Blindman’s Buff | Partners in Crime | A Tommy & Tuppence Mystery | Agatha Christie

Russian Letters

Tommy receives a phone call from Mr Carter warning him and Tuppence that the people connected with the Russian letters on blue paper have become aware that they have taken Blunt’s place, and to expect developments any time soon. Tommy suggests Tuppence waits in the safety of their home but she refuses. Tommy suggests an exercise in following the methods of the blind detective Thornley Colton.  He dons a pair of black eyeshades and practices, not so successfully, his awareness of his surroundings by use of his other senses. Tommy decides he and Tuppence will go for lunch at the Blitz hotel so that he can practise further in the surroundings of the restaurant.

Duke’s daughter

At the Blitz, they are soon joined by two men who have been observing the pair and who say that Blunt has been pointed out to them, although one of them admits he did not know Theodore Blunt was blind. They have been to the office and learned they were at lunch, and by coincidence have stopped at the same restaurant. One man introduces himself as the Duke of Blairgowrie and his friend is Captain Harker. The Duke’s daughter has been kidnapped under somewhat peculiar circumstances”which mean that he cannot call in the police, and he wants Blunt to accompany them to his house immediately. Tommy agrees, but not before he has drunk a cup of coffee and given Tuppence instructions for a meal at the hotel tomorrow, at which he will dine with the French Prefect of Police. That done, they leave with Tommy and the Duke taking a different car to that of Captain Harker and Tuppence.

A Trap for Tommy

It is a trap and the “Duke” is connected with the Russian letters. He prods a pistol at Tommy and takes him to a hideout where he is bound to a chair while the Duke gloats over him. He tells Tommy that the floor of the room they are in is metal and now electrified. He is going to make Tommy walk across the floor, even though he is blind. If he steps on a contact point, he will die. He hands him his white cane and unties him and the “game” is about to commence. Tommy coolly takes out a cigarette and match but he has anticipated the trap and instead lights a magnesium wire he is carrying. The flare blinds the “Duke” who lowers his pistol and then he finds himself at the point of Tommy’s cane, which is a swordstick.. Tommy reveals that his dark shades were false and he has been able to see all the time. The “Duke” springs forward with rage and steps on a contact point, dying instantly. Tommy escapes the house and rings Tuppence from a call box. She is safe. Tommy’s “order” at the hotel was in fact a set of code words from Clinton H Stagg’s stories for Albert to fetch help. Albert tailed Tuppence, and he and the police freed her from “Captain Harker”.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *