The story is told in the first person by a modest young sleuth who is sent to a suburban place to ferret out the mystery which shrouds the murder of a prominent man. Circumstantial evidence in the shape of a gold mesh bag points to a woman as the criminal, and the only possible one is the dead man's niece with whom the detective promptly falls in love, though she is already engaged to her uncle's secretary, and alliance which the dead man insisted must be discontinued, otherwise he would disinherit the girl.
"I don't know him," Stone returned; "I've no idea what his name is, I've never seen him, and except what I can read from these shoes I know nothing about him."
I stared at him incredulously, as I always did when confronted by his astonishing "deductions," and simply said
"Tell this little Missourian all about it."
"It did sound well, reeled off like that, didn't it?" he observed, chuckling more at my air of eager curiosity than at his own achievement. "But it's absurdly easy, after all. He is a young man because his shoes are in the very latest, extreme, not exclusive style. He is five feet eight, because the size of his foot goes with that height of man, which, by the way, is the height of nine out of ten men, any way. He doesn't live in New York or he wouldn't be stopping at a hotel. Besides, he would be down-town at this hour, attending to business."
"Unless he has freak business hours, as you and I do," I put in.
"Yes, that might be. But I still hold that he doesn't live in
Another delightful Fleming Stone mystery.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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