"acc 2 me its shaw...coz he ws a patient f bronchitis n l8r when poirot asked if he cud smoke den he easily consented "
Poirot is asked by the fiancé of Philip Ridgeway to prove his innocence. Ridgeway is the nephew of Mr Vavasour, the joint general manager of the London and Scottish Bank and a million dollars of bonds have gone missing whilst in his care. Poirot meets Ridgeway at the Cheshire Cheese who gives him the facts of the case: He was entrusted by his uncle and the other general manager, Mr Shaw, of taking a million dollars of Liberty Bonds to New York to extend the bank's credit line there. The bonds were counted in Ridgeway's presence in London, sealed in a packet and then put in his portmanteau that had a special lock on it. The packet disappeared just a few hours before the liner on which Ridgeway was travelling, the Olympia, docked in New York. Attempts had obviously been made to break into the portmanteau but its lock must have then have been picked. Customs were alerted and they sealed the ship that they then searched but to no avail. The thief was selling the bonds in New York so quickly that one dealer even swears to buying some bonds before the ship docked. Poirot then questions the two general managers who confirm what Ridgeway has said. He then travels to Liverpool where the Olympia has just returned from another crossing and the stewards confirm the presence of an elderly man wearing glasses who occupied the cabin next to Ridgeway and virtually never left it. Poirot meets back with Ridgeway and his fiancé and explains the case to them. The real bonds were never in the portmanteau. Instead they were posted to New York on another faster liner, the Gigantic, which arrived before the Olympia. The confederate at the other end had instructions to begin selling the bonds only when the Olympia docked but he failed to carry out his orders properly, hence one sale, which took place half an hour before docking. In the portmanteau was a false packet that the real villain of the piece took out with a duplicate key and threw overboard - this was Mr Shaw who claims he was off work for two weeks due to sickness whilst these events transpired.