|“||Never, Hastings, never have I met a man so obnoxious.||„|
|~ Poirot being irritated at Sir Reuben|
Sir Reuben Astwell is the secondary antagonist as well as the primary victim of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot short story The Under Dog, which would be included in her 1960 short story collection The Adventure of the Christimas Pudding and a Selection of Entrées.
He was a cruel and selfish industrialist who demanded profits from the war and abused his family as well as his subordinates. He was killed by the story's culprit out of revenge of his nine-year-old abuse upon them.
He was portrayed by Denis Lill in Agatha Christie's Poirot.
In the original story
In Agatha Christie's Poirot
In Agatha Christie's Poirot, Sir Reuben made his appearance in the beginning of his story when Poirot and Hastings arrived to visit him. However, much to his disgust, Poirot had discovered that Sir Reuben was a selfish and greedy man, who showed concern to nothing other than money. Even though he had a large collection of Belgian minirature, he showed no taste over art and was, in Poirot's words, obnoxious.
After the murder occured, Poirot discovered that Astwell's chemical company had developed synthetic rubber so precious that someone has broken into the company to try and steal the formula. Astwell himself was more than willing to sell it to the highest bidder, even the Nazis.
Nevertheless, it was revealed that the formula was actually developed by Charles, a chemist, whose sister Lily was working as Astwell's secretary. It was actually stolen by Astwell to profit in the war through selling them to Germany. In this version, Trefusis was a chemist who once had a share of the synthetic rubber's profit with Astwell, believing it to be the latter's work, but turned out Astwell decided to sell it to Germans. Trefusis decided to steal the contract and destroyed it, but he was discovered by Astwell, whom he accidentally killed after knocking him down with a minirature.