The Last Séance
by Agatha Christie
Raoul Daubreuil crossed the Seine humming a little tune to himself. He was a good-looking young Frenchman of about thirty-two, with a fresh-coloured face and a little black moustache. By profession he was an engineer. In due course he reached the Cardonet and turned in at the door of No. 17. The concierge looked out from her lair and gave him a grudging ‘Good morning,’ to which he replied cheerfully. Then he mounted the stairs to the apartment on the third floor. As he stood there waiting for his ring at the bell to be answered he hummed once more his little tune. Raoul Daubreuil was feeling particularly cheerful this morning. The door was opened by an elderly Frenchwoman whose wrinkled face broke into smiles when she saw who the visitor was.
‘Good morning, Monsieur.’
‘Good morning, Elise,’ said Raoul.
He passed into the vestibule, pulling off his gloves as he did so.
‘Madame expects me, does she not?’ he asked over his shoulder.
‘Ah, yes, indeed, Monsieur.’
Elise shut the front door and turned towards him.
‘If Monsieur will pass into the little salon Madame will be with him in a few minutes. At the moment she reposes herself.’
Raoul looked up sharply.
‘Is she not well?’
Elise gave a snort. She passed in front of Raoul and opened the door of the little salon for him. He went in and she followed him.
‘Well!’ she continued. ‘How could she be well, poor lamb? Séances, séances, and always séances! It is not right—not natural, not what the good God intended for us. For me, I say straight out, it is trafficking with the devil.’ (Continue Reading…)