|A Difficult Case
Author: elsiecarson PM
When Poirot is called to a particularly difficult case with disturbing details Hastings and Miss Lemon are very concerned about him and how he's coping with the case.Rated: Fiction T - English - Crime/Mystery - Hercule Poirot & Captain Hastings - Chapters: 4 - Words: 2,208 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 4 - Updated: 01-10-13 - Published: 01-15-12 - id: 7742077
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
If Poirot and Hastings thought this case was going to be typical, they were dead wrong. They arrive at the crime scene where nothing has been touched in order for Poirot to investigate. There's a bowls sitting on the table. It's full of clear, red broth. In the middle of the bowl sits a slab of slimy, brown meat. "Please Poirot; tell me that's not what I think it is." Hastings says turning away from the table with a look of disgust.
"Unfortunately, Hastings, I can't tell you that. That is exactly what you think it is. We're dealing with a murderer who is a cannibal. That is a human liver." Poirot says calmly. He dislikes all murder intensely cannibalism doesn't change how he feels about it.
"Is this your first case of a cannibal, Poirot?" Hastings asks quietly.
"No, oddly enough. I had a case in Belgium that was a cannibal." Poirot says with a frown. He's trying to remember the details.
"Did you solve it?" Hastings asks with interest trying not to look at the table. Poirot's past cases interest him.
"Eventually, but not until he had eaten four people. It was the most disturbing case of my career." Poirot says quietly. He doesn't like to remember that case.
"We have a bigger problem than we thought. There isn't one internal organ left in this body. Are they in the refrigerator?" Chief Inspector Japp calls from the bedroom.
Poirot slowly walks to the refrigerator and opens the door. On the shelves sitting in the refrigerator are all the rest of the victim's internal organs. "Yes, Chief Inspector, they are here? This is the victim's apartment, oui?"
"Yes, it is. I think it's interesting this criminal is killing people in their own houses." Japp says as he walks into the kitchen.
"It is interesting that the criminal feels comfortable killing in others' houses and making a meal here after. Did you say people, as in more than one victim? What are the victims' names?" Poirot asks in surprise.
"This is the second victim. The first victim was Claire Stevens. This victim's name is Julia Petrie." Japp says calmly.
"Did the first victim show evidence of cannibalism? Or was the first victim merely murdered?" Poirot asks pulling out his small notebook and taking notes.
"The first looked like she'd been gnawed on, but she'd also been dead for three days, so we assumed it was animals. Now we know it wasn't. I've never dealt with a case like this, Poirot. I could sure use your expertise on this one." Japp says cringing. He hates to ask Poirot for help on anything.
"But of course, the Chief Inspector Japp. I'll get the notes from my case like this in Belgium sent over by air mail. I need to look over the psychiatric evaluation on the man I caught. I also want detailed autopsy reports on the two victims in this case. In the mean time, get the crime scene crew in here to document what is here and take the evidence away from here. When her next of kin comes I want absolutely no trace of what happened here to be left. It's bad enough to find out a family member has been murdered, let alone eaten." Poirot says with a resigned sigh. Murder cases are always difficult.
"Oh, Poirot," says Hastings as he gets brave enough to open the refrigerator, "the cannibal took her beautiful eyes out!"
Poirot picks up the jar with the eyes in it and examines them carefully. "It looks to me as if the eyes have been removed by a very sharp, precise surgical tool, and by someone with very steady hands. Possibly, we're looking for someone with a medical background."
"What kind of medical professional would have the expertise to remove eyes with this amount of ease?" Inspector Japp asks. He's unaware of how many people are able to remove someone's eyes.
"A surgeon, a doctor, an optometrist, or ophthalmologist, and, possibly, but unlikely a dentist." Poirot says thoughtfully. "I am going home Chief Inspector. I will wait for the autopsy reports from you. I have some phone calls to make and a letter to write."
"Isn't there anything you can do between now and then? I've got Scotland Yard breathing down my neck on this case." Inspector Japp asks desperately.
"Until there are autopsy reports, witnesses, or next of kin there isn't a lot for me to do. I wish you good luck Inspector. This is not going to be an easy case. Keep your wife informed. You are going to need support from her during this case." Poirot says giving his friend some advice.
"I can't agree with you more, Poirot, but I don't know if I can, in good conscience, tell my wife about this case. I don't know if I want her innocence shattered in that way. I know that I'm going to need her support, but I don't know if I can honestly tell her what I'm going through on this case." Inspector Japp says quietly.
"I understand why you'd be nervous about telling your wife about this case, but remember that she can't help you if she doesn't know what's going on with you. You must trust her the same way you trust your colleagues and I." Poirot says gently.
"Interesting getting marriage advice from you, Poirot, considering that you've never been married before and you're not necessarily the most natural man around women. I know you read people well, however, and so, I trust your judgment. I'm going to go home and try and get some rest while my men get some work done in this flat?" Inspector Japp says with a yawn.
"That sounds like good idea for you, Inspector. If I may say so you look terribly exhausted. How many cases are you working right now?" Hastings says finally speaking up. This case has greatly disturbed him. He's usually fine with the cases that he and Poirot get involved in, but this one is different. Hastings is usually this sensitive and the fact that this case involves beautiful young women doesn't help at all. Murder cases involving women always affect him differently from other cases.
Poirot and Hastings walk out of the flat and down the stairs slowly. Poirot is deep in thought as they walk out of the building. Hastings knows not to disturb Poirot when he's like this. The two men silently climb into Hastings' car. Poirot rubs his temples as he thinks about the case before him. Hastings hopes between himself and Miss Lemon they can help Poirot relax a little in the next little while.