Quotations:Death in the Clouds

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by Agatha Christie (1935)
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Inspector Japp & Hercule Poirot in chapter 3

"[...] you must admit they don’t look up to much, do they?"

"The world’s famous men seldom do! I myself – moi, qui vous parle – I have before now been taken for a hairdresser!"

--Faterson

ib.

"Mon ami," said Poirot with dignity, "when I commit a murder it will not be with the arrow poison of the South American Indians."

--Faterson

Inspector Japp ib. (ending of chapter 3)

"[...] These detective-story writers... always making the police out to be fools... and getting their procedure all wrong. Why, if I were to say the things to my super that their inspectors say to superintendents I should be thrown out of the Force tomorrow on my ear. Set of ignorant scribblers! This is just the sort of damn fool murder that a scribbler of rubbish would think he could get away with."

--Faterson

chapter 4

The whole car might have been shooting snake-venomed darts out of blowpipes for all Mr Clancy would have noticed of the matter.

--Faterson

chapter 5

"Haven’t you got a very old-fashioned idea of detectives?" asked Jane. "All the false beard stuff is very out of date. Nowadays detectives just sit and think out a case psychologically."

"Rather less strenuous."

"Physically, perhaps; but of course you need a cool, clear brain."

"I see. A hot muddled one won’t do."

They both laughed.

--Faterson

ib.

"[...] he seems, according to the coroner’s jury, to be the most likely person, so that washes him out. [...]"

--Faterson

chapter 6

"Well," said Japp with a grin, "detectives do turn out to be criminals sometimes – in story books."

--Faterson

chapter 7

"To begin with, we can eliminate M. Poirot here. That brings the number down to eleven."

Poirot shook his head sadly.

"You are of too trustful a nature, my friend. You should trust nobody – nobody at all."

--Faterson

Inspector Japp ib.

"[...] I know by experience that most people are blind as bats; but there are limits. [...]"

--Faterson

Hercule Poirot in ch. 10

"Shall I tell you something, Mademoiselle Grandier? It is part of my business to believe nothing I am told – nothing that is, that is not proved. I do not suspect first this person and then that person. I suspect everybody. Anybody connected with a crime is regarded by me as a criminal until that person is proved innocent."

--Faterson

chapter 11

"Consider, my dear Fournier, how high has been the character, how lofty the sentiments, and how worthy of admiration the life of most swindlers of note – before they are found out! ["..."] A high reputation," said Poirot, "is the first necessity of a swindler’s stock in trade. An interesting thought. [...]"

--Faterson

ch. 12 (internal monologue)

"[...] What a queer beastly business life is! When I first saw her in Do It Now, what a child, what an adorable child she looked! So fair and so lovely... Damned young fool! I was mad about her – crazy... She seemed everything that was adorable and sweet, and all the time she was what she is now – vulgar, vicious, spiteful, empty-headed... I can’t even see her loveliness now."

--Faterson

ib.

He thought, "Funny term of disparagement, to call a woman a bitch. A bitch like you, Betsy, is worth nearly all the women I’ve met put together."

--Faterson

ib.

Venetia looked her best upon a horse.

--Faterson

chapter 13

  The promised dinner and theatre [of Jane Grey] with Norman Gale had duly come off. It was one of those enchanting evenings when every word and confidence exchanged seemed to reveal a bond of sympathy and shared tastes.

They liked dogs and disliked cats. They both hated oysters and loved smoked salmon. They liked Greta Garbo and disliked Katharine Hepburn. They didn’t like fat women and admired really jet-black hair. They disliked very red nails. They disliked loud voices, noisy restaurants and negroes[1]. They preferred buses to tubes.

It seemed almost miraculous that two people should have so many points of agreement.  

--Kazimostak [expanded by Faterson 11:33, 5 April 2008 (CEST)]

ch. 16 (Plan of Campaign)

Poirot looked at her reproachfully.

"If one approaches a problem with order and method there should be no difficulty in solving it – none whatever," said Poirot severely.

"Oh, I see," said Jane, who didn’t.

--Faterson

ib.

"You’re mad!"

"Not at all," said Poirot. "I am eccentric, possibly, but mad, no."

--Faterson

ib.

"You can’t know that."

[Poirot]: "Mon cher, practically speaking, I know everything."

--Faterson

chapter 18

"Yes, it’s damned odd. Money’s odd. Credit’s odd. Come to that, life is odd!"

[Poirot:] "Very true."

--Faterson

Inspector Japp & Hercule Poirot in ch. 21

"I’ve questioned the passengers, too. Everyone can’t be lying."

"In one case I investigated everyone was!"

--Faterson

Hercule Poirot ib.

"There is no such thing as muddle – obscurity, yes – but muddle can exist only in a disorderly brain."

--Faterson

Hercule Poirot in ch. 22

"There are not so many round pegs in square holes as one might think. Most people, in spite of what they tell you, choose the occupations that they secretly desire. You will hear a man say who works in an office, 'I should like to explore – to rough it in far countries.' But you will find that he likes reading the fiction that deals with that subject, but that he himself prefers the safety and moderate comfort of an office stool."

--Faterson

Hercule Poirot ib.

"Ah, but it is incredible how often things force one to do the thing one would like to do."

--Faterson

chapter 25 (ending)

Poirot shook his head.

"Life can be very terrible," he said. "One needs much courage."

"To kill oneself? Yes, I suppose one does."

"Also to live," said Poirot, "one needs courage."

--Faterson

chapter 26

He paused and consulted some notes. Japp whispered to Norman:

"Fancies himself, doesn’t he? Conceit’s that little man’s middle name."

Poirot looked at him reproachfully and said, "Ahem!"

--Faterson

Hercule Poirot ib.

"[...] It is my experience that no one, in the course of conversation, can fail to give themselves away sooner or later... Everyone has an irresistible urge to talk about themselves. [...]"

--Faterson

(spoiler) ib.

"He was so terribly attractive," said Jane.

She added:

"I shall never fall in love again."

"Naturally," agreed Poirot. "That side of life is finished for you."

--Faterson

(spoiler) ib.

"M. Poirot –" She looked at him suspiciously. "You’re not – you’re not – being kind?"

"Kind?" said Poirot with a lively horror at the idea. "I can assure you, Mademoiselle – that where money is concerned I am strictly a man of business –"

He seemed so offended that Jane quickly begged his pardon.

--Faterson

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