By Rex Stout
While a millionaire businessman hires the sedentary detective to listen in on his daughter's boyfriend, Wolfe unearths himself stuck in a labyrinthine case regarding drugged beverages, murderous debutantes, and a gangland boss.
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Her brain used to be evidently too fascinated by anything else for dallying. “Where have you ever been? ” she requested. I instructed her to Chappaqua to make a telephone name. She took my arm and eased me alongside during the door into the reception corridor, and there confronted me to invite, “Have you visible Gwenn? ” “No. Why, the place is she? ” “I don’t be aware of. yet I think—” She stopped. I crammed in. “I intended she used to be off in a nook making up her brain. ” “You didn’t exit to satisfy her? ” “Now I ask you,” I objected. “I’m no longer even a trojan horse, I simply paintings for one. Why should still she be assembly me? ” “I think no longer. ” Madeline hesitated. “After dinner she instructed Dad she could permit him recognize once she may possibly, and went as much as her room. I went in and desired to seek advice from her, yet she chased me out, and that i went to Mother’s room. Later I went again to Gwenn’s room and she or he allow me speak a few, after which she acknowledged she used to be going outdoor. I went downstairs along with her. She went out the again means. I went again as much as mom, and while I got here down back and located you had long gone out i presumed perhaps you had met her. ” “Nope. ” I shrugged. “She can have had hassle discovering the reply in the home and went outdoor for it. in any case, she acknowledged earlier than bedtime and it’s no longer 11 but. provide her time. in the meantime you should sit back. How a couple of video game of pool? ” She overlooked the invitation. “You don’t comprehend Gwenn,” she acknowledged. “Not rather well, no. ” “She has a superb point head, yet she’s obdurate as a mule. She’s a bit like Dad. If he had saved off she may have had adequate of Louis some time past. yet now—I’m scared. i guess your Nero Wolfe did the simplest he may well, yet he left a gap. Dad employed him to determine whatever approximately Louis that may hold Gwenn from marrying him. Is that correct? ” “Right. ” “And the way in which Nero Wolfe positioned it, one among 4 issues needed to take place. both he needed to surrender the task, or Dad needed to fireplace him, or Gwenn needed to think what he stated approximately Louis and drop him, or he needed to keep it up and get evidence. yet he ignored whatever else which could ensue. What if Gwenn went away with Louis and married him? that may repair it too, wouldn’t it? may Dad wish Wolfe to head on, to maintain after Louis if he used to be Gwenn’s husband? Gwenn wouldn’t imagine so. ” Madeline’s palms gripped my arm. “I’m scared! i believe she went to satisfy him! ” “I’ll be damned. Did she take a bag? ” “She wouldn’t. She’d recognize I’d attempt to cease her, and pop too—all folks. in the event that your Nero Wolfe is so rattling clever, why didn’t he think about this? ” “He has blind spots, and folks operating off to get married is one in every of them. yet I may still have—my God, am I thick. How some time past did she go away? ” “It should have been an hour—about an hour. ” “Did she take a automobile? ” Madeline shook her head. “I listened for it. No. ” “Then she needs to have—” i finished to frown and imagine. “If that wasn’t it, if she simply went out to have extra air whereas she determined, or in all likelihood to fulfill him the following someplace and feature a conversation, the place might she cross? Has she acquired a favourite spot? ” “She has a number of. ” Madeline was once frowning again at me. “An previous apple tree within the again box, and a laurel thicket down by means of the brook, and a—” “Do you recognize the place there’s a flashlight?