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In the short story The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb, Rupert Bleibner was the nephew of the wealthy financier Mr Bleibner who was one of the financial backers of Sir John Willard and his excavation of the tomb of Men-ha-Ra.

Rupert did not benefit from his uncle's wealth. He had been a beach-comber and remittance man in several South Sea islands but had returned to New York impoverished. Somehow he had managed to borrow enough money for a trip to Egypt where he said he had a good friend there he could borrow money from.

While he was in Egypt he visited his uncle's excavation and it was during this time that Sir John Willard died. Rupert subsequently returned to New York, without having managed to get any money from his uncle. Not long after, he committed suicide, leaving behind a mysterious note stating that he was an outcast and a leper.

Poirot later surmised that Rupert had meant the note to be taken literally whereas most had thought he was speaking metaphorically. Someone had convinced Rupert that he had leprosy. As Poirot told Hastings later, only a doctor could have done that, and among the suspects for the death in the camp, this helped to narrow the list down to Dr Ames. Checks revealed that Ames knew Rupert from former times and it was likely that Ames was the friend Rupert came to see. If it had been his uncle, Rupert would have said so. It was also likely that Ames gave Rupert the money to return to New York, since Rupert had no success getting support from his uncle.

The cause of Rupert's trouble came from a jocular will he had made years ago. Then he had light-heartedly willed a cigaret case and everything else that he possessed (which were then mostly debts) to Ames for saving his life. Since Rupert's uncle died intestate, Rupert stood to inherit his fortune. After Rupert committed suicide, Ames would then get everything.


Rupert Bleibner was played by Paul Birchard in the film adaptation of The Adventure of the Egyptian Tomb' in Series 5 of ITV's Agatha Christie's Poirot. But he had a slightly different backstory although he ends the same way. Six months before the events in the show, he had been in Hawaii learning the hotel business. At the beginning of the show, he was a member of the expedition and there was no sign of animosity between him and his uncle. He was about to leave the expedition to return to New York to get married. Poirot needed background information on Rupert and asked Hastings who was in New York to gather it. Hastings called on Rupert and discovered that he was highly distracted--late in the day, he had not dressed or washed and he wore white gloves. Subsequently Hastings finds that Rupert had committed suicide. According to Hastings, everyone was puzzled about his suicide. He was physically very fit. He was a sportsman and a good golfer with a zero handicap (which for Hastings is a good reason not to commit suicide). Moreover, he was just about to marry a beautiful girl named "Melanie Wise".