Please Pass The Guilt – Chapter 6

Chapter 6 starts with Archie trying to decide on whether or not Mrs Odell would get her check back. He doesn’t want to put it in the bank until he is sure that neither she or Wolfe is going to call the whole deal off.

She got the whole crew to agree go be there but she wanted to come early and Wolfe didn’t want her there at all. She delivers an ultimatum.

Archie gets the Heron sedan and headed over and sweet talked her into doing it Wolfe’s way.

The party started a bit before 9 with Sylvia Venner being first and Kenneth Meer being last at 9:08.

Archie gives a good visual description of them here. Read the book. 😉

Wolfe comes in and thanks them for coming on behalf of Mrs. Odell and then starts in on them.

The first interruption comes from Theodore Falk.

Wolfe continues with his dissection of the crime and the “he did, she did, they did” routine.

Cass R. Abbott (the current president of CAN) is the second to interrupt with “Tommyrot!”
and wanting to know what “facts” Wolfe wants.

Wolfe tells them he doesn’t know and that he doesn’t really think he will get anything out of them. But goes on and starts the round robin Q and A session:

A question, Mr. Abbott: Do you think it likely that the person who put the bomb in the drawer is now in this room?”

To which he gets the expected assortment of answers. You want the details? 😉

He continues with wanting to know where they were 3 weeks ago on Friday, May sixteenth, to Sunday, May eighteenth and how they spent the weekend.

When he gets to Browning he and Archie get a shock as he tells them he and his wife spent the entire time on a yacht on the Sound as guests of James Farquhar, the banker.

So Miss Haber was lying about when (and if?) she called him to warn him.

After another complaint from Abbott, Wolfe gets up and tells them that it would be fruitless to continue, thanks them again for coming and leaves the room.

Archie gets the guests herded up and out and goes into the kitchen to see Wolfe, who is waiting for the foam to settle enough to drink his beer.

It’s going on eleven o’clock,” I said. “I would love to start on it right now, but I suppose I can’t.”
“Of course not,” he growled. He drank beer. “Do we need to discuss it?”
“I don’t think so.” I went and got a bottle of scotch from the cupboard. There are times when milk will not do. “I have a suggestion. Do you want it?”
He said yes, and I gave it to him.

And thus ends yet another episode in the continuing Rex Stout mystery drama: Please Pass The Guilt. 😉
They have one lead anyway – The rather obvious lie that Miss Haber told about the time and day she called Browning. Guess we will see what chapter 7 brings.

Comments, corrections, criticism requested.

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