Agatha Christie · 322 pages
Rating: (239.9K votes)
“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
“If you confront anyone who has lied with the truth, he will usually admit it - often out of sheer surprise. It is only necessary to guess right to produce your effect.”
“But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”
“You've a pretty good nerve," said Ratchett. "Will twenty thousand dollars tempt you?"
It will not."
If you're holding out for more, you won't get it. I know what a thing's worth to me."
I, also M. Ratchett."
What's wrong with my proposition?"
Poirot rose. "If you will forgive me for being personal - I do not like your face, M. Ratchett," he said.”
“At the small table, sitting very upright, was one of the ugliest old ladies he had ever seen. It was an ugliness of distinction - it fascinated rather than repelled.”
“What's wrong with my proposition?" Poirot rose. "If you will forgive me for being personal-I do not like your face, M. Ratchett.”
“I like to see an angry Englishman," said Poirot. "They are very amusing. The more emotional they feel the less command they have of language.”
“I am not one to rely upon the expert procedure. It is the psychology I seek, not the fingerprint or the cigarette ash.”
“The body—the cage—is everything of the most respectable—but through the bars, the wild animal looks out.”
“You are the patient one, Mademoiselle,' said Poirot to Miss Debenham.
She shrugged her shoulders slightly. 'What else can one do?'
You are a philosopher, Mademoiselle.'
That implies a detached attitude. I think my attitude is more selfish. I have learned to save myself useless emotion.”
“Some of us, in the words of the divine Greta Garbo, want to be alone.”
“Then there are some minor points that strike me as suggestive - for instance, the position of Mrs. Hubbard's sponge bag, the name of Mrs. Armstrong's mother, the detective methods of Mr. Hardman, the suggestion of Mr. MacQueen that Ratchett himself destroyed the charred note we found, Princess Dragomiroff's Christian name, and a grease spot on a Hungarian passport.”
“All around us are people, of all classes, of all nationalities, of all ages. For three days these people, these strangers to one another, are brought together. They sleep and eat under one roof, they cannot get away from each other. At the end of three days they part, they go their several ways, never, perhaps, to see each other again.”
“As you yourself have said, what other explanation can there be?'
Poirot stared straight ahead of him. 'That is what I ask myself,' he said. 'That is what I never cease to ask myself.”
“How fast you go. You arrive at a conclusion much sooner than I would permit myself to do.”
“I believe, Messieurs, in loyalty---to one's friends and one's family and one's caste.”
“I have learned to save myself useless emotion.”
“What's wrong with my proposition?"
Poirot rose. "If you will forgive me for being personal - I do not like your face.”
“Vi pripadate Ligi naroda?
-Ja pripadam cijelom svijetu, madame, reče Poirot dramatično.”
“Poirot's eyes opened. "That is great ferocity," he said.
"It is a woman," said the chef de train, speaking for the first time. "Depend upon it, it was a woman. Only a woman would stab like that."
Dr. Constantine screwed up his face thoughtfully. "She must have been a very strong woman," he said. "It is not my desire to speak technically-that is only confusing; but I can assure you that two of the blows were delivered with such forces as to drive them through hard belts of bone and muscle."
"It was clearly not a scientific crime," said Poirot.
"It was most unscientific," returned Dr. Constantine.
"The blows seem to have been delivered haphazard and at random. Some have glanced off, doing hardly any damage. It is as though somebody had shut his eyes and then in a frenzy struck blindly again and again."
"C'est une femme," said the chef de train again. "Women are like that. When they are enraged they have great strength." He nodded so sagely that everyone suspected a personal experience of his own.”
“Because, you see, if the man were an invention—a fabrication—how much easier to make him disappear!”
“The happiness of one man and one woman is the greatest thing in all the world.”
“The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”
“At a small table, sitting very upright, was one of the ugliest old ladies he had ever seen. It was an ugliness of distinction- it fascinated rather than repelled. She sat very upright. Round her neck was a collar of very large pearls which, improbable though it seemed, were real. Her hands were covered with rings. Her sable coat was pushed back on her shoulders. A very small and expensive black toque was hideously unbecoming to the yellow, toad-like face beneath it.”
“About Miss Debenham," he said rather awkwardly. "You can take it from me that she's all right. She's a pukka sahib.
"What," asked Dr. Constantine with interest, "does a pukka sahib mean?"
"It means," said Poirot, "that Miss Debenham's father and brothers were at the same kind of school as Colonel Arbuthnot was."
"Oh!" said Dr. Constantine, disappointed. "Then it has nothing to do with the crime at all."
"Exactly," said Poirot.”
“In fact,' said Poirot, 'she stabbed him in the dark, not realising that he was dead already, but somehow deduced that he had a watch in his pyjama pocket, took it out, put back the hands blindly and gave it the requisite dent.”
“Lo imposible no puede haber sucedido; por tanto, lo imposible tiene que ser posible, a pesar de las apariencias.”
“Are you really a detective, then?” “At your service, Madame.” “I thought there were no detectives on the train when it passed through Yugo-Slavia—not until one got to Italy.” “I am not a Yugo-Slavian detective, Madame. I am an international detective.” “You belong to the League of Nations?” “I belong to the world, Madame,” said Poirot dramatically.”
“In the words of a best seller, ‘You’ve nothing on me.”
“No doubt our love was still there, but quite simply it was unusable, heavy to carry, inert inside of us, sterile as crime or condemnation. It was no longer anything except a patience with no future and a stubborn wait.”
“I wonder if I will ever have the strength to hold onto something. Or if I will always be someone who destroys.”
“This world, it is a tempest sometimes. But remember, the sun always rises again.”
“There's no need to talk about it, because the truth of what one says lies in what one does.”
“This exchange marked the beginning of Mr. Malfoy's long campaign to have me removed from my post as headmaster of Hogwarts, and of mine to have him removed from his position as Lord Voldemort's Favorite Death Eater. My response prompted several further letters from Mr. Malfoy, but as they consisted mainly of opprobrious remarks on my sanity, parentage, and hygiene, their relevance to this commentary is remote.”
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