Initially we get to know the character of Mr. Davenheim from the description of Captain Hastings, the narrator of the story. For the last couple of days newspapers had been full of the information about the disappearance of Mr. Davenheim who was a senior partner of Davenheim and Salmon, the well-known bankers and financiers. In a few days his photograph and a full description of him had been circulated in daily papers so his features and appearance were known to everyone. He had a heavy beard and moustache and bushy eyebrows- so he couldn’t pass unnoticed in the crowd. As regards his relationship with his colleagues, it was said that he had plenty of financial rivals and people who showed him no goodwill. In particular, he wasn’t on good terms with Mr. Lowen who came on business talk with Mr. Davenheim.
As to his domestic life, we learn that the husband and wife were on good terms and their home life was quite peaceful and uneventful. But something alerted Hercule Poirot, the master of detectives who had bet that he would solve the case without moving from his chair.
It turns out that Mr. Davenheim brought intelligence, talent and a careful calculation of details of the task. Mr. Poirot admitted that the hero was extremely clever to prepare his alibi beforehand. It turns out that he had created the character of Billy Kellett before he vanished into thin air. He had to do three months’ imprisonment, wear a false beard and wig and occupy separate rooms with his unintelligent wife. She admitted that buying jewels had become the passion of late years. But it was also a part of his genius scheme – the funds he embezzled he converted into jewels. All these things – jewels, ready money and bearer bonds were arranged for himself. Creating his alibi then he put on tramp clothes, dropped his own in the lake and pawned his ring in an obvious manner. In the end he got into the haven of Bow Street where nobody could look for him.
I regard Mr. Davenheim to be extremely eventful and resourceful. The scheme he invented really deserves respect. He is also very determined and eager to fix the affair. To my mind, the following saying fully describes the character of Mr. Davenheim – “the ends justify the means”. This person can easily give up everybody’s interests and feelings – he escapes from his house and leaves his wife without any word. He is an egoistical man who is able to use every means in order to reach the goal.
Character sketch of Hercule Poirot.
In this story we meet with Agatha Christie's most-loved character - the little, eccentric detective - Hercule Poirot. The little Belgian, retired police officer turned private detective, appears in more than 30 Christie novels and short stories. And “The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim” is not an exception.
Poirot relies mainly on the clever usage of his "little grey cells" and psychological examination of the suspects, even with the smallest clue, to solve the most baffling crimes. He holds the opinion that it’s necessary to approach such crimes with science, a mathematical precision, which seems so rare in the new generation of detectives. So he makes a bet with Inspector Japp that he will solve the case without moving from his chair. By this action of Mr. Poirot I regard him to be quite self-confident and determined.
We can’t learn much about the appearance of Hercule Poirot from this story – but it’s possible to describe the character according to other stories of Agatha Christie. In appearance, Poirot is an exotic little figure - his unmistakable look - complete with black moustache, shining green eyes, and a curious egg-shaped head. With his leather shoes, little bowler hat, smart clothes, he moves from one place to the next a little bit like a well-dressed penguin. Even so, he is quite a striking and somewhat amusing figure.
As regards his relationship with his colleagues we can understand that his frequent company in this story includes Captain Hastings and Inspector Japp. Captain Hastings is Poirot's closest colleague and friend. The story is narrated by him. Hastings is quite blundering, to my mind, as he often tries to understand his genius and eccentric friend, yet usually fails. Nevertheless, Poirot appreciates Captain’s willing to be methodical.
Chief Inspector Japp and Hercule Poirot manage to remain friends though they are like night and day with their crime solving techniques (Japp tending to me more unsystematic, while Poirot is more orderly and methodical).
Hercule Poirot is my favorite character, frankly speaking. He often puts in a word in French which adds a particular refinement to his speech. In this story he seems to be prideful and selfish. And he has the right to be. He solves the case without moving from his chair and with “a very curious smile flitted across his face” he explains the clues. At the end of the story he admits that he can’t rob a child and arranges a dinner. His inimitable sense of humor and outgoing personality add funny elements to mysterious detective stories.