The Thirteen Problems 11

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Mrs Bantry is next.

She and her husband were staying at Sir Ambrose Bercy’s. Apart from them, there was Sylvia Keene, Sir Ambrose’s ward; Maud Wye, her friend, Mr Curle, an elderly gentleman interested in books and parchment, Jerry Lorimer, a neighbour engaged to Sylvia, and Mrs Carpentier, some kind of governess. There was a mishap when foxglove leaves were picked with the sage, and when they were used to cook, all the diners were taken sick, and Sylvia Keene died. Mrs Bantry also tells that Jerry Lorimer, engaged to Sylvia, was not very faithful as she saw him and Maud kissing, and she says that the pair married six months after the events.

Everybody discusses the case, trying to come up with some theory. They wonder if Sylvia was actually the intended victim, and maybe the person who was supposed to die was Sir Ambrose, who had a heart condition. Miss Marple is the one who comes up with the solution to the problem. The murderer was Sir Ambrose, who wanted to kill his ward out of jealousy. The man was in love with her, and he couldn’t stand the idea of Sylvia with another man. Somehow the man managed to add some more digitalis, found in the foxglove, in what Sylvia ate or drank, and that was how he was sure she would die. Mrs Bantry confirms the truth as Sir Ambrose confessed to the crime shortly before he passed away.

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