HERCULE POIROT wore a nicely fitted eggshell white silk Tommy Bahama suit. The long pants were pleated and the jacket was stitched in an elegant style. It looked like a tuxedo but it had a beachy style. The strangest thing was the moustaches.Following a strange yet intriguing request promising that a very rich Mr. Oswald Nuñez would seek to buy a luxurious condo in Fort Lauderdale, clever Poirot took on a job as a secretarial interpreter at a Fort Lauderdale beach realty company owned by a tycoon real estate agent Armando Colt.
Poirot By The Sea
"Howard says you're the best!" Armando Colt started, "so, we got a lot of foreign customers, you know. They speak English but not well enough, you know, that's why we gotta hire somebody to help interpret what's not understood."
"That's why you're most successful," Poirot added.
Impressed and flattered, Armando Colt smiled.
"You'll do other things here besides interpretation," Armando Colt went on, "if a contract or condo questionnaire needs to be translated, that'll be your job."
"If you want to get started," Armando Colt said, "I actually got three personal financial disclosures that need to be translated for Felipe Reifschneider... You do do German, right?"
Besides getting his work done, Poirot searched every single file in the Fort Lauderdale computer database only merely doing what detectives liked to do: being impertinently nosy. Poirot took his lunch break and walked over to POLLO TROPICAL. There he ordered a quarter chicken, white rice and black beans with a side of yuca and plantains. He sat by himself against the blue wall in the vibrantly colored restaurant where many guests entered and exited. An interesting bit of conversation intrigued him.
"You're kidding!" A male voice sounded, "after all this time, you think you're just gonna quit like that!"
"Why do you care so much about this deal, Simon?" A female voice sounded, "you told me to do this for you and I'm getting tired of conning all these clients! You're a bad lot!"
"Listen," the male voice went on, "Felicia, you gotta do this- just a couple more days, okay? We'll get all the money from the commission and we'll take a vacation. Just you and me."
"I'm not coming back, then," the female said.
After he finished his meal, Poirot waited for the couple to continue their conversation as they ate.
"How much money are we talking about?"
"At least fifty thousand upfront," the male said.
"Simon, this is risky. Are you sure we're gonna get away with it?"
"Leave it to me, Felicia, just do your part. I'm running an legitimate business here."
They both laughed.
As the young couple were leaving, Poirot followed them at a distance. He, at least, wanted to see if they had an office. He had to be quick, though, and bumped into them instead as he walked along the sidewalk on A1A looking up.
"Oh, sorry," he said in a fake foreign accent, "the sun- blind me!"
"It's okay," Simon said.
Felicia looked at Poirot and almost giggled.
They started to walk away. He had a hunch.
"Hey! You guys know a Fort Lauderdale realtor? Where he?"
Poirot saw them looking at each other very closely; as if they had a certain secret glance. Suspicious, yet they approached the stranger.
"What are you looking for?" Simon asked.
"I looking buy a condo," Poirot said.
"Where you from?" Felicia asked.
So, they probably target rich tourists.
"Portugal," Poirot made up.
"We have a couple of condos we can show you," Simon said.
So, they are realtors.
"Yeah... Um- escrow," Simon said, "here."
Simon handed Poirot a business card. Poirot wondered if this was a shell corporation or just really bad business...
"Merci!" Poirot said walking away.
Poirot found Armando Colt about to exit the office. The giant glass door closed slowly.
"Hey!" Armando Colt said invitingly, "we just got lucky; we're getting a big hit tomorrow! I know it's Saturday, but it'll be great to have you onboard with this new client."
"Sounds great! Count me in," Poirot said, "who's the client?"
"Some guy from Costa Rica; Núñez, I think," Armando Colt said.
After three days of employment, Poirot's lead had come quicker than what he had expected; Mr. Oswald Nuñez, at last.
"Okay," Poirot said absent-mindedly, "hey! Armando, do you know this guy?"
He handed Armando Colt Simon's business card. Holding it between his fingertips, Armando Colt laughed.
"What a bum!" He said, "this guy Simon Dumas used to work for me. Looks like he's still doing dirty business. Hmpf! He's pathetic. Did you meet him?"
"Yes, it seems I did."
Armando Colt pocketed the card.
"Where?" He asked.
"Out by pollo tropical."
"Figures..." Armando Colt scoffed, "hey, listen, I gotta run. I left two closing disclosure documents for you on the desk. And tomorrow, I'll take you out for lunch at a real restaurant; my treat, okay?"
"Why, thank you, sir!" Poirot smiled.
Armando Colt walked away. And as Poirot stood by that immense glass door entrance to Fort Lauderdale Realty, he wondered why Armando Colt still kept Simon Dumas' business card...