Yes, its Wolfe come to the rescue ! (Appropriate music)
He shakes hands with Archie (and Lily !!) and they go into the cabin.
He admits to being the party responsible for the pressure from Helena.
Archie starts to fill him in, but Wolfe interrupts.
‘I interrupt. You’re on leave without pay, but permit me.
About three o’clock Thursday afternoon he went up a hill alone to pick berries.
When he didn’t return, even for the evening meal, there was concern, and when dark approached a search was begun.
His favorite area for berries was known.
About nine-thirty his body was found by a man named Sam Peacock on a boulder near the top of the hill.
He had been shot twice, in the shoulder and in the neck.
No bullets were found, but the wounds suggested a high-powered gun.
The medical evidence was that he had died between three and six clock.
The first limit was of course established, since he had been seen alive by four people around three o’clock; the second limit is probably correct.
Do you challenge any of that?’
Archie hopes Wolfe didn’t pay for the phone call.
They discuss the evidence, and Archie sticks firm to Harvey’s innocence, because ‘He wouldn’t have shot him in the back’. (Then is a rare footnote in the book to a previous case, ‘Death of a Doxy’.
We are usually left to figure out the obscure references ourselves. (Does this ever happen elsewhere in the corpus ?)
Wolfe gets talked into staying, but not before asking Lily if she killed the man (to be fair, he asks Archie too), and whether there is a blankie available.
While they wait for the taxi to return with his luggage which he left at his motel in Timberburg, he has Archie report.
The gist of it is that no one is ruled out as a suspect.
But there are clues, clues, lots of clues.
1) Wolfe asks Lily if she did it, as he does for all new clients. But he asks Archie, too. How unusual is this ???
2) Pulling the nose, which is mentioned, is an old American custom, dating from before the civil war. It was on par with slapping with a glove, also a mortal insult.
3) That was SOME fireplace. SIX FOOT LOGS !!!
4) BUT YOU GOTTA READ THE CHAPTER