And Be a Villain | Chapter 33 of 35 - Part: 1 of 2

Author: Rex Stout | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 4308 Views | Add a Review

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Chapter 26

 

T

he experts were enthusiastic about the letter Lawrence Koppel had written to his friend. They called it one of the cleverest forgeries they had ever seen. But what pleased Wolfe most was the finding of the cyanide. It was in the hollowedout heel of a house slipper, and was evidently the leavings of the supply Mrs. Lawrence Koppel had snitched six years ago from her husband’s shelf.

It was May eighteenth that she was sentenced on her conviction for the first-degree murder of Deborah Koppel. They had decided that was the best one to try her for. The next day, a Wednesday, a little before noon, Wolfe and I were in the office checking over catalogues when the phone rang. I went to my desk for it.

“Nero Wolfe’s office, Archie Goodwin speaking.”

“May I speak to Mr. Wolfe, please?”

“Who is it?”

“Tell him a personal matter.”

I covered the transmitter. “Personal matter,” I told Wolfe. “A man whose name I have forgotten.”

“What the devil! Ask him.”

“A man,” I said distinctly, “whose name I have forgotten.”

“Oh.” He frowned. He finished checking an item and then picked up the phone on his desk, while I stayed with mine. “This is Nero Wolfe.”

“I would know the voice anywhere. How are you?”

“Well, thank you. Do I know you?”

“Yes. I am calling to express my appreciation of your handling of the Fraser case, now that it’s over. I am pleased and thought you should know it. I have been, and still am, a little annoyed, but I am satisfied that you are not responsible. I have good sources of information. I congratulate you on keeping your investigation within the limits I prescribed. That has increased my admiration of you.”

“I like to be admired,” Wolfe said curtly. “But when I undertake an investigation I permit prescription of limits only by the requirements of the job. If that job had taken me across your path you would have found me there.”

“Then that is either my good fortune—or yours.”

The connection went.

I grinned at Wolfe. “He’s an abrupt bastard.”

Wolfe grunted. I returned to my post at the end of his desk and picked up my pencil.

“One little idea,” I suggested. “Why not give Dr. Michaels a ring and ask if anyone has phoned to switch his subscription? No, that won’t do, he’s paid up. Marie Leconne?”

“No. I invite trouble only when I’m paid for it. And to grapple with him the pay would have to be high.”

“Okay.” I checked an item. “You’d be a problem in a foxhole, but the day may come.”

Comments

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Maria Garcia
Hi Mohammad Davoodi, we have fixed the issue, thank you for bringing this to our notice.
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Mohammad Davoodi
Chapter 24 is missing. Can you add it please
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