Just ahead of the final instalment of our latest Tale for Our Time, a reminder that it's SteynOnline's nineteenth birthday and we're celebrating it with nineteen per cent off all my books, CDs and everything else at the Steyn Store. Just shop till you drop as you normally would, and the discount will be applied to your basket as you check out. But only through Monday!
Oh, and, if you're a Mark Steyn Club member, the nineteen per cent discount is in addition to the usual Steyn Club special member pricing on over forty of our products. But remember: it's only until midnight Eastern on Monday.
And with that we come to tonight's concluding episode of The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie. Poirot and Hastings are back at Styles Court, to tie up a few loose ends:
"Poirot, you old villain," I said, "I've half a mind to strangle you! What do you mean by deceiving me as you have done?"
We were sitting in the library. Several hectic days lay behind us. In the room below, John and Mary were together once more, while Alfred Inglethorp and Miss Howard were in custody. Now at last, I had Poirot to myself, and could relieve my still burning curiosity.
Poirot did not answer me for a moment, but at last he said:
"I did not deceive you, mon ami. At most, I permitted you to deceive yourself."
"Yes, but why?"
"Well, it is difficult to explain. You see, my friend, you have a nature so honest, and a countenance so transparent, that—enfin, to conceal your feelings is impossible! If I had told you my ideas, the very first time you saw Mr. Alfred Inglethorp that astute gentleman would have—in your so expressive idiom—'smelt a rat'..!"
And Poirot proceeds to explain all the things poor old Hastings has managed to miss...
Tales for Our Time will return in December for our Christmas season. Tomorrow, Sunday, I'll be on Serenade Radio for the weekly audio edition of Steyn's Song of the Week. That's at 5.30pm GMT - 12.30pm North American Eastern. You can listen from anywhere on the planet right here. Immediately afterwards, I'll be back at SteynOnline for the monthly anthology edition of The Hundred Years Ago Show.
Thank you so much for your compliments about Tales for Our Time during this last hellish couple of years. Some like the ripping yarns for boys, some the more genteel social comedy for girls, and some of you even enjoyed a bit of summer whimsy from yours truly. But of the tales in totality all seem to be in favor. If you've yet to hear any of them, you can enjoy four-and-a-half years' worth of audio adventures - by Conan Doyle, Kafka, Conrad, Gogol, Dickens, Baroness Orczy, P G Wodehouse, Louisa May Alcott, George Orwell, Robert Louis Stevenson and more - by joining The Mark Steyn Club. For details on membership, see here - and, if you're seeking the perfect gift for a fan of classic fiction, don't forget our Steyn Club Gift Membership. Sign up that special someone today!
See you next month for a Yuletide Tale for Our Time.