The Adventure of the Perfect Husband
Date - Copper/Early November, 1924
Lucy Kearton comes to Praed St. Her husband Robin has been a perfect husband, but the night before he passed her on the street, in the company of an exotic woman. He brushed her aside and continued on. He denied it the next day, saying she must have mistaken someone else for him. Pons quickly determines that the man is shielding his wife and sets out to determine from what.
Ø Have you ever tried to deceive a woman for any length of time, Parker? I daresay you would not find it so easy as to justify your glib assumption.
Ø Parker: Clearly a case of mistaken identity.
Pons: What a pity you were not a police officer, Parker! You have a distressing tendency to fall back upon the easiest solution, which always to reject the premise.
Ø Robin Kearton is Associate Editor of the Beekeeper’s Journal. Pons disguises himself as an apiarist and visits Kearton at work, looking for a specific article. This is, of course, a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Sherlock Holmes’ retirement to the Sussex Downs to keep bees.
Pons must disguise himself because he fears Kearton, certainly familiar with ‘his illustrious prototype’s’ monograph upon the segregation of the queen, might recognize the similarity between the detectives.
Ø Pons’ comments about the difficulty in trying to deceive a woman for an extended length of time are certainly intriguing. Parker had been married to his first wife for about nine years. That would certainly have given him some experience in the area.
But would Pons have first-hand experience to buttress his assertion? There is no record of him having ever been married, and Parker certainly never learned of any extended relationships. Or any relationships, for that matter. It seems unlikely that he could be referring to something he hid from his mother; a broad assertion based upon a childhood event would be misguided in this case.
But what about Pons’ World War I service for British Intelligence? We know that he was an expert in cryptography and codes. But did that preclude him field operations, for which his amazing skill at disguise would serve admirably? Was there some female whom he was close to on an assignment that required him to deceive her for its duration? It is a plausible assumption.
Ø Amos Sakrisan was convicted of Lilli Morrison’s killing. Given the extenuating circumstances, Robin Kearny seems at least as attractive a suspect. Morrison was blackmailing Kearny and he feared that she would find out that he was married, exponentially worsening his situation. Finally, he killed her to end the threat. Sakrisan could deny everything and even play the bereaving husband. One suspects that, being excitable and dangerous, he lost control when confronted about Morrison’s death and did something rash against the police.
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