The devil is in the details.
Mrs. DeLacey was found in her bedroom at 08.28 by her housekeeper Dolores Pritchitt when she brought Mrs. DeLacey her morning coffee. On the bedside table were the cup containing the remains of Mrs. DeLacey’s hot chocolate and two digestive biscuits. Dolores Pritchitt says she knew mischief was afoot the moment she saw the digestive biscuits. Mrs. Delacey was not one to let a digestive biscuit go uneaten.
Prunella Plume is missing. So too is her new green car.
This much we know for a fact.
A quick deduction would lead us to the logical assumption that Prunella Plume was the perpetrator of this vile, heinous and despicable act.
Let us examine the details:
Item 1: The keys. Did Prunella Plume use them to let herself out of the house after committing the dastardly crime? If so, why did she go back inside to leave them on the dining room table?
Usually the keys are kept on the first hook to the right just inside the back door.
Dr. DeLacey admits to using them on the evening in question when he let his beloved cat Plootsie back in – something he always had to do after his wife retired to bed because she could not abide cats. According to Dolores Pritchitt, Mrs. DeLacey had explicitly forbidden her husband from bringing Plootsie into the house.
Dr. DeLacey insists he replaced the keys on the hook at 10.03 pm. and, as for Mrs. DeLacey’s antagonism towards Plootsie, maintains that what the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t grieve over.
Item 2: The embroidery sampler. Where is it? This is a priceless family heirloom from Mrs. DeLacey’s side of the family (the Dregton branch of the Gaspilly-Burten-d’Edgeworths). Who has this valuable artifact?
It should be noted that both Dr. DeLacey and Lieutenant-Colonel Blatt lost significant sums on LeapingBullet II last June in the Grandville World Cup.
And how did Prunella Plume find the wherewithall to pay for her fancy green car? The price was well beyond her means.
Item 3: The bottle of Sulphate of Zinc. Traces of Sulphate of Zinc were found in the remains of Mrs. DeLacey’s hot chocolate. The bottle itself was discovered between two books in the library, “How to Exorcise Irritations from your Life Once and For All” and “In Times of Bedevilment”.
Miss Rouge admits to having recently read these two books (indeed, her fingerprints were found on both – but not on the bottle) and claims that was simply to help her get to sleep and that she did not absorb or retain any of the contents of these books. She has been suffering from insomnia due to stress occasioned by Mrs. DeLacey’s unreasonable demands.
(Example: The very morning of the crime Mrs. DeLacey had specifically asked her to book her a weekend at Le Lion d’Or in Paris, then minutes after Miss Rouge had done that very thing, berated her for not having booked her in at Le Cochon d’Or.)
Item 4: Dolores Pritchitt’s mob-cap. This was found on Lieutenant-Colonel Blatt’s bed.
Dolores Pritchitt maintains Miss Rouge put it there to incriminate her because Miss Rouge is jealous of Dolores Pritchitt’s excellent relationship with their employer, Mrs. DeLacey.
Miss Rouge says the relationship that is a problem is the one between Dolores Pritchitt and Lieutenant-Colonel Blatt. Mrs. DeLacey had been furious to discover that afternoon an unhealthy intimate relationship between Dolores Pritchitt and Lieutenant-Colonel Blatt and had instantly terminated Dolores Pritchitt’s employment. She (Miss Rouge) had typed up the letter to this effect. No such letter has been found.
Is it indeed true that Mrs. DeLacey’s own unhealthy intimate relationship with Lieutenant-Colonel Blatt came to an acrimonious conclusion last Tuesday? Who was the instigator of the conclusion – Lieutenant-Colonel Blatt or Mrs. DeLacey herself? Or is this simply a vile rumour?
Where oh where is Prunella Plume?
Prunella Plume, in the Bedroom, with Sulphate of Zinc? was inspired by the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Details.
The sampler, the mob cap and the bottle of Sulphate of Zinc are from The Georgian House, Edinburgh and the keys are from Gladstone’s Land, Edinburgh. I highly recommend visiting both if you’re lucky enough to find yourself in Edinburgh. The green car was sighted in Montréal during the 2016 Montréal Grand Prix.
All material on this site, except for comments by others, are ©Susi Lovell.