Study Guide

Murder on the Orient Express Part 2, Chapter 9

By Agatha Christie

Part 2, Chapter 9

The Evidence of Mr. Hardman

  • Now it's time for Poirot to interview the last of the first class passengers, the boisterous, gum-chewing American man in the loud suit. His name is Cyrus Bethman Hardman. The facts:
    • Cyrus was traveling to Paris on business. He sells typewriter ribbons.
  • Poirot asks about his actions last night after dinner. Cyrus cuts off the interview and asks who Poirot is. When he learns that he's a famous detective, Hardman says he has to come clean.
  • Cyrus Hardman takes out the gum and his voice changes. He's actually a private detective from New York.
  • What? Yep. Here's the story:
    • Cyrus was in Europe on business, and Ratchett hired him to watch his back. Ratchett had been receiving death threats.
    • Ratchett and Cyrus were traveling and on the lookout for someone whom Ratchett described as a "small man, dark, with a womanish kind of voice" (2.9.55).
    • Cyrus says he didn't recognize Ratchett as Cassetti. He mentions the man probably had lots of enemies.
    • About last night: no one got on and no one got off the train car. Cyrus was watching from his room.
    • He says the conductor went past him a couple of times to answer bells, and then went into the rear coach. Then he helped out the American lady, Mrs. Hubbard.
    • Cyrus says the only person who would be able to confirm his identity is MacQueen, who has seen him in New York. Also, a cable from New York could confirm who he is, no problem.
    • He does not smoke a pipe.

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