Hercule Poirot (“Mr. Porrot”) Quotes in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
"It is Fate," he said at last.
"What is Fate?" I asked irritably.
"That I should live next to a man who seriously considers Porcupine Oilfields, and also West Australian Gold Mines. Tell me, have you also a penchant for auburn hair?"
He looked ridiculously full of his own importance. It crossed my mind to wonder whether he was really any good as a detective. Had his big reputation been built up on a series of lucky chances?
I believe that when we find the explanation of that telephone call we shall find the explanation of the murder.
“Every one of you in this room is concealing something from me.” He raised his hand as a faint murmur of protest arose. “Yes, yes, I know what I am saying. It may be something unimportant—trivial—which is supposed to have no bearing on the case, but there it is. Each one of you has something to hide.”
“It is a theory that,” admitted Poirot. “Decidedly you have cells of a kind. But it leaves a good deal unaccounted for.”
“The telephone call, the pushed-out chair—“
"'What was the point of that question about the glasses?" I asked curiously.
Poirot shrugged his shoulders. "One must say something," he remarked. "That particular question did as well as any other."
Let us take a man—a very ordinary man. A man with no idea of murder in his heart. There is in him somewhere a strain of weakness—deep down. It has so far never been called into play. Perhaps it never will be—and if so he will go to his grave honored and respected by everyone. But let us suppose that something occurs. He is in difficulties—or perhaps not that even. He may stumble by accident on a secret—a secret involving life or death to someone. And his first impulse will be to speak out—to do his duty as an honest citizen. And then the strain of weakness tells.
Blunt ignored my well-meant offers. He spoke to Poirot. “D’you really think—” he began, and stopped.
He is one of those inarticulate men who find it hard to put things into words.
Poirot knows no such disability. “If you doubt me, ask her yourself, monsieur.”
“It says that Ralph has been arrested. So everything is useless. I need not pretend any longer.”
“Newspaper paragraphs are not always true, mademoiselle,” murmured Poirot, having the grace to look ashamed of himself, “All the same, I think you will do well to make a clean breast of things. The truth is what we need now.”
“I congratulate you—on your modesty!”
“Oh!” I said, rather taken aback.
“And on your reticence,” he added.
I said “Oh!” again.
“Not so did Hastings write,” continued my friend. “On every page, many, many times was the word ‘I’. What he thought—what he did. But you—you have kept your personality in the background; only once or twice does it obtrude—in scenes of home life, shall we say?”
I invent a nephew with mental trouble. I consult Mademoiselle Sheppard as to suitable homes. She gives me the names of two near Cranchester to which her brother has sent patients. I make inquiries. Yes, at one of them a patient was brought there by the doctor himself early on Saturday morning.
“A person who was at the Three Boars earlier that day, a person who knew Ackroyd well enough to know that he had purchased a dictaphone, a person who was of a mechanical turn of mind, who had the opportunity to take the dagger from the silver table before Miss Flora arrived, who had with him a receptacle suitable for hiding the dictaphone—such as a black bag—and who had the study to himself for a few minutes after the crime was discovered while Parker was telephoning for the police. In fact—Dr. Sheppard!”
Remember what I said—the truth goes to Inspector Raglan in the morning. But, for the sake of your good sister, I am willing to give you the chance of another way out. There might be, for instance, an overdose of a sleeping draught.