The Affair of the Admiral's Rear
"Monsieur Poirot, the matter is serious", said Chief Inspector Japp, whispering into the phone.
"But of course, my dear Japp, it always is! Pray, proceed"
" We have tracked down the fiend to the Ritz Carlton but we have to treat the matter most discreetly." I heard Japp say, as I listened in on the extension. Poirot insists that I eavesdrop on official conversations, just in case he misses out something. Fat chance of THAT happening!
"Eh bien, but tell me, monsieur! There is nothing, NOTHING that escapes Hercule Poirot" my friend told him, without a trace of conceit.
"Alright, then, here's what we know. "The rapist is in one of two rooms. In one is the beautiful and charming Princess of Pomerania and in the other is the Chief of Her Majesty's Navy, Admiral Pinchingham".
"Ah! A touch of kleptomania, peut etre" said Poirot
"You misunderstand, Monsieur. Pinchingham is a name, not an affliction"
"Alors. You will forgive an old man his mistakes. Tell me, are they alone in their respective rooms?" asked Poirot
" The staff swears there is no one else in those rooms, but we can hear scuffling sounds in both."
"Mais oui, they play the game of love in their respective rooms, young and old alike, do they not?", remarked Poirot, with a hint of a smile.
Japp made a disgusted grunting sound, which we both interpreted as the affirmative.
"Why do you not barge in then, my friend? The Scotland Yard is not known for its delicacy in these matters" asked Poirot
"Oh no, Monsieur P. That wouldn't do at all. If we barge in and find them in a compromising position with a friend, instead of the rapist, there will be hell to pay. A diplomatic incident. The Foreign Office will have my head should I embarass the Princess, and the Ministry of Defense will flay me alive should I dare to be indiscreet with the Commander of the Fleet . No, we have to be absolutely sure. And there is no time, if the fiend is in there with one of them". The urgency in Japp's voice was unmistakable.
"The rapist is from Prague, did you say?"
"Yes. Yes, I believe. But what does that have....?"
"Then storm the poor Admiral's chamber and rescue him from a painful fate" said Poirot.
"Thanks a million, old chap", said Japp, at the flat later in the evening. "I don't know when I've been in a tighter spot. But how on earth did you know the rapist was rodgering poor Admiral Pinchingham? I had a strong feeling it would have been the Princess. She is supposed to be devilishly beautiful, you know"
"My dear Japp, but you do not use the little grey cells", said Poirot, his green eyes gleaming like a cat's. "The moment I heard the rapist was from Prague, I knew that he would be with the Admiral!"
"You said that before" I said "What does THAT have anything to do with it?"
"Ah, Hastings, mon ami, have you not heard the quaint little phrase?"
"Which quaint little phrase?" I asked
"You know, the one that the insufferable Americans use all the time"
Realisation dawned! "Oh, I see now!" exclaimed Japp. "The Czech is in the Male"