On that Taste and Smell thing

From “Three Act Tragedy” by Agatha Christie, first published 1935

“Excellent,” approved Poirot. “There was something – ah, yes, your friend, Sir Bartholomew, he did not drink cocktails, but he did drink the port?”

“Yes, he had a particular weakness for port.”

“It seems odd to me that he did not taste anything unusual. Pure nicotine has a most pungent and unpleasant taste.”

“You’ve got to remember,” said Sir Charles, “that there probably wasn’t any nicotine in the port. The contents of the glass were analysed, remember.”

“Ah, yes – foolish of me. But, however it was administered – nicotine has a very disagreeable taste.”

“I don’t know that that would matter,” said Sir Charles slowly. “Tollie had a very bad go of influenza last spring, and it left him with his sense of taste and smell a good deal impaired.”

“Ah, yes,” said Poirot thoughtfully. “That might account for it. That simplifies things considerably.”






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