The next morning, I arrived early and sat collecting my thoughts about the extraordinary amount of work I have done in but a week it seemed*. Poirot came on time by the second, and I was impressed how well kept he managed to keep himself despite the fact that I could deduce he had a very long and perhaps tempestuous night at the Plaza party. I thanked him for his punctuality and we began to have our first real conversation assuming each others as equals – in trade, if nothing else. He talked about his own past – that is, his fictional past – and I was thoroughly impressed by some of his amazing exploits around the world, including a particularly fascinating case where he uncovered a plot on a train. I offered to discuss my own history to him, but he said it was not necessary, for even in his fictional world I was myself still regarded as a fictional character, and he had read my many stories – or those stories which I presumed to be Watson’s accounts for the magazine. I admitted I found this to be rather confusing and slightly disconcerting, but I accepted it nonetheless.
Beyond fuller introduction, however, he discussed his own mysteriously arrival into our present day and I noted that his was very similar to mine, so indeed we likely had the same fate. He talked about his humble days in hiding under the rroof of rich widow named Madam Widdecombe, and I discussed my own sponsorship of the lad James Raikes (he incidentally had a brief encounter with the chap himself, as apparently Widdecombe is related to James. How strange!). As we provided our honest testimonies our observance of each other revealed that the incidents that led to our mutual encounter appeared more than inconvenient but in fact contrived, ominous and even malicious. It was clear that somebody who most likely cared not for our wellbeing wished for us to be fearful, distrusting and in retreat. I said since it was clear whoever did this act was not our friend, and that his intention was to keep us apart and working against each other, that the most sensible thing for us to do at the moment was to join forces and work together for our mutual safety. Luckily Poirot said that he had a case in Boston that he wished to research; a man who confessed to being a serial killer in a drunken mania but without proof to any crime committed in the area. Gladly I agreed to go with him and I told him I would meet him at the New York Grand Central Train Station.
I go back to my hotel, I pack my bags and I prepare to check out. All that I need to do is to indicate to my benefactor with a call that this is what I wished to do, and he surely he would agree. After all, why shouldn’t he?
Or so I thought.
Upon hearing my request he coldly impassionately forbade me to go to Boston and research this case with Poirot. I was in an utter outrage. I asked him why, wished him to provide his reasons after my thorough cooperation with him; he said only that as long as I wished to work with him and for him, he needn’t provide his reasons but his orders only. He only replied that I should enjoy my stay in New York, and with that he hung up. I scarce to believe I was ever treated so insubordinately in my life.
To make matters worse, I tried to rebook my hotel room, only to discover that the room where I was staying was already booked, along with every hotel room in the area, which meant that I had to move to a new hotel! And I had to go through the process of moving all baggage into a new hotel with vacancy and unpack, and in such a rage that I neglected the time. Upon seeing the time was close to five I rushed down to the station, hoping he was patient enough to tolerate lateness on my part, but as fast as I tried to get there it was for naught; it was too late. Poirot left without me, and without my explanation why. I fear he may think my gesture rude, and in truth I do not blame him.
So for now I am staying in New York. To make the best of the situation, I have decided to commit my energy to trying to deduce the reason for my being here, but it is a poor substitute; I know not where to start, nor what to look for. Unable to move and with nothing to do in New York, it might as well be a veritable concrete prison – my Scotland Yard.
I can only wish Poirot the best of luck in his case in Boston.
*By a strange coincidence, I happened to catch a glimpse of that same lady who was attempting to enter into the ball the night before. She was wearing the same large flowing dress but it was well dirtied and she herself seemed to be in a great daze. She seemed to be eating some pastry and a coffee, looking into to the window of a jewelry establishment longingly.