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Причуда мертвеца : книга для чтения на английском языке

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Перед вами одна из самых запутанных историй от королевы классического детектива Агаты Кристи. Гениальный сыщик Эркюль Пуаро сталкивается с непростой задачей. На веселой сельской ярмарке происходит предумышленное убийство, а одна из героинь пропадает без вести. Дело осложняется тем, что никто не понимает, жертва она или преступница. Пуаро неоднократно сбивается в своем расследовании, но каждый раз нить рассуждений приводит его к загадочному летнему домику под названием «Причуда». Неадаптированный текст романа на языке оригинала снабжен комментариями и словарем.
Кристи, А. Причуда мертвеца : книга для чтения на английском языке : художественная литература / А. Кристи. - Санкт-Петербург : КАРО, 2022. - 288 с. - (Detective Story). - ISBN 978-5-9925-1563-3. - Текст : электронный. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/1902875 (дата обращения: 23.07.2024). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
Фрагмент текстового слоя документа размещен для индексирующих роботов. Для полноценной работы с документом, пожалуйста, перейдите в ридер.
УДК  372.8 
ББК  81.2 Англ-93 
 
К82

ISBN 978-5-9925-1563-3

AGATHA CHRISTIE
DEAD MAN’S FOLLY

В оформлении обложки использован  

фрагмент орнамента Уильяма Морриса.

Кристи, Агата.

К82       Причуда мертвеца : книга для чтения на английском 

языке. — Санкт-Петербург : КАРО, 2022. — 288 с. — 
(Detective Story).

ISBN 978-5-9925-1563-3.

Перед вами одна из самых запутанных историй от коро
левы классического детектива Агаты Кристи. Гениальный 
сыщик Эркюль Пуаро сталкивается с непростой задачей. На 
веселой сельской ярмарке происходит предумышленное 
убийство, а одна из героинь пропадает без вести. Дело осложняется тем, что никто не понимает, жертва она или преступница. Пуаро неоднократно сбивается в своем расследовании, 
но каждый раз нить рассуждений приводит его к загадочному 
летнему домику под названием «Причуда».

Неадаптированный текст романа на языке оригинала 

снабжен комментариями и словарем.

УДК 372.8

ББК 81.2 Англ-93

Dead man’s folly Copyright © 1956
Agatha Christie Limited. All rights reserved.
DEAD MAN’S FOLLY, AGATHA CHRISTIE,  
POIROT аnd the Agatha Christie Signature аre  
registered trade marks of Agatha Christie Limited  
in the UK and elsewhere. All rights reserved.

© КАРО, 2022
Все права защищены

To Peggy and Humphrey Trevelyan

Agatha Christie

CHAPTER 1

It was Miss Lemon, Poirot’s efficient secretary, who 

took the telephone call.

Laying aside her shorthand notebook, she raised the 

receiver and said without emphasis, ‘Trafalgar 8137.’

Hercule Poirot leaned back in his upright chair and 

closed his eyes. His fingers beat a meditative soft tattoo1 on 
the edge of the table. In his head he continued to compose 
the polished periods of the letter he had been dictating.

Placing her hand over the receiver, Miss Lemon asked 

in a low voice:

‘Will you accept a personal call from Nassecombe, 

Devon?’

Poirot frowned. The place meant nothing to him.
‘The name of the caller?’ he demanded cautiously.
Miss Lemon spoke into the mouthpiece.
‘Air-raid?’ she asked doubtingly. ‘Oh, yes—what was 

the last name again?’

Once more she turned to Hercule Poirot.
‘Mrs Ariadne Oliver.’
Hercule Poirot’s eyebrows shot up. A memory rose in 

his mind: windswept grey hair… an eagle profile…

1 to beat a tattoo — барабанить, отбивать такт

He rose and replaced Miss Lemon at the telephone.
‘Hercule Poirot speaks,’ he announced grandiloquently.
‘Is that Mr Hercules Porrot speaking personally?’ the 

suspicious voice of the telephone operator demanded.

Poirot assured her that that was the case.
‘You’re through to Mr Porrot,’ said the voice.
Its thin reedy accents were replaced by a magnificent 

booming contralto which caused Poirot hastily to shift the 
receiver a couple of inches farther from his ear.

‘M. Poirot, is that really you?’ demanded Mrs Oliver.
‘Myself in person, Madame.’
‘This is Mrs Oliver. I don’t know if you’ll remember me—’
‘But of course I remember you, Madame. Who could 

forget you?’

‘Well, people do sometimes,’ said Mrs Oliver. ‘Quite often, 

in fact. I don’t think that I’ve got a very distinctive personality. Or perhaps it’s because I’m always doing different things 
to my hair. But all that’s neither here nor there. I hope I’m 
not interrupting you when you’re frightfully busy?’

‘No, no, you do not derange me in the least.’
‘Good gracious—I’m sure I don’t want to drive you out 

of your mind. The fact is, I need you.’

‘Need me?’
‘Yes, at once. Can you take an aeroplane?’
‘I do not take aeroplanes. They make me sick.’
‘They do me, too. Anyway, I don’t suppose it would be 

any quicker than the train really, because I think the only 
airport near here is Exeter which is miles away. So come 

by train. Twelve o’clock from Paddington to Nassecombe. 
You can do it nicely. You’ve got three-quarters of an hour if 
my watch is right—though it isn’t usually.’

‘But where are you, Madame? What is all this about?’
‘Nasse House, Nassecombe. A car or taxi will meet you 

at the station at Nassecombe.’

‘But why do you need me? What is all this about?’ Poi
rot repeated frantically.

‘Telephones are in such awkward places,’ said Mrs 

Oliver. ‘This one’s in the hall… People passing through and 
talking… I can’t really hear. But I’m expecting you. Everybody will be so thrilled. Goodbye.’

There was a sharp click as the receiver was replaced. 

The line hummed gently.

With a baffled air of bewilderment1, Poirot put back 

the receiver and murmured something under his breath. 
Miss Lemon sat with her pencil poised, incurious. She repeated in muted tones the final phrase of dictation before 
the interruption.

‘—allow me to assure you, my dear sir, that the hypoth
esis you have advanced…’

Poirot waved aside the advancement of the hypothesis.
‘That was Mrs Oliver,’ he said. ‘Ariadne Oliver, the detec
tive novelist. You may have read…’ But he stopped, remembering that Miss Lemon only read improving books and 
regarded such frivolities as fictional crime with contempt. 

1 with a baffled air of bewilderment — с выражением замешательства и недоумения на лице

‘She wants me to go down to Devonshire today, at once, 
in’—he glanced at the clock—‘thirty-five minutes.’

Miss Lemon raised disapproving eyebrows.
‘That will be running it rather fine,’ she said. ‘For what 

reason?’

‘You may well ask! She did not tell me.’
‘How very peculiar. Why not?’
‘Because,’ said Hercule Poirot thoughtfully, ‘she was 

afraid of being overheard. Yes, she made that quite clear.’

‘Well, really,’ said Miss Lemon, bristling in her employer’s 

defence. ‘The things people expect! Fancy thinking that you’d 
go rushing off on some wild goose chase1 like that! An important man like you! I have always noticed that these artists and 
writers are very unbalanced—no sense of proportion. Shall I 
telephone through a telegram: Regret unable leave London?’

Her hand went out to the telephone. Poirot’s voice ar
rested the gesture.

‘Du tout!’2 he said. ‘On the contrary. Be so kind as to 

summon a taxi immediately.’ He raised his voice. ‘Georges! 
A few necessities of toilet in my small valise. And quickly, 
very quickly, I have a train to catch.’

II

The train, having done one hundred and eighty-odd 

miles of its two hundred and twelve miles journey at top 
speed, puffed gently and apologetically through the last 

1 wild goose chase — сумасбродная затея

2 Du tout! — (фр.) Не надо! 

thirty and drew into Nassecombe station. Only one person 
alighted, Hercule Poirot. He negotiated with care a yawning gap between the step of the train and the platform and 
looked round him. At the far end of the train a porter was 
busy inside a luggage compartment. Poirot picked up his 
valise and walked back along the platform to the exit. He 
gave up his ticket and walked out through the bookingoffice.

A large Humber1 saloon was drawn up outside and a 

chauffeur in uniform came forward.

‘Mr Hercule Poirot?’ he inquired respectfully.
He took Poirot’s case from him and opened the door 

of the car. They drove away from the station over the railway bridge and turned down a country lane which wound 
between high hedges on either side. Presently the ground 
fell away on the right and disclosed a very beautiful river 
view with hills of a misty blue in the distance. The chauffeur drew into the hedge and stopped.

‘The River Helm, sir,’ he said. ‘With Dartmoor in the 

distance.’

It was clear that admiration was necessary. Poirot 

made the necessary noises, murmuring Magnifique!2 several times. Actually, Nature appealed to him very little. A 
well-cultivated neatly arranged kitchen garden was far 
more likely to bring a murmur of admiration to Poirot’s 

1 Humber — «Хамбер», марка легкового автомобиля с вместительным кузовом.

2 Magnifique! — (фр.) Великолепно!

lips. Two girls passed the car, toiling slowly up the hill. They 
were carrying heavy rucksacks on their backs and wore 
shorts, with bright coloured scarves tied over their heads.

‘There is a Youth Hostel next door to us, sir,’ explained 

the chauffeur, who had clearly constituted himself Poirot’s 
guide to Devon. ‘Hoodown Park. Mr Fletcher’s place it used 
to be. The Youth Hostel Association bought it and it’s fairly 
crammed in summer time. Take in over a hundred a night, 
they do. They’re not allowed to stay longer than a couple 
of nights—then they’ve got to move on. Both sexes and 
mostly foreigners.’

Poirot nodded absently. He was reflecting, not for the 

first time, that seen from the back, shorts were becoming 
to very few of the female sex. He shut his eyes in pain. Why, 
oh why, must young women array themselves thus? Those 
scarlet thighs were singularly unattractive!

‘They seem heavily laden,’ he murmured.
‘Yes, sir, and it’s a long pull from the station or the bus 

stop. Best part of two miles to Hoodown Park.’ He hesitated. 
‘If you don’t object, sir, we could give them a lift?’

‘By all means, by all means,’ said Poirot benignantly. 

There was he in luxury in an almost empty car and here 
were these two panting and perspiring young women 
weighed down with heavy rucksacks and without the least 
idea how to dress themselves so as to appear attractive to 
the other sex. The chauffeur started the car and came to a 
slow purring halt beside the two girls. Their flushed and 
perspiring faces were raised hopefully.

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