Agatha Christie's Poirot (1989) s03e09 Episode Script

The Affair at the Victory Ball

The Harlequinade.
Ancestor of the English pantomime.
Six characters, garish, grotesque, first brought to life three centuries ago by the clowns and the actors of the Italian fairgrounds.
Today, mere costumed characters at a masked ball.
Where now their mystery, their magic, their comedy their tragedy? Ready for the party, Uncle? Well, where's your mask? It's not midnight yet, you know, Eustace.
Victory Ball? You'd think the Hun would remember 1918 as well as we do.
Ah, well, as Coward says, "What a pity the Hun prefers fighting to fun.
" Oh, what's this? Oh, Uncle Eustace, not more for your collection? Magnificent set, isn't it? Just over from Holland.
And Mira's holding it for me till the end of the month.
I can guess why you're telling me.
Your poor uncle doesn't get 6,000 a year from the Cronshaw Estates, as you do.
-Eustace, please -- -You know I'm cleaned out after the figurines.
This is a night for old triumphs, not for new quarrels.
Cronshaw.
This is the National Programme.
The time is 7:00.
And now we present a play by Desmond Havelock Ellis entitled "Deadly Alibi," starring Coco Courtney as Loretta Lampton.
The late Coco Courtney, as usual.
Where the hell is she? Cue them.
Are you expecting Miss Lampton for dinner tonight, sir? Yes.
She should be arriving in about half an hour.
I believe that clock is gaining, sir.
I'm quite aware of that, thank you.
Will there be any other guests? No.
Very good, sir.
Good evening, Davis.
I'm afraid I'm a little early.
That's quite all right, miss.
Bloody actresses.
It was such a fine night, I -- Hey, is that the time? Approximately.
Of course.
I forgot -- it gains.
Rather fun, really.
You can be early and late at the same time.
Oh, Letty.
I wasn't expecting you till 8:00.
Sorry.
I never realized.
Thank you, Miss Lemon.
I think Captain Hastings was listening to the weather report to see whether you'd need an umbrella.
Oh.
This urgent package just arrived by messenger.
Can I go now? Yes, of course.
Just one moment -- Miss Lemon! Ah.
I was wondering where that had got to.
Apparently, we won't need an umbrella.
Oh, you haven't forgotten, have you? The Victory Ball.
You promised you'd try and make it.
Ackerley was really looking forward to it.
-Ackerley is? -He's with the BBC.
But he's quite a decent chap.
Drives an Alvis.
Well, unfortunately, I have to rearrange my stamps in order of size.
Please convey my apologies to M.
Ackerley.
He'll be very disappointed.
He said that meeting you is the high spot of his career.
Well, that seems reasonable.
It's not much to ask, Cronshaw.
A thousand should do it.
Eustace, not now.
Later.
And there she is -- the belle of the ball.
Cronsh.
Cutting it a bit fine, weren't you, Coco? I like cutting it fine.
Hello, darling.
Coco, you remember my uncle, the Honorable Eustace.
Dishonorable, I heard.
Oh, and this is Chris Davidson, one of Coco's old acting cronies.
Hello.
Come on, Davidson.
We'd better go and rescue your wife.
She's out in the taxi with a friend of Uncle's, the infamous Mrs.
Mallaby.
Well, about time.
I was beginning to suspect Miss Courtney was having a clandestine affair with Henry Hall.
And his orchestra.
Good evening, Coco.
Getting chilly, isn't it? All aboard for the Victory Ball.
They seek him here, they seek him there.
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
What do you think, Poirot? Hastings, you look .
incomparable.
I still don't think they'll let you in.
I thought I made it clear the Victory Ball was a costume do.
Hercule Poirot does not wear costumes.
Everybody does.
The whole idea is to go as someone famous.
Precisely.
Oh.
I see.
-James.
-Arthur.
May I present M.
Hercule Poirot? I'm so delighted to meet you at last.
The Sheikh of Ackerley, I presume.
Well, here we are, then.
We eat supper first, don't we, Cronshaw? -No, not till half past 9:00.
-Oh.
Couldn't they run to a doorman in this place? We're so backward in England, Mrs.
Mallaby.
We still have door handles.
Oh, well, pardon me for living.
Oh! Sloshed already.
Did I hurt you, my dear? I half expected you to shatter like a vase.
-Come along, Coco.
-It's all right.
Are you all right, darling? I was so afraid I wasn't going to make it here on time, thanks to the antics of Coco Courtney.
Oh, speaking of which, isn't that her up there? Oh, Lord Cronshaw's party, yes.
She's talked about nothing but the costumes all through rehearsals.
They're a reproduction of the old Italian comedy.
The what? Ah, yes, the Commedia dell'Arte.
Harlequin, the magical sprite who can become invisible, and his lover, Columbine.
Punchinello and Pulcinella, the grotesques.
And, ah, yes, the tragic Pierrot and Pierrette.
Enchanting.
I thought Lord Cronshaw was a younger man.
What? Punchinello? Oh, no, no.
That's his uncle, the Honorable Eustace Beltaine.
He was the one who bought those rare Meissen figurines there was all that publicity about.
Apparently, they provided the inspiration for the outfits.
That's Cronshaw in the Harlequin suit.
Oh, yes.
I read in the paper he's worth an absolute fortune.
And who is that lighting the cigarette of Mlle.
Courtney? The Pierrot? Chris Davidson.
Quite a versatile actor.
And that's his wife talking to Cronshaw, I assume.
The other lady is the notorious Mrs.
Mallaby.
Ah, yes.
The American widow in search of a new victim, yes? They say she stalks the aristocracy with a net and a group of beaters.
Oh, you're such a bore.
They make a jolly crowd, though, don't they? Yes, indeed.
And now I think it is time for a little crème de banane.
Thank heavens that's over.
Coco and Cronshaw are being simply appalling.
Ah, there's that shyster Van Meer over there.
Eustace, forget it.
He held me for ransom on the figurines, and now he wants to do the same again with that china.
That's the least of our worries this evening.
I'm going to corner the blighter and demand that he reduces the price.
Eustace! I'm sorry.
When Eustace wants something for his collection, he does rather I want to put an end to this right now! For God's sake, shut up.
Coco, where do you think you're going? I told you, I've had enough.
Chris, get me a taxi, would you? I've got a splitting headache.
Coco.
It's all been decided, Cronsh.
Chris is taking me home.
The hell he is.
You're staying right here! I am not prepared to have an argument about it.
Look, why don't we all just sit down for a moment and cool off? Cool off? He's already as cold as an iceberg, with me as the Titanic.
What the hell do you think you're laughing at? I'm sorry.
Coco, people are looking.
Come along.
Cronshaw, let's go back inside.
And yet I feel I took the podium in Josephine.
M.
Ackerley, do I understand that you produced a play on the radio this evening following the weather forecast? Yes.
Tell me -- is not Mlle.
Courtney slightly older than is usual for the part of the ingenue? A little, perhaps, but, then, that's the joy of radio.
The visual appearance is all in the mind.
It's amazing what we get away with sometimes.
Good night.
What's all that about? It would appear that Mlle.
Courtney and her boyfriend, Lord Cronshaw, have had a disagreement of some kind.
Just now I heard her ask M.
Davidson to escort her home.
Well, that's a shame.
She'll miss all the fun.
Well, I wondered how long it'd be before something like that happened.
You are not surprised? I know actors, M.
Poirot.
They never know when to stop.
Well, she has had her moment of drama for this evening.
Let us hope it will be sufficient.
He's arrogant, conceited.
What's all this about, Coco? What exactly did Cronshaw say to you earlier? Chris, not now.
Has our taxi arrived yet? -Your cab is waiting, sir.
-Careful.
Chris? We need to have this out here and now.
Look, you're not a poor man.
Surely you can do me this one favor.
You know I'm desperate.
Thanks for everything, Chris.
I think I can handle it from here.
It's time Cronsh realized I'm not one of his prize racehorses.
Coco, are you sure you'll manage? I'm sure.
I'd get back there if I were you.
That wife of yours may look like a startled poodle, but she's no fool.
I'll never make it back before midnight.
Well, then, you'd better go home and wait for her.
Good night, Coco.
Sleep tight.
I always do.
Have a nice evening, Miss Courtney? -Oh! -So sorry.
Oh, thank you.
M.
Ackerley, I thank you.
You are very kind.
My pleasure.
Santé.
Cheers.
Are you sure I can't persuade you to recount some of your juicier cases on the radio? Alas, no.
You see, murder -- a real murder -- is not an entertainment.
Look at this place -- people dance, they laugh.
But anywhere, there may be evil beneath the mask.
Pardon me.
I saw you across the room.
Aren't you Hercule Poirot, the detective? I am indeed, Madame Mallaby.
Ah! That's amazing.
You worked out my name.
I suppose you don't also know where Lord Cronshaw is.
He's a Harlequin.
He's been in a tizzy ever since supper.
Alas, no.
Oh.
He promised me a turn on the floor before 12:00.
Then, madame, you must not be disappointed.
My associate, Captain Hastings, is a dancer consummate.
He would be pleased to accompany you.
My pleasure.
Ah, look, there he is.
Yoo-hoo! Viscount Cronshaw! Would you excuse me for a moment? Of course.
Been stood up, Arthur? No title, I'm afraid.
My lords, ladies and gentlemen, the time for the unmasking and the victory celebrations is at hand.
Twelve seconds to midnight.
Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one.
Thank you.
Darling, what is it? What's happened? Lord Cronshaw's dead.
Inspector Japp, any comment to make? Is it true Hercule Poirot missed the killer? Tell us the truth, Inspector.
Here's a fine dish of tea, Poirot.
Peer of the Realm murdered in cold blood under the noses of 400 revelers.
We'll need the Albert Hall to gather the suspects on this one.
Perhaps.
It is one of the table knives.
Plenty back here.
We'll check for prints, but I'll lay odds it's clean.
An instrument not very practical, but in the right hands Ah, we also found this on the floor.
The Mallaby woman saw him make some sort of note just before he died.
Lowestoft.
Town on the east coast.
Perhaps he was planning a holiday.
I say, Poirot, look at this.
Attention, mon ami.
Monogrammed.
"C" for Cronshaw.
Very nice.
Idiot! What is it? Such foolishness! Young people must realize that life is not to be gambled with like the roulette wheel.
It is nothing less than poison.
Cocaine.
Would that account for his strange behavior after supper? It's not unusual for addicts to become moody and troublesome.
He certainly seems to have put up a fight.
Why do you say that, Hastings? Hadn't you noticed? His fist.
It's still clenched.
C'est ça.
Well, I can't see how that helps us.
Can you not, Chief Inspector? Then let me enlighten you further.
Unless I am very mistaken, there is something very important behind this curtain.
Voilà.
Well, it's just an empty recess.
My point exactly.
One more thing, Chief Inspector.
If I were you, I should find Mlle.
Coco Courtney.
-Why? -Ask her if she and Lord Cronshaw had an argument.
"Murderer eludes famous detective.
" Idiot.
It's a very good photo of Captain Hastings.
Indeed it is, Miss Lemon.
I'm sure no one will think less of you.
Seen the paper, Poirot? Jolly good photo of me -- Oh, you've seen it.
I'll go and sort the letters.
I wouldn't take it to heart if I were you.
No, indeed, Hastings.
For the present, it suits my purposes.
Ah.
This is what interests me.
The obituary? Listen to this.
"The Viscount Cronshaw was chairman of many charities, including the Widows of British Seamen and the League Against Drug Addiction.
" "He is succeeded in his title and estates by his uncle, the Honorable Eustace Beltaine.
" The League Against Drug Addiction.
That's a bit hypocritical, isn't it? You miss my point, I think, Hastings.
Mr.
Poirot.
Chief Inspector Japp.
Oh.
Hello? Ah, Poirot.
We're drawing a blank at this end, I'm afraid.
Miss Courtney doesn't answer her phone, and there's no reply at her door, either.
I implore you to be persistent, Chief Inspector Japp.
I am now even more convinced that Mlle.
Courtney must be located with all possible speed.
Right.
Mlle.
Courtney is proving elusive.
Probably sleeping the night off.
All of these theatrical types lie in late if they haven't a performance.
But she does have a performance.
They usually perform the Friday evening play again on Saturday morning.
My mother listens to it during her morning coffee.
I do love him in a way, I suppose, but it was never quite how I imagined it was going to be.
I suppose it never is.
But I'm staring at the clock -- why? Come, Hastings.
We will make a trip to Broadcasting House.
Letty, what do you mean? I mean "Hercules Poy-rot.
" I'm afraid the variety auditions are on Tuesdays.
That is fortunate.
I am here on a matter of murder, madame.
You're the detective from the newspapers.
Correct.
Don't suppose you want to miss a second one.
You were never where you said you were that night, but here all the time.
I was such an idiot.
I never guessed it was the money you wanted.
Is that what you thought? Luckily we took a recorded transcription of last night's performance for the archives.
We would have had to ask one of the girls to double up parts.
Did Mlle.
Courtney send to you a message this morning to explain her absence? Not a sausage.
Three minutes to transmission, she still wasn't answering her phone, so I had no choice but to use the transcription and dismiss the other actors.
Hastings, I'm very much afraid of what has happened.
Would you please telephone the Chief Inspector Japp? Instruct him that he must enter the apartment of Mlle.
Courtney by any means necessary.
-Well, of course, but what -- -Hastings, please.
This is a matter of life and death.
Very clever, Letty, but I suppose you realize that I can't let you spill the beans.
Is there anything I can do to help? Phillip, you can't! Fourth floor, lads.
Right, the apartment above.
Get down on the balcony.
Fast! And don't break your necks! Nothing yet? You and Mlle.
Courtney are old friends, huh? After a fashion.
She likes having people she knows around her playing minor roles.
Coco and I go back a long way.
She was playing the lead in Rep when I landed my first part.
So you see a great deal of each other.
Look here, Poirot.
I'm a married man, remember? I'm sorry, M.
Davidson.
Forgive me, but I was just trying to ascertain whether you could shed any light on the argument last evening between Mlle.
Courtney and the Lord Cronshaw.
Not really.
There was a bad atmosphere all evening.
It was as if something was brewing.
We all noticed it.
But they conversed normally at supper? Hardly a word.
No one had much of a chance to say anything with Beltaine going on about some china he wanted to add to his collection.
Of course, it all flared up after the meal, and then I ended up taking her home.
And when you were alone together in the taxi? Just a lot of nonsense about how she'd make Cronshaw pay.
The usual hysterics.
And then I dropped her off at her flat.
At what time was this? Nearly midnight.
There was no time to go back to the ball, so I just headed home.
Ah.
All right, lower away.
Okay, okay.
Sir.
He made me feel young again, like a newborn calf.
When I saw him, it was as if the whole world was fresh.
We'll come down right away.
Even the sky seemed bluer.
Get up there.
Come on.
Let's see her face.
All right, stop that, you lot.
-Courtney! -Come on.
Try and get another picture.
Come on, move out of the way.
Could you stop for a minute? Still looking, Poirot? Poirot, can you make a statement? No photographs.
No, no, no.
Chief Inspector.
We found her in the bedroom.
Overdose of cocaine.
Presumably supplied by her boyfriend, Lord Cronshaw.
How many more must die before this folly is seen for what it is? Toxicity finally got too much for her.
Cronshaw must have been supplying it to her for some time.
Do you not understand, Chief Inspector? Lord Cronshaw was determined to stop Mlle.
Courtney from taking cocaine.
The initial, "C," on the silver case -- it stood for her name, Coco.
Of course.
The quarrel after supper was when Cronshaw discovered what he'd suspected all evening -- that she had a supply with her.
He took it from her, and that's when she went home.
So, to spite him, she took another dose as soon as she got back.
Messy.
What I don't see is where Cronshaw's murder fits in with all this.
Because the devil himself dances among us, but we do not see him.
Eh? I wonder Chief Inspector, will you permit me a further examination of the body? Well, I don't know what you expect to find.
The facts on Miss Courtney are indisputable.
I am not talking about the body of Mlle.
Courtney.
I am talking about the body of Lord Cronshaw.
That newspaper headline sent him dippy, if you ask me.
What's he going to find that we didn't spot last night? You checked all his pockets? Pockets, clothing, the lot.
I don't see -- Indeed you do not see, Chief Inspector.
All right, Poirot, what's the trick? Look at his hand.
What do you observe? Clenched fist.
Hastings.
I agree.
But the fist -- why is it clenched? Could it be that it hides a secret? Voici.
Swat me, he was holding something.
The pompom.
Mr.
Poirot! Ah, Mme.
Mallaby.
Captain Hastings.
We meet again.
I wonder, could you -- -Of course.
-Oh! I couldn't decide on my autumn look.
Anyway, Eustace can afford it.
He's Viscount Cronshaw now.
26 pence.
Oh.
To what do we owe this delegation? Well, M.
Poirot has taken it into his head to see these famous figurines.
-Oh.
-A foolish whim.
Is His Highness at home, Summers? His Lordship is in the morning room, madam.
Thank you.
This way, gang.
Summers, be a dear and take the boxes, will you? Hi, Eustace.
Ooh, I see you're already enjoying your inheritance.
It's beautiful.
May as well salvage some consolation out of this awful business.
-Hmm.
-Ah.
Poirot, Hastings.
Welcome.
Good afternoon, Viscount.
I say, what a quaint little tea set.
Hastings, this tea set is not only "quaint," as you call it, but priceless and very rare, n'est-ce pas? Had no idea you were interested in china, Poirot.
Mr.
Poirot wants to see the figurines.
The Meissens? Mais oui.
We have all heard so much about them and of your success in bringing them to this country.
I wonder if I could please make an examination.
Feel free.
Thank you.
Ah.
May I? I can't imagine what he's looking for.
Tricks of the trade, you know.
The costumes last night at the ball -- they were exact replicas of these? To the last detail.
Oh.
And this was your apparel, was it not? Punchinello, with the elaborate ruff and the hump.
Yes.
I imagine it took some time to change in and out of this costume.
I had to hold him up while he unfastened it.
As I thought.
Viscount, where were you after supper last night during the ball? Trying to beat down the dealer chap over this lot.
Finally managed to corner him.
In the supper room? That's right.
Again, I thank you.
Well, cheerio.
Ah, there you are, Poirot.
I've been looking for you.
Chief Inspector Japp.
I've been doing some thinking, and to my mind, that missing pompom could only have come from one person.
I concur absolutely, Chief Inspector.
Excuse me.
Mrs.
Davidson? Yes.
May we come in? Oh, thank you.
I'm sorry my husband isn't here.
He went out for a drink.
A bit early for that sort of thing, isn't it? He's the sociable type, is he? Yes.
Unlike me.
Acting isn't exactly a good, steady job, you know.
You're not in the profession yourself? No.
I thought I might like to once, but I just couldn't, not in front of everyone like that.
Why, indeed there are many types of people in this world, madame.
We must each be true to ourselves.
Perhaps.
What exactly did you want? M.
Poirot here has some notion of staging a reconstruction of the evening.
Oui, that is so.
Oh? Oh, it is just merely a question of detail to be checked.
The precise nature of the costumes that were made for you for last night's ball.
You understand? I think so.
We'd like to have a look at them for a moment, if we may.
Do you still have them? I'm afraid not.
My husband sent them to be cleaned.
Yes, of course.
Quel dommage.
Well, I'm very sorry to have disturbed you, Mme.
Davidson.
We will just finish our tea.
Thank you, Hastings.
You were right, Mme.
Davidson, not to consider a career in acting.
Your eyes betrayed what your tongue denied.
Chief Inspector? There's a pompom missing from the Pierrette costume.
Is there? Perhaps you'd like to tell us how it came to turn up in the hand of the murdered man.
Oh, yes, I forgot.
It got pulled off after supper, and I didn't know what to do with it.
I looked for Mr.
Beltaine, but he was in the supper room having some kind of argument, so I gave it to Lord Cronshaw to look after.
Sorry, I didn't think it was important.
Does that answer your question? You must understand, Mme.
Davidson, that to conceal information may not only protect the guilty, but also punish the innocent.
You do understand, do you not? I understand.
I'm sorry.
Sunday Standard! Her story seemed completely plausible.
Except in one respect.
-What's that? -It is a foolish lie.
The threads of the pompom that we discovered in the hand of Lord Cronshaw -- they were torn, whereas those on the costume of Mme.
Davidson were cut.
You mean she cut it off herself? No, no, Hastings.
She did not even notice that the pompom was missing until we pointed it out.
That is why she made up that story that was ridiculous.
Hers was cut by the murderer.
Why? To replace the one that Lord Cronshaw had torn from the costume of his killer.
Well, if it wasn't her, and her husband wasn't even there when Cronshaw was murdered -- Have either of you considered the possibility of a duplicate costume? Another Pierrot? Well, what about that note he left -- Lowestoft? Ah, yes, the note.
May I suggest that you inquire from the dealer about the dinner service that has just been purchased by Lord Beltaine? I think you will discover that it is rare Lowestoft china.
You mean -- And now it is necessary to restore the reputation of Hercule Poirot.
This is the National Programme.
In a change to our published schedule, we now present a special broadcast.
Good evening, everybody.
This is Hercule Poirot.
I have been asked many times to recount my cases for the radio, but I have always refused.
However, tonight, I have decided to present for you a reconstruction of the affair at the Victory Ball, and that is why I have with me tonight in the studio the principal members of the party whose lives were altered by that most tragic event.
I thank you all very, very much, indeed, for accepting my invitation.
And now, I take you back to the Colossus Ballroom on the night of the Victory Ball.
The lights, they dim.
The music, it plays.
And the shadows of the principal characters return to gather before us.
Listen.
You can almost hear them.
Harlequin am I, in diamond panes of colored hue.
And I his Columbine.
Together, we have special care for lovers true.
Punchinello also here appears.
Bombast and buffoon to no avail.
Seeking heart of Pulcinella, ever shall he fail.
Heroes' tragic fate is saddest.
See his painted tear.
Sighing for his own Pierrette, star-crossed lovers.
So completes our masqueraders gathered once more here.
And so our little evocation is complete.
Our ensemble is before us.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, I have been told is the wonder of radio, because what we see is in the eye of our mind.
What is in the eye of your mind, Mme.
Mallaby? Why, the six characters we heard, of course.
Viscount? Oh, just the same.
The six characters as portrayed by my figurines, but -- You agree, Mme.
Davidson? Of course we agree, Mr.
Poirot.
Bon.
But now let us see the reality before us.
Messieurs, mesdames, the players.
Oh.
I present to you Pierrette, Pierrot, Pulcinella, Punchinello, and Columbine.
There's one missing.
That's right.
Where's Harlequin? Have you forgotten, Viscount, that Harlequin can become invisible? Let us now reveal the truth.
Are you ready to tell us the truth, Mme.
Davidson, or shall I? Very well.
It was all very simple.
The motive behind the murders of both Lord Cronshaw and Coco Courtney was the evil drug cocaine.
You're staying right here! I'm not prepared to have an argument about it.
During the Victory Ball, I witnessed an argument between Lord Cronshaw and Mlle.
Coco.
They were known to be lovers, but Cronshaw had discovered Coco's secret addiction.
What the hell do you think you're laughing at? : The young Lord Cronshaw was a man of high principle.
He seized his lover's cocaine and threatened to expose the supplier who was destroying her life along with many others.
But Coco was now hopelessly addicted.
By the time she reached home, she had obtained a new, fatally strong dose of cocaine from her supplier, who now knew the one chance to avoid prison was murder.
But what of our Harlequin? When I examined the body of Lord Cronshaw, I failed to discover the pompom.
Why? Because the fist was clenched tight with the rigor mortis.
Lord Cronshaw was not killed at 12:00.
He was killed earlier in the evening and the body hidden in the recess until later.
Voilà.
But that can't be.
I saw him myself a few moments before midnight.
No, no, no, Mme.
Mallaby.
The Harlequin that you saw, that very same Harlequin, is here with us in this room.
The killer had a duplicate costume, and after the murder, assumed the role of Harlequin, even scribbling a false clue pointing to M.
Beltaine and his obsession with the Lowestoft china.
Ridiculous, huh? Since the elaborate costume of M.
Beltaine cannot be changed without assistance.
No.
The murder took place soon after supper, when the killer contrived a moment alone with Lord Cronshaw.
It is Cronshaw who knows the truth about the dealing in cocaine.
To avoid being exposed and to preserve the evil trade in drugs, the murderer stabs Lord Cronshaw to death.
At the time, the killer is unaware that the last act of Lord Cronshaw is to pull the pompom from the costume.
Then the body is hidden in the alcove and the plan, it can be completed.
-Yoo-hoo! -At last, having alerted Mme.
Mallaby just before midnight, the final task was to drag the body from its hiding place so it would appear that the murder had only just been committed.
Twelve seconds to midnight! Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one! The murderer then slips quietly away.
Knowing that when the discovery of the body occurs, it is believed that he is safely at home.
No, it couldn't have been Chris.
But it was, Mme.
Davidson.
It was your husband who had a moment alone with Lord Cronshaw! It was your husband who gave to Coco when they were alone together in the taxi more cocaine! And, in spite of what he told us, it was your husband who had ample time to return to the ball to complete his masquerade as Harlequin.
And still you protect him, even though you later discovered that he was implicating you, his own wife, in the crime by replacing the pompom that was torn from his costume with the one he cut from your own.
Don't listen to him, darling.
Congratulations, Mr.
Poirot, on a most entertaining piece of detective fiction.
Mais oui.
I'm afraid that is so.
Half a mo.
What do you mean? Well, because unless Mme.
Davidson is willing to testify that her husband deals in drugs, I'm afraid that everything that I have told you so far remains only theory.
Then I take it that the show is over.
Oui.
Unless Harlequin has one last trick.
Mme.
Mallaby.
With which hand did you see Harlequin writing? Oh, my God.
Cronshaw was right-handed.
Christopher Ian Davidson, I arrest you for the murders of Viscount Cronshaw and Miss Coco Courtney.
If he had not gone too far and tried to confuse by writing a clue that pointed to Beltaine, he would be walking away with us now, but as you say, M.
Ackerley, actors -- they never know when to stop.
However, I thank you very much indeed for your cooperation.
I'm honored that you took up my invitation.
I'm sure it was a most enlightening experience for our listeners.
-Thank you.
-Mr.
Ackerley? They've been trying to find you.
The switchboard's been flooded with callers complaining about the dreadful accent, lowering the standard of spoken English, all that sort of thing.
Oh.
Sir John Reith is waiting to see you in his office.
So sorry.
Don't take it too hard, Poirot.
Indeed not.
I am not at all surprised.
-You're not? -No.
Chief Inspector, you really ought to look to your elocution.
Swat me, there's nothing wrong with my lingo.
You see, that is exactly the kind of expression, like "half a mo," that brings the language into disrepute.
Come, Hastings.
I shall lend to the Chief Inspector my personal copy of "The English As She Should Be Spoken.
" Taxi!