Agatha Christie Wiki

In the short story The Gate of Baghdad, Captain Smethurst is a passenger travelling from Damascus to Baghdad on the same bus as Parker Pyne. He worked at the public works department of Baghdad and was a friend and colleague of another passenger, Hensley.

Smethurst was described as "a fair young man wearing an old Etonian tie" with an "amiable but slightly vacant face". When Parker Pyne first met him at Damascus, he appeared worried. Later, at a bar, Smethurst confided to Parker Pyne that he was in a quandary. He could not "go back on a pal" but yet he could not do nothing. Nonetheless, he refused Parker Pyne's offer to help. Later. Flight Lieutenant Williamson overhead Smethurst saying to an unknown person that he could not betray a pal. When Smethurst was found dead on the bus, suspicion fell on those who could be considered his "pals".


Smethurst was played by David Bannerman in the radio dramatization of the story on BBC Radio 4. There he was given the rank "Captain" although what form his military service took was not stated.