la. - Thank you.

To begin with, I make a special
plea to you, mademoiselle.

- To me?
- Oui.

If you know the whereabouts
of Monsieur Ralph Paton,

I beg of you most earnestly to
persuade him to come forward.

Monsieur Poirot, I swear solemnly to
you, I have no idea where Ralph is.

I have neither seen him nor heard of
him on the day of the murder or since.


That is that!

Now, you others,

all of you were friends and
intimates of Monsieur Ralph Paton.

If you know where the missing
man he is hiding, speak out!

I beg of you, speak out.

Messieurs et mesdames, I
mean to arrive at the truth.

I mean to know, and I shall know

in spite of you all.

Thank you.

- Mr?
- Poirot, Madame Folliott.

Hercule Poirot.

A thousand apologies for
calling on you like this.

Not at all.

I have seen the references that you
provided for a former parlour maid of yours,

a Mademoiselle Ursula Bourne.


And it was just over a year ago
since she left you, I understand.

Yes. Yes, it was.

That's quite right.


I was wondering if there was anything
more you can tell me about her.

For example, she comes
from where? Her family...

I don't know at all.

I see.

Then who was her employer
before she came to you?

I really don't remember.

Is it necessary to ask
all these questions?

Oh, no, no. Not at all, madame. Pardon.

I did not think you
would object to answering.


- The News Chronicle in Fleet Street, s'il vous plat.
- Yes, sir.

All right, all right, you
can put your watch away.

You know how lateness distresses me.

- Mr Hammond.
- Good day to you, Chief Inspector.

This is indeed a treat. So
much choice. I'm staggered.

What did you discover at the
apartment of Monsieur Paton?

Absolutely nothing. A
bed, a table, a chair.

Nobody's been there for a week.

Did you get the list of nursing homes?


There's nothing I can eat here, Poirot.
It's all macaroni this, ravioli that.

Haven't they got any meat?

Spaghetti Bolognese has meat.

I don't like spaghetti.

Now, Mr Hammond. We need your help.

As well as acting for Mr Roger Ackroyd,

you were also Mrs Dorothy
Ferrars' solicitor, we understand?

That is correct. All her
affairs passed through our hands.

You see, Monsieur Hammond,

Monsieur Ackroyd believed that
Madame Ferrars was being blackmailed.

And it is possible that this blackmail and
the murder of Roger Ackroyd are connected.

Blackmail, eh?

- You are surprised?
- No.

No, it explains a great many things.

During the past year, Mrs
Ferrars sold certain securities.

But the money was paid into
her account, and not reinvested.

I've always imagined that the
money was being paid to some woman

who had a claim on the late Mr Ferrars.

What was the amount of this selling?

In all, I should say the sums
involved totalled at least 20,000.

20,000? I could retire tomorrow and
go and live in the south of France.

No. You would not approve
of the food, Chief Inspector.

None of our marry band of suspects shows any
sign of having come into that kind of money.

Look, Poirot. There's your
old flat. Who lives there now?

No person. It is still mine.

No! I didn't know that.

Well, let's go and have a look round.

Non. In any case, I do not have my keys.

Yes, you do. I wondered why
you wanted to walk this way.

Come on.

Home, sweet home, eh, Poirot?


But it is full of ghosts.

Lively ones, too, some of 'em.

You know, Chief Inspector,
this visit to London?

It disturbs me.

And this

even worse.

You were never meant to be
a country bumpkin, Poirot.

Chief Inspector, you
must not say such things!

The life in the country,
it is good for me.

I have the fresh air, I have my garden

the quiet.

You should never have retired.

I said so at the time, if you remember.

One cannot postpone the inevitable
forever, Chief Inspector.

And this case, it is
full of postponements.

- Is it?
- Ah, oui. Bien sr.

Monsieur Roger Ackroyd and Madame Ferrars
postponed the announcement of their betrothal,

Monsieur Ralph Paton and
Mademoiselle Flora the same.

- I don't see where that gets us.
- Non. Moi aussi.

But one must permit oneself to muse.

"From R, March 13th."

Perhaps Monsieur Roger Ackroyd and
Madame Ferrars married in secret.

Why would they do that?

Or Ralph Paton and
Mademoiselle Flora, the same.

Well, that's more likely.
But why keep it secret?

Who else do we know with the initial R?

- What about Mr Raymond?
- Monsieur Raymond? Non.

Monsieur Raymond is not the
marrying kind, Chief Inspector.

No. You see, we do keep
coming back to Ralph Paton.

Of course, the ring might have
nothing to do with the case.

But I can't understand why
he doesn't come forward.

Has it not occurred to you, Chief Inspector,
that Monsieur Ralph Paton he could be dead?

Dead? No.

I hope not, for Flora
Ackroyd's sake, if nothing else.

What did you mean when you said you didn't
believe she'd seen her uncle at ten past ten?

Allons-y, Chief Inspector.
We must catch the train.

I have also the need to
escape from these ghosts.

By now, the cracks were
beginning to appear.

There are, I am ashamed to say,

certain darknesses of the heart
of which even I was not aware.

Who would have thought Miss
Goody-Two-Shoes Flora Ackroyd

capable of such naughtiness?

Monsieur Poirot has made a certain
suggestion to me, Miss Ackroyd.

He suggests that you weren't in
the study at all last Friday night,

and that you didn't see Mr
Ackroyd to say good night to.

Parker saw me there.

No, mademoiselle. Monsieur Parker
said that he saw you coming out.

You have no idea what my life
has been like since we came here.

Wanting things, scheming
for them, lying and cheating.

Running up bills and promising to pay
- I hate myself when I think of it all.

That's what brought us
together, Ralph and I.

I understood him because
I'm the same underneath.

We're not strong enough to
stand alone, either of us.

All right.

I wasn't coming out of the study.

I was in my uncle's room.

I knew he always kept
some cash in that drawer.

I was on the stairs

coming down from Uncle Roger's bedroom

when I heard Parker crossing the hall.

So I pretended that I
was leaving the study.

Parker. Mr Ackroyd says he
doesn't want to be disturbed.

Oh. Very well, Miss Flora.

- Mademoiselle
- I took it, all right? 40!

I'm a common, vulgar
little thief! Now you know!

Rule number one in Kings Abbott -

never believe what anyone tells you.

So what could the sleuths
do but start again?

Back they went to Dorothy Ferrars' house

for another rummage
through her sad existence.

She really was the
cause of all this fuss.

Madame Ferrars had been your
patient for many years, James.

Had she seemed to you
recently distressed?

She was a very sensitive person, you
know. Not many people understood her.

But er you did.

She confided in me to a limited extent.

Excuse me.

Madame Ferrars, she wrote many letters?

No, I don't think so.

- Her only relatives were in New Zealand.
- Oh.

Bonjour, madame.

Have you seen this?

Good morning, Chief Inspector.

What? Oh. Good morning.

Listen. "The police have for some days
been anxious to interview Mr Ralph Paton,

the adopted son of Mr Roger Ackroyd,

whose death occurred in suspicious
circumstances last Friday.

Mr Paton has now been
arrested in Liverpool,

where he was on the point
of embarking for America."


Bon? It's all rubbish. I've been onto
Liverpool. They don't know anything about it.

No, they would not, mon ami.

It was me who persuaded the editor of that
estimable newspaper to insert the item.

Well, we'll see if you're right, Poirot.

See if your newspaper article has
flushed anybody out of the woodwork.

- Can woodwork be flushed, Chief Inspector?
- You know what I mean.

Well, if they can be flushed,
then this will have flushed them.

I'm sorry. Have you been waiting ages?

We're at sixes and sevens.

What with Parker not here,

and Ursula not being well.

She is unwell?

I say unwell, but she just
won't come out of her room.

You can hear her, crying away.


Go away.

- Can we have a word, Miss Bourne?
- Go away. I don't want to see you.

Mrs Paton?

It is me, Hercule Poirot.

There's no point in
pretending any more, is there?

The paper says Ralph has been arrested.

The truth is what we need, madame.

Ralph didn't do it.

I am inclined to agree with you,
but the affair marches badly.

Only the truth can
save Monsieur Paton now.

So first, tell to us why you make
this masquerade as a parlour maid?

For a living.

My father died two years ago,
leaving nothing but debts.

Debts and five daughters.

My eldest sister was already
married to a Captain Folliott.

Oui. I met your sister yesterday.

I wasn't going to be
a Lady parlour maid.

It was the real thing or nothing.

And my sister would give me a reference.

- So you got a job here.
- Yes.

Actually, I quite enjoyed the work.

And I met Ralph.

As soon as we met,
we both felt the same.

We wanted to get married.


On the 13th of March.

My ring!

I thought I'd lost it for ever.

- How? Where did you
- Please to continue, madame.

Well, we um

we got married and then I came back here

and Ralph stayed in
London looking for work.

But then he decided that the only way to
clear his debts was to ask Mr Ackroyd for help.

Still without disclosing
to him your marriage.

Yes. Mr Ackroyd was furious.

But he said he'd help if
Ralph married Flora Ackroyd.

And he agreed?

Yes. But he did make the stipulation that
it shouldn't be announced for a while.

He didn't want me to hear about it.

I bet he didn't.

But then, last Thursday,
Mr Ackroyd got impatient

and said the engagement had
to be announced that weekend.

So Ralph had to tell
me the mess he was in.

It's on the cards he'll
cut me off with a shilling.

I said I would see Mr Ackroyd
and tell him we were married.

Ralph begged me not to,
but what else was I to do?

I was so furious with Ralph

that on my way home, I
threw away my wedding ring.

I regretted it almost as
soon as I'd done it, but

I thought Mr Ackroyd might be
sympathetic, but he was awful.

He said I'd tried to
trap Ralph for his money.

Already married?

Anyway, I'd agreed to meet
Ralph in the summer house

to tell him how it had gone.

I met him at 9.30 and that was awful.

- You've ruined everything!
- I have every right. I'm your wife!

You also tore your apron.

I wondered where I'd done that.

Anyway, I I haven't heard
or seen of Ralph since.

And then I heard that Mr
Ackroyd had been murdered.


Tell us, Madame Paton, what hour was it that
you parted from your husband in the summerhouse?

I've gone over that again and again.

I was with Ralph for
10 minutes? Not longer.

It was just quarter to ten
when I got back to the house.

Ah, there you are, Monsieur Poirot.

I was just trying to find you.
There's a phone call for you.

- For me?
- Yes.



Mr Smith.

I thought that I would find you here.

So now will come the biggest test.

We have all been summoned to a pow-wow.

But I am sure the police
are still in the dark.

If we all hold our nerve, they
won't get any more secrets out of us.

But there is always a
weak link, isn't there?

No, no, no, no, no, no, Caroline!

I won't pander to your
mere inquisitiveness.

Oh, come on, James. Don't be a meanie.

No, Caroline! Poirot said
just those people he named.

Well, I'll just drive
you up there. That's all.

Hercule won't mind. I
don't have to come in.

Well! I don't see why we have
to be at his beck and call.

Ah, Chief Inspector. You are so
kind. Please to place it here.

No, no, no, no.

Voila. Observe.

Ah, come in, please. All of you.
It is so good of you to come.

Please, entrez, entrez.
Make yourselves comfortable.

Monsieur Raymond, if
you please, to remain.

- Oh. Me, too?
- Oui.

What's the great idea?
Some scientific machine?

Do we have electrodes on our
knees to register guilty knocking?

No, Monsieur Raymond. I am old-fashioned.
I work only with my little grey cells.

Please to sit.

Ah, my dear, good Dr James.
Welcome to you. Please, do sit.

- You know, of course, Chief Inspector Japp.
- Good evening.

Bon. So

now let us begin.

But first, I have an
announcement to make.

This young lady,

Mademoiselle Ursula Bourne,

is in reality Madame Ralph Paton.

Oh, yes. She married
Ralph Paton last March.

Ralph? Married?

- How could he be?
- Oh, shut up, Mother!

You and Ralph kept
your secret very well.

I'm very glad for you.

Well, that's very kind.

Ralph behaved so badly,
especially to you.

He was in a corner and
took the only way out.

I'd have probably done the
same myself, in his place.

Each person here had both the motive and
opportunity to kill Monsieur Roger Ackroyd

and, because he knew too
much, Monsieur Parker.

Madame Ralph Paton might well have
hoped to clarify her own situation

if the uncle of Mademoiselle Flora did not
exert pressure on her to marry Ralph Paton.

Monsieur Raymond resented the
unwillingness of Monsieur Roger Ackroyd

to grant him more
authority in the factory.

And, of course, Madame
Ackroyd and Mademoiselle Flora

both hoped to profit from
the will of Monsieur Ackroyd.

I don't like this.

I'd much prefer to go home.

You cannot, madame, until you
have heard what Poirot has to say.

Please to sit.

Merci, madame.

The problem has always been one of time.

We know that Monsieur Roger
Ackroyd was alive at half past nine,

because that was when Monsieur
Raymond overheard him talking.

But with whom was he talking?

Certainly, it was not
Monsieur Ralph Paton,

whom we know was at the time in
the summer house with his wife.

So, with whom?

From the very beginning of this case,
I have been troubled by one thing

the nature of those words
spoken by Monsieur Roger Ackroyd,

overheard by Monsieur Raymond.

"The calls on my purse have
been so frequent of late

that it is impossible for me
to accede to your request."

Eh bien. Does nothing
odd strike you about that?

It sounds more as if
he's dictating a letter.


A Dictaphone. Is that what you think?

But it doesn't change anything.

Mr Ackroyd was alive at 9.30,

since he was speaking
into his Dictaphone.

But always we come back
to Monsieur Ralph Paton.

As I have said,

we know that he was in the
summer house with Madame Paton.

But then suddenly, pouf! He disappears.

Where? He has fled the country, perhaps?

Or perhaps he has become the
third victim of our murderer.


Or perhaps someone is helping him
to conceal himself from the police.

But who and where?

A hotel? Non.

Far too public.

A boarding house? No, no. The same.

I have it.

The private nursing home.

Chief Inspector Japp made enquiries

and discovered that there were
in the area two nursing homes.

And at one of them, there had been
admitted early on Saturday morning a certain

Mr Smith.

But Ralph would never run away!

We can ask Mr Smith himself.

Oh, Ralph!

But I ask myself,

I wonder who it is who gave
authority to the nursing home

for the admission of
Monsieur Ralph Paton?

All right, Poirot.

Mea culpa.

As soon as I heard that Ralph
was back in Kings Abbott,

and staying at the White Hart,
I knew something must be wrong.

I went to see him that afternoon.

Eventually, he told me about his
marriage and the hole he was in.

There didn't seem to be anything
I could do to help at the time,

but that night, when the
murder was discovered,

I knew that suspicion would fall on him.

Or, if not on him, on the girl he loved.

And the thought of his possibly having to
give evidence that might incriminate his wife

My dear James, have I
not told to you 36 times,

it is impossible to conceal
anything from Hercule Poirot?

I know precisely who murdered Monsieur
Roger Ackroyd and Monsieur Parker

and how it was done.

And this

tells to me all.

What is it?

It is a wireless message from a steamer

on her way to the United States.

And tomorrow, the good
Chief Inspector Japp

will make his arrest.

What a ridiculous exercise!

I have never seen anything more
pointless in my entire life!

That wretched little man! Really!

Now, look here, Poirot.

If you really know who
committed this murder...

Both of the murders, Chief Inspector.

Yes, I do.

- Well, who is it?
- Can you tell us?

Poirot shall not make
things easy for you.

You, Chief Inspector, with your career
of detection both long and distinguished,

you have your theories, I
know. And you, my dear James,

you have been involved in the case
from the beginning, n'est-ce pas?

You know intimately all
of the people involved,

as only the good country doctor can.

But, before I reveal my secret,

you must both expound
your theories to me.

And let us commence with you, James.

Me? Oh, no.

I can't show myself up in
front of the professionals.

I got so fed up with waiting in the car.
Are you going to be much longer, James?

- No, no. Maybe I ought to call it a day.
- No, my dear James.

Madame, your brother was just going to
tell us his theories about the murderer.

Please to come and sit.


Yes, of course.

Merci. So, James, tell us, what sort
of man or woman are we looking for?

Woman? I hardly think
it could be a woman.

And this man, was he also,
do you think, the blackmailer?

Oh, I think he probably had some sort of
financial arrangement with Mrs Ferrars, yes.

Somehow, certainly, he became aware of
the true cause of Ashley Ferrars' death.

He could even be a detective.

But perhaps, as a doctor, you would have
been also situated most ideally, n'est-ce pas?

Oh, ideally.

But the important moment in this case

is not the murder of Ashley Ferrars,

but the suicide of his widow.

Her motives remain unclear,
but, for whatever reason,

she decided to end her life.

Now, this must have placed our
murderer in something of a quandary.

He knew about her rather distasteful
affair with Roger Ackroyd.

His difficulty was in knowing
whether, before she died,

she had confided in him
the identity of the man

with whom she had the
financial arrangement.

The blackmailer.

This was hardly some common
blackmailer, Chief Inspector.

He probably saw Roger Ackroyd
somewhere about this time

and something in Ackroyd's
manner made him wonder.

And, in that moment,

he decided he could not take a chance.

He was certainly capable of
constructing some sort of device

to turn a Dictaphone on and
off at any time he chose.

I don't imagine he'd left the choice of
weapon as much to chance as it would appear.

I believe he had a
weapon with him already

when it occurred to him that the dagger,

which was actually on display
at the scene of the crime,

would cast the net of
suspicion even wider.

He was all ready to perform the killing,

when he had confirmation
of his deepest fear.

The evening post, sir.

Mrs Ferrars had indeed
confided in Ackroyd,

but not in person
- she had written him a letter.

And Ackroyd opened that letter in
his presence and started to read it.

"My dear, my very dear Roger,

I would not tell you
the name this afternoon

but I propose to write it to you now."

I'm sorry, but I I must
read this on my own.

At least tell me the name of the man.

- No, no. I must read it on my own.
- Very well.

And in that letter, Madame Ferrars
had named the blackmailer, had she not?

I've been reading this book
I found in the car, James.

It wasn't blackmail!

Don't say any more, James.

Oh, come now, James. The man
had bled Madame Ferrars white!

Dorothy Ferrars was an
adulterous, murdering bitch!

She lorded it over us.

All the money she had
- she never worked for it. Nor did her drunk of a husband before her.

- They were idle, useless parasites.
- Stop it, James.


They didn't know what it was
like scrimping and saving,

year after year, never
able to afford a holiday,

on call day and night to every idiot
with a bilious attack for miles around.

You've no right to
stand in judgment on me.

Blackmail, you call it? Blackmail?

The law wouldn't punish
her, would they? So I did.

Well there you are.

I've done your work for you.

Sorry, Caro.

Killing Ackroyd was easy.

The knife was sharp and I
knew just where to strike.

And for the rest, I simply
had to follow my plan.

The first thing to do was make sure
everyone remembered me leaving the house.

- I'll just go and say good night to the ladies.
- Yes, sir.

I drove away, but parked the
car a little way down the drive.

Then I had to make it look as if Ralph
Paton had entered through the window.

He was a pathetic, profligate fellow.

I knew Ackroyd had bought a
Dictaphone and had been using it.

Now I was going to use it, to arrange
for Ackroyd to speak from the grave.

And then, the business of the
chair, which so intrigued you all.

I'd left Ralph Paton's muddy shoe
outside when I entered through the window.

Now, as I made my escape,

I was able to use it to
make a footprint on the sill.

And then, of course, the
Dictaphone did its work.

"I'm greatly impressed by your
persistence and determination,

however, I regret to say that the calls
on my purse have been so frequent of late"

Which convinces us that Monsieur
Roger Ackroyd was alive at 9.30,

by which time you were
safely back at home awaiting

Hello, Dr Sheppard.

The telephone call.

From the patient whom you
had persuaded to take part

in what you had told
him was a practical joke.

Yes. You did well there, Poirot.

I was quite surprised

when you showed us your
telegram from the ocean liner.

Well done.

Thank you.

I needed the excuse of his phone call

to ensure that I was the first on the
scene when the murder was discovered.

- Police, sir?
- What's the matter with you, Parker?

- Your master has been murdered.
- Murdered, sir?

No. The fewer people disturb
this room, the better.

I'd carefully calculated
the position of the chair

so that the Dictaphone would be hidden
from anyone standing in the doorway.

Ring the police station, Parker.

When I'd sent Parker to
telephone for the police,

I had ample time to
remove my contrivance

and put the chair back
in its accustomed place.

Finally, I had to tell Ralph
Paton of his uncle's murder,

persuade him that he was in danger

and get him to accompany
me to the nursing home.

Why did you kill Parker?

Parker was too observant.

He remembered bringing
five letters, not four,

and that one of them was
handwritten on dark-blue paper.

He knew he hadn't moved the chair.

How long would it be
before he realised I had?

No. I couldn't take that chance.

James, your journal.

James Sheppard, I am arresting you
for the murder of Roger Ackroyd.

Of course you are, Chief Inspector.

James, no. This is foolish!

Don't move, either of you.

Are you all right, Chief Inspector?


Come on, Poirot.


That's three.

Get back, Poirot!

James, no!

Don't make me, then!

Plenty of time for heroics
when he runs out of ammo.

That's five. One more to go.



For the sake of the
sister of Dr Sheppard,

the true stories of these murders
must, for the moment, remain a secret.

A last favour, if you will, to a
man I once looked on as a friend.

I thought I could escape the wickedness
of the city, by moving to the country.

The fields that are green,
the singing of the birds,

the faces, smiling and friendly.


The fields that are green

are the secret burial places of
the victims of murders most hideous.

The birds sing only briefly before
some idiot in tweeds shoots them.

And the faces all smiling and friendly

what do they conceal?

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