Have You Got Everything You Want is a Parker Pyne short story written by Agatha Christie which was first published in the U.S. in Cosmopolitan in April 1933. In the U.K. it was first published in Nash's Pall Mall Magazine in June 1933. It was later gathered and included as the seventh story in the collection Parker Pyne Investigates, published in 1934 in the U.K. In the U.S., the collection also came out in 1934 under the title Mr Parker Pyne, Detective.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
A young American woman, recently married, boards the Orient Express at Paris, headed for Constantinople. She is very worried about something. Fortunately for her, Parker Pyne is on the same train.
Plot Summary[edit | edit source]
(may contain spoilers - click on expand to read)
A young, attractive woman named Elsie Jeffries boards the Orient Express at the Gare de Lyon. She is shown to her compartment but is obviously in something of a mental quandary. Once the journey has started she makes her way to the restaurant car and spots that the suitcase in the next door compartment to hers is labelled "Parker Pyne" and this triggers something in her memory. She checks the personal column of The Times but doesn't see what she expected to see there. Going to the restaurant car again she is placed on the same table as the owner of the case and strikes up a conversation with him and asks him if he is the same Parker Pyne of The Times' adverts. He confirms that he is and he asks her if she is unhappy. She confesses that she is and the cause is her husband of the past eighteen months. He is a sober and puritanical soul who has been working in Constantinople for two weeks and she is on her way to join him. One week ago, in his study, she found a piece of blotting paper on which was part of a message which referred to her and used the words, "just before Venice would be the best time." She cannot imagine what is going to happen to her when the train reaches this point. Pyne checks when they will arrive at Venice and promises to help.
The next day they are almost at the appointed spot when there is a cry of "Fire!" The two rush out in the corridor where a Slavic woman is pointing to the smoke coming out of one of the compartments further down the train. The conductor assures the passengers that there is no emergency but, suspicious, Pyne returns to Elsie's compartment and finds the Slavic woman there, supposedly recovering from the shock but Pyne refuses to let her leave when she wishes to and, when Elsie returns, asks her to sort through her belongings. She does so and finds that her jewellery has gone. The Slavic woman is detained at Venice but the jewels are not found on her and she has to be released. On the way to Trieste, Pyne and Elsie discuss the puzzle of where the jewels could possibly be as no one else had the opportunity to take them and the Slavic woman could not have thrown them to someone outside the train as they were on the bridge passing over the sea and they have not been hidden in the compartment. Pyne decides that he must send a telegram at Trieste...
The train reaches Stamboul and Pyne meets Edward Jeffries and asks Elsie to meet him at the Tokatlian Hotel in thirty minutes time. She does so and he hands all of her jewellery back to her but refuses to say how he recovered it. He leaves the hotel and goes to a café where Edward Jeffries joins him by appointment. It was Jeffries who received Pyne's telegram and handed the jewels back. Pyne tells him about his wife finding the message on the blotter and puts it to Jeffries that the jewels were actually taken by him before he left London, leaving paste copies behind. It was these that had to be "stolen" again and disappear at some other point but in a way that would not bring an accusation on any innocent person. The point before Venice is the only time on the journey that the jewels could be taken and thrown into water and not end up in land where they could be found.
Parker Pyne suspects Jeffries is not a thief. He has more the appearance of a victim. The young husband confesses that he has been blackmailed for some time by one Mrs Rossiter. He had been in a hotel in the West Indies. Mrs Rossiter was also there. She had a quarrel with her violent husband and fled and asked to take refuge in Jeffries' bedroom until morning. It turned out to be a scam and Jeffries has been suffering ever since. Needing the money for the latest demand, he "stole" his wife's jewels and replaced them with paste copies. Then he arranged for someone to steal the copies and dispose of them in the sea while the train was crossing the causeway to Venice.
Pyne tells him to leave the blackmailer to him and to confess all to his wife, except for the fact that what happened with Mrs Rossiter was a scam. given a choice between a mug and a Don Juan, a woman would choose a Don Juan every time. Elsie would be delighted to believe that she has reformed a rake.
Characters[edit | edit source]
Locations[edit | edit source]
- Paris, Gare de Lyons
- The Orient Express
- Tokatlian Hotel
Research notes[edit | edit source]
- How Edward Jeffries was set up for blackmail has some similarities with what happened in The Stymphalean Birds.
Publication history[edit | edit source]
- 1932 Cosmopolitan, issue 562, April 1933 with three other Parker Pyne stories under a sub-heading "Have You Got Everything You Want? If Not Consult Mr. Parker Pyne". Illustrated by Marshall Frantz.
- 1933 Nash's Pall Mall Magazine, issue 481, June 1933 with two other Parker Pyne stories under a sub-heading of "The Arabian Nights of Parker Pyne". Under the title "On the Orient Express". Marshall Frantz's illustrations from Cosmopolitan were re-used.
- 1934, Parker Pyne Investigates, William Collins & Sons (London), November 1934
- 1934, Mr Parker Pyne, Detective, Dodd Mead and Company (New York), 1934