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|“||I see. So it's established that I am not enough for Lynn Marchmont. [...] Don't tell me what to do! You have no authority over me now! So the question is... who is enough for her? Who is the lucky lad? (- Lynn: David.) [...] You bitch! YOU BLOODY BITCH!||„|
|~ Rowley attacking Lynn after hearing her confession that she loved David Hunter instead.|
Rowley Cloade is a major antagonist in Agatha Christie's 1948 novel, Taken at the Flood. He is a hot-headed and impulsive member of the Cloade family, and the lover of Lynn Marchmont.
Although not committing a murder (just a manslaughter of Charles Trenton), Rowley sought to criminal methods in order to get rid of his love rival, David Hunter, by framing him for Trenton's death. Ironically, the person whom he tried to frame actually was a murderer to another case.
In Agatha Christie's Poirot, he was portrayed by Patrick Baladi.
Rowley Cloade is a nephew of Gordon Cloade and engaged to his cousin Lynn Marchmont. He is a farmer, but lost his farming partner, Johnnie Vavasour, during the war. In spring 1946, Charles Trenton arrived in the family with the help of Frances Cloade, under the false identity of Enoch Arden, in order to blackmail David Hunter, the half-brother-in-law of the late Gordon Cloade, who (along with his sister) was suspected by his family as a fraud.
After hearing the news from a landlady, Rowley visited Arden, and seeing the resemblance to Frances, reacted angrily to the deception. Punched by Rowley, Arden fell against the marble fireplace fender and died. Rowley saw the opportunity to incriminate David. He smashed in Arden's head with fire tongs and left David's lighter at the scene. Rowley persuaded Major Porter to give the false identification by offering him money. Then Rowley employed Poirot, who would be sure to go to Porter. Porter's guilt led him to commit suicide, leaving a note that Rowley destroyed.
Rowley first appealed to Poirot to find the true identity of the dead Trenton. Major Porter said to Poirot that Arden was indeed Robert Underhay, and the coroner's jury votes against advice to believe him, voting willful murder by David. The estate will revert to the Cloades, if the jury's decision holds, as it means Rosaleen's second marriage was not valid. However, out of sheer guilt, Major Porter committed suicide.
Upon discovering from Lynn that she had fell in love with David Hunter, Rowley went into a blind fury and attacked her, but was stopped by Poirot. After the denouement and the revelation that David was the murderer of Rosaleen, Rowley was arrested for manslaughter and was remorseful of his crimes. However, Lynn was impressed by his stregnth and decided to be together with him as a couple once he left the prison.
- Rowley's efforts was mainly for framing David Hunter, his love rival, into the seemly murder of Charles Trenton. However, in an ironic twist, he didn't discover that Hunter was already guilty of another murder; the murder of (fake) Rosalie Cloade aka Eileen Corrigan.
- In Agatha Christie's Poirot, Lynn never chose Rowley as her lover. When David was hung for murder, Rowley presumably went to jail off-screen. After that, Lynn decided to leave the Cloade family and England, whilst remaining single by the end of the episode (though she revealed she still had feelings towards David).