The Thirteen Problems 10

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Miss Marple tells of a case what she witnessed.

While she was staying at a hydro, some kind of spa, she made the acquaintance of Mr and Mrs Sanders. Miss Marple was convinced that Mr Sanders wanted to kill his wife. It was Christmas and that week two people had died, the hall porter and a maid.

Mr Sanders comes up to Miss Marple and another lady, and asks them if they could help her to choose a present for his wife. They go to the room and find Mrs Sanders lying on the floor dead. The police come, and Miss Marple has to rethink her previous suspicions as Mr Sanders had an alibi. However, in the end Miss Marple explains that the woman they found in the room wasn’t Mrs Sanders. In fact, the woman was alive when the corpse was found. The body was the maid’s that Mr Sanders took from the room where it had been lain. Since the woman was face down, nobody could tell she wasn’t Mrs Sanders. Actually, Mrs Sanders was killed later, and the reason why the man changed the bodies is that he needed an alibi for the time of the murder. The  bit that gave Miss Marple the clue was the hat that was first found in the dead woman’s head and later was found on the floor. Mr Sanders couldn’t use his wife’s hat because the cupboard was locked as the woman had hidden some embroidered slippers and handkerchiefs that she wanted to give her husband for Christmas. Mr Sanders had to use the maid’s hat to cover her head, but then the hat didn’t fit Mrs Sanders’s head since she had a a good chignon.

Mr Sanders was found out and hanged for the crime.

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