Part 2, Chapter 14 Summary
The Evidence of the Weapon
Doctor Constantine quickly gets Mrs. Hubbard settled after her faint and then joins Bouc and Poirot in the Stamboul carriage. Every passenger on the train, it seems, has gathered outside of Hubbard’s door. The harassed conductor, Pierre Michel, is holding them back; he is relieved to see the men arrive and lets them into the room.
The conductor tells the men that Hubbard had called him, screaming as if she too had been murdered. When Michel arrived, she left screeching like a madwoman. A large toiletry bag is hanging from the door handle; below it is a cheap Oriental dagger with an embossed hilt. The blade has patches of what looks like rust on it.
Constantine confirms that this is the murder weapon. It seems too coincidental that two murderers used the same weapon, although these kinds of daggers are common in Constantinople.
Poirot tries to open the connecting door of the compartment but it is bolted from the other side. He appears puzzled as he listens to the other men’s theories, which seem too convenient for his liking. A distraught Hubbard returns, and Bouc orders Michel to move her baggage to a compartment in the next sleeping carriage. All three men accompany her to her new compartment, and Poirot reviews her testimony of how Hubbard asked the Swedish woman, Ohlsson, to bolt her door last night.
After listening again, Poirot suggests perhaps Ohlsson tried the door, found it bolted from the other side, and assumed it was bolted on Hubbard’s side as well. Hubbard agrees that this could have happened if the Swedish woman were careless or stupid.
The American woman is beginning to work herself into a frenzy thinking about the ship to America she is likely to miss because of this delay, and Poirot takes advantage of the opportunity to ask if they may search her bags, since they are about to conduct a search of every passenger’s bags. Hubbard’s luggage is cheap, worn, and minimal, so the search does not take very long. In return, the men are virtually trapped into looking at pictures of Hubbard’s rather ugly grandchildren.