Agatha Christie Wiki

In the short story Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Henry Gascoigne was the twin brother of Anthony. Henry had very regular eating habits, but one day he ordered something completely different. A short time later he was found dead in his home, by an apparent accident. His death was timed to nine twenty at night because he had in his pocket a letter which had apparently been delivered by the evening post. He had also been seen at seven thirty at his usual restaurant, the Gallant Endeavour. However the fact that he ordered something completely different from he usually ate was enough to arouse Poirot's interest and he decided to investigate.

Henry Gascoigne was an artist but, according to his neighbour, Dr MacAndrew, not a very good one.


Henry Gascoigne also appears in the film adaptation of the story in episode 4 of Series 1 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot drama series. But we only see him as a dead body having fallen down the stairs. The person who played this role is not credited. The angle of Henry being an artist is not developed in the original story. In the film it is greatly expanded in that he had not allowed his paintings to be sold during his lifetime. As such, his works became valuable after his death. This made anyone who possessed them suspects in his murder. This included his model Dulcie Lang and agent Peter Makinson. In the film, Poirot followed this lead first and only learnt about his wealthy brother Anthony later.