Death on the Montpelier – Sunday Photo Fiction

Photo by Alastair Forbes

Death on the Montpelier

World famous French-Canadian detective, Henri Pinchot, stood his ground upon the deck of the cruise ship Montpelier. He grimaced at the stunning woman before him and adjusted his expertly coiffed mustache. “Nevertheless, Mademoiselle, you are in grave danger!”

Heiress Veronica Brown smiled down at the diminutive, pudgy man. “You’re very thoughtful, Monsieur Pinchot, but there is no murder to investigate. That is your specialty isn’t it?”

“Sacre bleu! I am trying to prevent a murder!”

Miss Brown bent down, her unscrupulously cut dress wafted open. She pinched Pinchot’s cheek and said, “Well, if I’m to be murdered, then I want to go out with a bang.” She sashayed back to her cabin, hips swaying like a ship in a rogue storm.

Later in that hot Algiers night, a scream erupted across the decks of the cruise ship. The scream shredded the night. It drew out, pulling all who witnessed it into the depths like a ship’s dying song. Birds fell from the sky and the ship’s very wood began to weep.

Passengers huddled around the locked door of Miss Brown’s cabin, chattering earnestly. Pinchot and his companion, Captain Hillary, waded through the crowd. “Hillary!” said Pinchot. “You must break down the door!”

The affable Hillary paused. “I say! Shouldn’t we knock first?”

“At once, Hillary!” insisted Pinchot. “She may be dying, n’est-ce pas? If we act expeditiously we might still save her life!”

After several great thrusts of his shoulders, Hillary crashed through the door. He leaned in, and rather quickly closed the door back again.

“What is it, Hillary?”

Hillary gulped. “You should see for yourself, Pinchot.”

Pinchot peered in, then closed the door hastily, his face pale and drawn. “I have investigated murders for years, Hillary, but never have I witnessed such a thing. The human spine cannot bend in such a way.”

The door opened once more and Miss Brown looked out. She wore a neglige that hid almost nothing, and a silly grin that confessed much more. “If you boys are quite finished with your peep show,” she said. “My friend and I would thank you for a little privacy.”

Pinchot tipped his hat and smiled sheepishly. “My apologies, Mademoiselle. We shall withdraw at once.”

As the two walked across the ship’s deck, Hillary said, “Sorry, old bean. “You didn’t get your murder.”

“I must confess I am in error,” said Pinchot, tapping his temple. “I did not realize Miss Brown possessed such unusual hunger. The little grey cells have failed me tonight.” He stood straight once more. “However! I am not completely wrong. There may still be a death on the Montpelier this night!”

“How can you be sure?” said Hillary.

“Did you not see them? In that pose, at the frenetic pace, it is unlikely that Miss Brown’s companion will survive the night!”
Author’s Notes:

Lately, I’ve been inspired by the British TV series, “Poirot,” which is based on Agatha Christie’s murder mystery novels about the fictional detective, Hercule Poirot. If you can find it, I highly recommend it. Here’s a brief clip:

This was written for the Sunday Photo Fiction weekly writing challenge. Look here to see what others wrote in response to the prompts.

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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19 Responses to Death on the Montpelier – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Danny James says:

    One must never be too hasty. Indeed Sir EagleAye.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bastet says:

    Love the series and your write is really great … 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read all of the Frenchman’s words in that of David Suchet. He is the person who played Poirot the best, and you did him proud with this. A very good take on the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent Eric! Very funny and the ending is just hilarious! I tried listening to the video but couldn’t get the sound up high enough on my iPad to hear it. Great story – as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Yeah, the sound on tablets and pads isn’t always enough. Suchet does a wonderful French accent ( actually Poirot is Belgian ) and he seems to play the role effortlessly. If you can try again on a regular PC or Mac so you can hear him. Glad you got a good laugh from this. So happy to hear that. Thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Francesca Smith says:

    When you mentioned the “little grey cells”, I knew instantly whom you were referencing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Indira says:

    What wild imagination you have. ‘swaying like a ship in a rogue storm.’I have yet to witness one. LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lyn says:

    LOL you’ve caught Poirot’s character beautifully, Eric. And Captain Hillary sounded exactly like Captain Hastings. David Suchet did a marvellous job of Poirot. It’s currently on TV here in Oz. Suchet played Poirot from 1989-2013.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! Shey and I are totally addicted to Poirot. It’s so wonderfully written and performed. Suchet is truly a genius. I’ve got it on Netflix, but only until 2011. I’ll have to pressure them to get the last episodes.

      Liked by 1 person

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