Chapter 17 starts off with Kenneth Meer coming early, a few minutes before 3. He drives a green Jaguar. Nice cars, at that time anyway.
He resents having to come on Saturday afternoon.
Wolfe says he had hoped to have more information on a point he wanted to discuss with him but it hadn’t come. However since he’s already there Wolfe wants to discuss his bloody hands.
There are quite a few guesses that Wolfe goes over with him concerning his source of distress and the title of this book comes into play here in the line:
Or you hadn’t, but you knew or suspected who had, and your conscience was galling you; your imagined bloody hands were insisting, please pass the guilt.
Meer likes that line.
“So do I. Mr. Goodwin will too. He once said that I ride words bareback. But the devil of it is that after more than three weeks the guesses are still guesses, and it may possibly help to mention them to you. Have you a comment?”
Meer says no to all of the questions Wolfe puts to him at this point.
Wolfe asks him why he told a man that if they wanted to know how it happened they should concentrate on Helen Lugos?
Meer denies he said it.
Archie tells him that he said it to Pete Damiano soon after it happened.
Meer says Pete would say anything.
Wolfe says things to him and tells him that he was going to ask the same question he had asked Helen that morning and then asks what he and Miss Lugos talked about in the early afternoon on Monday, May 19th shortly after lunch.
Meer doesn’t remember but wants to know what she said.
Wolfe is a bit peeved. He has Archie show Meer out.
When Archie returns Wolfe asks if he needs to apologize to him, and that he should have gone before lunch.
Archie says no apology needed and that the number is on his pad as usual, goes and gets his bag from the hall, the Heron from the garage and heads to Lily’s “glade” in Westchester.
And that’s it for chapter 17 in our Saturday countdown. I get the impression that Wolfe is not real happy with Mr. Meer. 😉
Comments, corrections, criticism requested.