Pilfered Promises 4

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One mystery is solved. Thanks to Biddy’s tip-off, the thieves are caught.

Kathleen also plays an important role. When she goes with Laura and Kitty to the store, Biddy tells her that the woman she suspects, Cherry, is wearing a red dress, so while Laura is doing some last purchases, Kathleen goes back to see Biddy. When she identifies Cherry, the woman is making a show of herself as she has dropped a bunch of coins. While everybody is distracted, watching Cherry, Kathleen is observant and sees a man stealing several expensive objects. Kathleen and Biddy tell Mr Jenkins, who calls Mr Livingston and the police. Patrick is assigned to follow the woman, and he sees Cherry meeting the man whose likeness Kathleen had described. For days Patrick watches the man, and he manages to find out that he was in cahoots with other men and other girls in several stores. In the end the police get to arrests several women, who were tricked to help this man in the robberies when he promised them they would marry them, and several partners in his crimes.

As for Marie’s murder, it is unclear who would want her dead. Thanks to the Moffet sisters, Annie knows that the quality in the tailored clothes has slipped in the last months. Annie thinks that this might linked to the woman’s death as some of the people working in the store is benefiting from purchasing cheap fabrics and probably pocketing the difference. Annie also discovers that there was no Captain Fournier, Marie’s alleged husband who died at sea, and Miss Spencer, who used to be Marie’s apprentice and now rents her shop, tells Annie that there was a man who visited a few years ago and who Emmaline called Uncle, but that man died, or that is what Marie told her. Annie thinks that this man might have been Emmaline’s father and Marie was his kept woman. The bank also tells Annie that there was a strange business as apparently, Marie borrowed $1,000, but around the time when Marie said the Uncle died, she claimed that she had never applied for the loan, but in the end she reached an agreement with the bank to make small payments, mortgaging her shop.

Annie also discovers that just the day before she was killed, Marie had paid $500, cancelling the debts. There is some evidence in the room that Marie had over her shop that indicated that Marie enjoyed some luxuries, and it seemed that the room was a perfect love nest. So Annie and Kathleen, who accompanied her mistress to see the place, think that Marie might have been meeting a lover there at weekends. So who is the lover? Robbie Livingston? That is the man that they think might have had a dalliance with Marie. And why was she killed? Was she blackmailing someone, and that is why she could pay off the debt with the bank? Annie says that doesn’t make sense because if blackmail was the motive, why didn’t the murderer kill her before paying her the money? Annie, Nate and the police keep talking about a man as the killer, but I have the hunch that it might be a woman. That means that there are two candidates: Madame Villeneuve and Miss Birdsoll. I have no idea what possible motive they could have for killing Marie. Annie feels that Madame Villeneuve had some issues with Marie, but we don’t know the details. Now Madame Villeneuve and her husband want to adopt Emmaline but I doubt that might be the reason of their hostility.

Annie is still feeling a bit under the weather, and she thinks it is the cold that she has been fighting. Yet, I think she is pregnant, and I don’t think I’m wrong.

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