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As of today we have 78,, eBooks for you to download for free. Agatha Christie - Death On The Nile PART ONE CHAPTER 1 Linnet Ridgeway! ". Download complete works of Agatha Christie in pdf books format free. 2 Agatha Christie On this particular July morning, as I stood by the rail and I had prospered there, and my wife and I had both enjoyed^the free and easy life of.
Her father died when she was eleven years old. Her mother taught her at home, encouraging her to write at a very young age. At the age of 16, she went to Mrs. Dryden's finishing school in Paris to study singing and piano. While he went away to war, she worked as a nurse and wrote her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles , which wasn't published until four years later. When her husband came back from the war, they had a daughter. In she divorced her husband, who had been having an affair.
Claudia, where is that girl? Why didn't she come back on Monday? Where has she gone? That's where she went for the weekend. I rang up, actually, to find out. All the same, she is -- well, there's something queer about her. She's not normal, you know.
You know she isn't, Claudia, although you won't admit it. Loyalty to your employer, I suppose. That is, if you can describe as a main street a street that is to all intents and purposes the only street, which was the case in Long Basing. It was one of those villages that exhibit a tendency to length without breadth. It had an impressive church with a tall tower and a yew tree of elderly dignity in its churchyard.
It had its full quota of village shops disclosing much variety. It had two antique shops, one mostly consisting of stripped pine chimney pieces, the other disclosing a full house of piled up ancient maps, a good deal of porcelain, most of it chipped, some worm-eaten old oak chests, shelves of glass, some Victorian silver, all somewhat hampered in display by lack of space.
There were two cafes, both rather nasty, there was a basket shop, quite delightful, with a large variety of home-made wares, there was a post office-cum-greengrocer, there was a draper's which dealt largely in millinery and also a shoe department for children and a large miscellaneous selection of haberdashery of all kinds.
There was a stationery and newspaper shop which also dealt in tobacco and sweets. There was a wool shop which was clearly the aristocrat of the place. Two white-haired severe women were in charge of shelves and shelves of knitting materials of every description. Also large quantities of dressmaking patterns and knitting patterns and which branched off into a counter for art needle-work.
What had lately been the local grocers' had now blossomed into calling itself "a supermarket" complete with stacks of wire baskets and packaged materials of every cereal and cleaning material, all in dazzling paper boxes. And there was a small establishment with one small window with Lillah written across it in fancy letters, a fashion display of one French blouse, labelled "Latest chic", and a navy skirt and a purple striped jumper labelled "separates".
These were displayed by being flung down as by a careless hand in the window. All of this Poirot observed with detached interest. Also contained within the limits of the village and facing on the street were several small houses, old-fashioned in style, sometimes retaining Georgian purity, more often showing some signs of Victorian improvement, as a veranda, bow window, or a small conservatory.
One or two houses had had a complete face lift and showed signs of claiming to be new and proud of it. There were also some delightful and decrepit old-world cottages, some pretending to be a hundred or so years older than they were, others completely genuine, any added comforts of plumbing or such, being carefully hidden from any casual glance. Poirot walked gently along digesting all that he saw.
If his impatient friend, Mrs. Oliver had been with him, she would have immediately demanded why he was wasting time, as the house to which he was bound was a quarter of a mile beyond the village limits.
Poirot would have told her that he was absorbing the local atmosphere; that these things were sometimes important. At the end of the village there came an abrupt transition. On one side, set back from the road, was a row of newly built council houses, a strip of green in front of them and a gay note set by each house having been given a different coloured front door.
Beyond the council houses the sway of fields and hedges resumed its course interspersed now and then by the occasional "desirable residences" of a house agent's list, with their own trees and gardens and a general air of reserve and of keeping themselves to themselves. Ahead of him farther down the road Poirot descried a house, the top story of which displayed an unusual note of bulbous construction.
Something had evidently been tacked on up there not so many years ago. This no doubt was the Mecca towards which his feet were bent. He arrived at a gate to which the nameplate Crosshedges was attached.
He surveyed the house. It was a conventional house dating perhaps to the beginning of the century. It was neither beautiful nor ugly. Commonplace was perhaps the word to describe it. The garden was more attractive than the house and had obviously been the subject of a great deal of care and attention in its time, though it had been allowed to fall into disarray.
It still had smooth green lawns, plenty of flower beds, carefully planted areas of shrubs to display a certain landscape effect. It was all in good order. A gardener was certainly employed in this garden, Poirot reflected. A personal interest was perhaps also taken, since he noted in a corner near the house a woman bending over one of the flower beds, tying up dahlias, he thought. Her head showed as a bright circle of pure gold colour.
She was tall, slim but squareshouldered. He unlatched the gate, passed through and walked up towards the house.
The woman turned her head and then straightened herself, turning towards him enquiringly. She remained standing, waiting for him to speak, some garden twine hanging from her left hand. She looked, he noted, puzzled. Poirot, very foreign, took off his hat with a flourish and bowed.
Her eyes rested on his moustaches with a kind of fascination. I -- " "I hope that I do not derange you, Madame. Are you — " I have permitted myself to pay a visit on you. A friend of mine, Mrs. Ariadne Oliver — " "Oh, of course.
I know who you must be. Monsieur Poiret. I was passing through this neighbourhood and I ventured to call upon you here in the hope that I might be allowed to pay my respects to Sir Roderick Horsefield.
Naomi Lorrimer told us you might turnup. Ariadne Oliver was here last weekend. She came over with the Lorrimers. Her books are most amusing, aren't they? But perhaps you don't find detective stories amusing. You are a detective yourself, aren't you — a real one? He noticed that she repressed a smile. He studied her more closely. She was handsome in a rather artificial fashion. Her golden hair was stiffly arranged.
He wondered whether she might not at heart be secretly unsure of herself, whether she were not carefully playing the part of the English lady absorbed in her garden.
He wondered a little what her social background might have been. You have for a garden a special talent in England. It means something to you that it does not to us. I am Belgian. I believe that Mrs. Oliver mentioned that you were once with the Belgian Police Force? Me, I am an old Belgian police dog. I sit at your feet! The Latin races, they like the formal garden, the gardens of the chateau of Versailles in miniature, and also of course they invented the potager.
Very important, the potager. Here in England you have the potager, but you got it from France and you do not love your potager as much as you love your flowers. That is so? You came to see my uncle.
Always I pay homage to beauty when I meet it. She laughed with slight embarrassment. He's very deaf, I'm afraid.
He will probably have forgotten. It was a matter of espionage and of scientific developments of a certain invention. We owed that invention to the ingenuity of Sir Roderick. He will be willing, I hope, to receive me. I have to be so much in London -- we are looking for a suitable house there. Poirot, come now, you mustn't pretend you're old. He sighed. It's probably the sort of thing that our daughter would do," she added. At least, she is my stepdaughter.
She's in London. She works there. Restarick vaguely. I was brought up in South Africa. I only came here with my husband a short time ago-- It's all -- rather strange to me still. It was a handsomely furnished room of a conventional type -- without personality. Two large portraits hung on the walls -- the only personal touch. The first was that of a thin lipped woman in a grey velvet evening dress.
Facing her on the opposite wall was a man of about thirtyodd with an air of repressed energy about him. She doesn't like it here. Oh well, I suppose it often happens.
I suppose it's hard for girls to accept a stepmother. She's a difficult girl. I suppose most girls are.
It is not as it used to be in the old good-fashioned days. However, I suppose it is no good complaining. People must make their own experiments. But I must take you up to Uncle Roddy — he has his own rooms upstairs. Poirot looked back over his shoulder. A dull room, a room without character — except perhaps for the two portraits.
By the style of the woman's dress, Poirot judged that they dated from some years back. If that was the first Mrs. Restarick, Poirot did not think that he would have liked her.
He said, "Those are fine portraits, Madame. Lansberger did them. His meticulous naturalism had now gone out of fashion, and since his death, he was little spoken of. His sitters were sometimes sneeringly spoken of as "clothes props", but Poirot thought they were a good deal more than that.
He suspected that there was a carefully concealed mockery behind the smooth exteriors that Lansberger executed so effortlessly. Mary Restarick said as she went up the stairs ahead of him, "They have just come out of storage -- and been cleaned up and -- " She stopped abruptly -- coming to a dead halt, one hand on the stair-rail. Above her, a figure had just turned the corner of the staircase on its way down.
It was a figure that seemed strangely incongruous. It might have been someone in fancy dress, someone who certainly did not match with this house. He was a figure familiar enough to Poirot in different conditions, a figure often met in the streets of London or even at parties.
A representative of the youth of today. He wore a black coat, an elaborate velvet waistcoat, skin tight pants, and rich curls of chestnut hair hung down on his neck. He looked exotic and rather beautiful, and it needed a few moments to be certain of his sex.
You — have you come down here with Norma? I hoped to find her here. At any rate, she's not at 67 Borodene Mansions. I came down to see what she was up to. What are you doing roaming about the house? Surely it's natural to walk into a house in broad daylight. Why ever not? Well, my dear, if I'm not going to have a welcome and you don't seem to know where your stepdaughter is, I suppose I'd better be moving along.
Shall I turn out my pockets before I go? I simply can't stand him. Why is England absolutely full of these people nowadays? It is all a question of fashion. There have always been fashions. You see less in the country, but in London you meet plenty of them. Effeminate, exotic. In a gold frame, wearing a lace collar, you would not then say he was effeminate or exotic. Andrew would have been furious. It worries him dreadfully. Daughters can be very worrying. It's not even as though Andrew knew Norma well.
He's been abroad since she was a child. He left her entirely to her mother to bring up, and now he finds her a complete puzzle. So do I for that matter. I can't help feeling that she is a very odd type of girl. One has no kind of authority over them these days. They seem to like the worst type of young men.
She's absolutely infatuated with this David Baker. One can't do anything. Andrew forbade him the house, and look, he turns up here, walks in as cool as a cucumber.
I think — I almost think I'd better not tell Andrew. I don't want him to be unduly worried. I believe she goes about with this creature in London, and not only with him. There are some much worse ones even. The kind that don't wash, completely unshaven faces and funny sprouting beards and greasy clothes. The indiscretions of youth pass. Norma is a very difficult girl. Sometimes I think she's not right in the head. She's so peculiar. She really looks sometimes as though she isn't all there.
These extraordinary dislikes she takes — " "Dislikes? Really hates me. I don't see why it's necessary. I suppose she was very devoted to her mother, but after all it's only reasonable that her father should marry again, isn't it? I've had ample proof of it. I can't say how relieved I was when she went off to London. I didn't want to make trouble -- " She stopped suddenly. It was as though for the first time she realised that she was talking to a stranger. Poirot had the capacity to attract confidences.
It was as though when people were talking to him they hardly realised who it was they were talking to. She gave a short laugh now. I expect every family has these problems. Poor stepmothers, we have a hard time of it. Ah, here we are. Uncle," said Mary Restarick, as she walked into the room, Poirot behind her. A broad-shouldered, square-faced, redcheeked irascible looking elderly man had been pacing the floor. He stumped forward towards them. At the table behind him a girl was sitting sorting letters and papers.
Her head was bent over them, a sleek, dark head. Poirot stepped forward gracefully into action and speech. We have to go back, so far as the last war. It was, I think, in Normandy the last time. What decisions we had to take! And what difficulties we had with security.
Ah, nowadays, there is no longer the need for secrecy. I recall the unmasking of that secret agent who succeeded for so long — you remember Captain Henderson. Captain Henderson indeed. Lord, that damned swine! M "Yes, yes, of course I remember you. Ah, it was a close shave that, a close shave. You were the French representative, weren't you? There were one or two of them, one I couldn't get on with — can't remember his name. Ah well, sit down, sit down. Nothing like having a chat over old days.
Monsieur Giraud. Ah, those were the days, those were the days indeed. She moved a chair politely towards Poirot. Makes a great difference to me. Helps me, you know, files all my work. Don't know how I ever got on without her. The girl murmured something in rejoinder. She was a small creature with black bobbed hair. She looked shy. Her dark blue eyes were usually modestly cast down, but she smiled up sweetly and shyly at her employer. He patted her on the shoulder.
I don't really. I cannot type very fast. You're my memory, too. My eyes and my ears and a great many other things. I don't know if they were exaggerated or not. Now, for instance, the day that someone stole your car and — " he proceeded to follow up the tale. Sir Roderick was delighted. Yes, indeed, well, bit of exaggeration, I expect.
But on the whole, that's how it was. Yes, yes, well, fancy your remembering that, after all this long time. But I could tell you a better one than that now. Poirot listened, applauded.
Finally he glanced at his watch and rose to his feet. It was just that being in this neighbourhood I could not help paying my respects.
Years pass, but you, I see, have lost none of your vigour, of your enjoyment of life. Anyway, you mustn't pay me too many compliments — but surely you'll stay and have tea. I'm sure Mary will give you some tea. Nice girl. I expect she has been a great comfort to you for many years. She's my nephew's second wife. I'll be frank with you. I've never cared very much for this nephew of mine, Andrew — not a steady chap.
Always restless. His elder brother Simon was my favourite. Not that I knew him well, either. As for Andrew, he behaved very badly to his first wife. Went off, you know. Left her high and dry. Went off with a thoroughly bad lot.
Everybody knew about her. But he was infatuated with her. The whole thing broke up in a year or two: silly fellow. This girl he's married seems all right. Nothing wrong with her as far as I know. Now Simon was a steady chap — damned dull, though.
I can't say I liked it when my sister married into that family. Marrying into trade, you know. Rich, of course, but money isn't everything -- we've usually married into the Services.
I never saw much of the Restarick lot. A friend of mine met her last week. Silly girl. Goes about in dreadful clothes and has picked up with a dreadful young man. Ah well, they're all alike nowadays. Long-haired young fellows, beatniks, Beatles, all sorts of names they've got. I can't keep up with them. Practically talk a foreign language. Still, nobody cares to hear an old man's criticisms, so there we are.
Even Mary -- I always thought she was a good, sensible sort, but as far as I can see she can be thoroughly hysterical in some ways -- mainly about her health. Some fuss about going to hospital for observation or something. What about a drink? Sure you won't stop and have a drop of tea? Nice to remember some of the things that happened in the old days.
Sonia, dear, perhaps you'll take Monsieur — sorry, what's your name, it's gone again — ah, yes, Poirot. Take him down to Mary, will you? I am quite all right. Quite all right. I can find my way perfectly. It has been a great pleasure to meet you again. Of course, I have to make a good shot at it.
One learns to get away with that, you know. Same thing at parties. Up comes a chap and says, 'Perhaps you don't remember me. It's a handicap being nearly blind and deaf. We got pally with a lot of frogs like that towards the end of the war. Don't remember half of them. Oh, he'd been there all right. He knew me and I knew a good many of the chaps he talked about. That story about me and the stolen car, that was true enough. Exaggerated a bit, of course, they made a pretty good story of it at the time.
Ah well, I don't think he knew I didn't remember him. Clever chap, I should say, but a thorough frog, isn't he? You know, mincing and dancing and bowing and scraping. Now then, where were we?
She tentatively proffered a pair of spectacles which he immediately rejected. Then he capitulated and thrust it back into her hands. His head was a little on one side with a listening air.
He could hear nothing from downstairs. He crossed to the landing window and looked out. Mary Restarick was below on the terrace, resuming her gardening work. Poirot nodded his head in satisfaction. He walked gently along the corridor.
One by one in turn he opened the doors. A bathroom, a linen cupboard, a double bedded spare room, an occupied single bedroom, a woman's room, with a double bed Mary Restarick's? The next door was that of an adjoining room and was, he guessed, the room belonging to Andrew Restarick. He turned to the other side of the landing. The door he opened first was a single bedroom.
It was not, he judged, occupied at the time, but it was a room which possibly was occupied at weekends. There were toilet brushes on the dressingtable. He listened carefully, then tiptoed in. He opened the wardrobe. Yes, there were some clothes hanging up there. Country clothes. There was a writing table but there was nothing on it. He opened the desk drawers very softly.
There were a few odds and ends, a letter or two, but the letters were trivial and dated some time ago. He shut the desk drawers. He walked downstairs, and going out of the house, bade farewell to his hostess. He refused her offer of tea. He had promised to get back, he said as he had to catch a train to town very shortly afterwards.
We could order you one, or I could drive you in the car. He crossed a little bridge over a stream. Presently he came to where a large car with a chauffeur was waiting discreetly under a beech tree. The chauffeur opened the door of the car, Poirot got inside, sat down and removed his patent leather shoes, uttering a gasp of relief. The chauffeur closed the door, returned to his seat and the car purred quietly away.
The sight of a young man standing by the roadside furiously thumbing a ride was not an unusual one. Poirot's eyes rested almost indifferently on this member of the fraternity, a brightly dressed young man with long and exotic hair. There were many such but in the moment of passing him Poirot suddenly sat upright and addressed the driver. Yes, and if you can reverse a little There is someone requesting a lift.
It was the last remark he would have expected. However, Poirot was gently nodding his head, so he obeyed. The young man called David advanced to the door. Not really. I'm just one of a band of brothers. Very dressy. I've never thought of it like that. Yes, there may be something in what you say. Restarick dislikes the mere sight of me. Actually I reciprocate her dislike.
I don't care much for Restarick, either. There is something singularly unattractive about successful tycoons, don't you think? You have been paying attentions to the daughter, I understand. I suppose it might be called that. But there's plenty of fifty-fifty about it, you know. She's paying attention to me, too. Normals in London. Can't remember the name of it for the moment. Susan Phelps, I think. You have her address? I don't really understand your interest.
Brought you secretly into the house and up the stairs.
I don't want to be rude -- but aren't you being rather nosy? I would like to know exactly where this young lady is. Dear Andrew and dear Mary lord rot 'em — are employing you, is that it? They are trying to find her? He leant back. I hoped you'd stop and give me a bit of dope. She's my girl. You know that, I suppose?
Is that not so, Mr. Baker, you have had a quarrel. Why should you think we had? There is an early bus you can take. Gets you to London a little after ten. It would make her a bit late at work, but not too much. Usually she goes back on Sunday night. So Claudia says. They don't keep tabs on each other all the time, these girls. They're fed up at the shop, I can tell you. Naturally — I mean, well, I'm damned if I know. I don't see any reason I should be worried, only time's getting on.
What is it today — Thursday? We don't quarrel. She does not like her stepmother. She's a bitch, that woman. Hard as nails. She doesn't like Norma either. She had to go to hospital. I am talking about Mrs. No reason she should. Strong as a horse, I'd say. You know, goes off the deep end. I tell you, girls always hate their stepmothers.
Ill enough to go to hospital? Are you suggesting that Norma -- that she'd dream of -- that -- " "People talk," said Poirot. That's ridiculous. It's absolutely absurd. I misunderstood. But-- what did you mean? Most unlikely I should say. Yes, it does not seem to me very likely. You are a detective, aren't you? You must forgive me if I cannot answer your question. It is all very hush-hush, you understand. He's practically ga-ga, isn't he?
I do not mean that he takes an active part in such things nowadays, but he knows a good deal. He was connected with a great many things in the past war. He knew several people. But do you not realise that there are certain things that it might be useful to know? A face or a mannerism, a way of talking, a way of walking, a gesture.
People do remember, you know. Old people. They remember, not things that have happened last week or last month or last year, but they remember something that happened, say, nearly twenty years ago. And they may remember someone who does not want to be remembered.
And they can tell you certain things about a certain man or a certain woman or something they were mixed up in -- I am speaking very vaguely, you understand. I went to him for information. That old boy? And he gave it to you? Did you want to know what she was doing in the house?
I've wondered once or twice myself. Do you think she took that post there to get a bit of past information out of the old boy? She seems a very devoted and attentive--what shall I call her-- secretary?
Yes, one could find a good many names for her, couldn't one? He's besotted about her. You noticed that? Perhaps you go as far as thinking that she may have made a few enquiries as to where the weed killer was kept? Bah," he added, "the whole thing's ridiculous. All right. Thanks for the lift. I think I'll get out here. This is where you want to be? We are still a good seven miles out of London. Good-bye, M. II Mrs. Oliver prowled round her sittingroom.
She was very restless. An hour ago she had parcelled up a typescript that she had just finished correcting. She was about to send it off to her publisher who was anxiously awaiting it and constantly prodding her about it every three or four days. Oliver, addressing the empty air and conjuring up an imaginary publisher. I think it's lousy! I don't believe you know whether anything I write is good or bad. Anyway, I warned you.
I told you it was frightful. You said "Oh! Oliver vengefully. Oliver, "what am I going to do with myself? Oliver, "I wish I had those tropical birds and things back on the wall instead of these idiotic cherries. I used to feel like something in a tropical wood. A lion or a tiger or a leopard or a cheetah! What could I possibly feel like in a cherry orchard except a bird scarer? I wish it was the right time of year for cherries. I'd like some cherries. I wonder now — " She went to the telephone.
Madam," said the voice of George in answer to her enquiry. Presently another voice spoke. I suppose you went down to look up the Restaricks. Is that it? Did you see Sir Roderick? What did you find out? It is rather astonishing that I have not found out anything.
I don't understand. That, you see, would be interesting. Restarick, by the way, did not know the girl was missing. I met there the young man. The unsatisfactory young man. They like beautiful young men. I don't mean goodlooking young men or smart-looking young men or well dressed or well washed looking young men. I mean they either like young men looking as though they were just going on in a Restoration comedy, or else very dirty young men looking as though they were just going to take some awful tramp's job.
He had gone down there. He was actually in the house. He had taken the trouble to walk in without anyone seeing him. Again why? For what reason?
Was he looking for the girl? Or was he looking for something else? Did you see him there? It is possible that she herself may have asked him to bring her something from that room -- there are a lot of possibilities. There is another girl in that house -- and a pretty one -- He may have come down there to meet her. Yes — many possibilities. Oliver disapprovingly. What could happen to me?
I tell that to you. I, Poirot. GOBY sat in a chair. He was a small shrunken little man, so nondescript as to be practically nonexistent. He looked attentively at the claw foot of an antique table and addressed his remarks to it. He never addressed anybody direct. Poirot," he said. As it is, I've got the main facts -- and a bit of gossip on the side Always useful, that.
I'll begin at Borodene Mansions, shall I? Goby informed the clock on the chimney piece. Expensive, but worth it. Didn't want it thought that there was anyone making any particular enquiries! Shall I use initials, or names? Father an M. Ambitious man. Gets himself in the news a lot. She's his only daughter. She does secretarial work.
Serious girl. No wild parties, no drink, no beatniks. Shares flat with two others. Number two works for the Wedderburn Gallery in Bond Street. Arty type. Whoops it up a bit with the Chelsea set.
Goes around to places arranging exhibitions and art shows. Not been there long. General opinion is that she's a bit 'wanting'.
Not all there in the top story. But it's all a bit vague. One of the porters is a gossipy type. download him a drink or two and you'll be surprised at the things he'll tell you!
In , she married Sir Max Mallowan, an archaeologist and a Catholic. She travelled with her husband's job, and set several of her novels set in the Middle East. Most of her other novels were set in a fictionalized Devon, where she was born.
Agatha Christie is credited with developing the "cozy style" of mystery, which became popular in, and ultimately defined, the Golden Age of fiction in England in the s and '30s, an age of which she is considered to have been Queen. In all, she wrote over 66 novels, numerous short stories and screenplays, and a series of romantic novels using the pen name Mary Westmacott. She was the single most popular mystery writer of all time.
New Feature: You can now embed Open Library books on your website! Learn More. Last edited by Ehrengardian. March 3, History. Website http: Agatha Christie Close. Time 20th century , , s , s , , s , , Elizabeth 2 , , Jerusalem , The Middle Ages , Written by Agatha Christie after coming back from a winter in Egypt.
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