How was Agatha saved from the vault?

Photo: The Christie Archive Trust

The exhibition Agatha Christie and the Modernist War Years at the Isokon Gallery is open until the end of October 2022.

No one is innocent

This serves not only as a knowing reference to Christie’s parlor mysteries, many of which are populated by characters who at first appear as respected members of society (judges, career soldiers, doctors or lawyers) but are soon revealed to have committed some horrendous deeds in their past which they are trying to hide – but a commendation of modern politics in general (but especially of the ultra-conservatism of the 1950s – a time when a character was a social pariah for holding socialist views or being homosexual, as seen in the film).

As we see in Clue, these characters are so vain and concerned with clinging to their lavish lifestyles and holding whatever power their offices grant them that they will literally kill people if it means they can go live in Washington, their reputation unsullied.

Short story “Jimmy Valentine” Essay Type Question and Answer for Class 11 WBCHSE.

Question 1: That child-doesn’t last long in there” who is being referred to here? Why was he in danger? How was she saved? (WBHS-XI 2014)

Answer: Reference is made here to Annabel’s older sister’s daughter, Agatha. May, the nine-year-old daughter, had Agatha locked away in the new vault, for fun. Agatha was in danger of suffocating to death as the clock in the new vault had not been wound up nor the combination set. Everyone was shocked and helpless. None of those present know how to get Agatha out of the vault. Jimmy, who was present there with his suitcase containing the thief’s tools, quickly utilized those tools and saved Agatha even though he risked being exposed to her former life.

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Jimmy Valentine, a skilled burglar, is released from prison by order of the Governor. Warden Cronin asked him to lead a righteous life and never break into safes again. However, as soon as Jimmy leaves prison, he becomes involved in a series of burglaries. This sets Detective Ben Price on a hunt for him. Meanwhile, Jimmy settles down in Elmore and becomes a successful store owner. Jimmy falls in love with Annabel, the daughter of Mr. Adam, the banker. Adam, the banker. Having fallen in love, Jimmy changes his mind and decides to marry Annabel and live a reformed life. Jimmy writes a letter to his friend expressing the desire to give his tools to break in. The day Jimmy has to deliver his tools to break into the safes, he goes to the bank with Anabel, her sister and their two children, Marry and Agatha. Unbeknownst to Jimmy, Detective Ben Price has followed him to the bank. At the bank, Agatha is accidentally locked in the bank vault. When Annabel turns to Jimmy for help, Jimmy revives his identity as a thief. He opens the vault with his safe-cracking tools and rescues Agatha. Detective Ben Price has the same awareness as Director Cronin, who remarked that Jimmy was a “nice guy at heart”. Ben Price doesn’t arrest Jimmy. Jimmy’s kindness is finally rewarded.

Question 1: Read and answer the questions:

‘By that act, Ralph D. Spencer died and Jimmy Valentine took his place.’

Answer: ‘That act’ refers to Jimmy Valentine taking off his coat and rolling up his shirt sleeves to resume his former occupation of breaking vaults.

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