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By Ellery Queen

 A corpse in a division shop window deals a grotesque puzzle for Ellery Queen

The home windows of French’s division shop are one in all New York’s nice sights. Year-round, their screens sing their own praises the best in style, artwork, and residential décor, and travelers and locals alike make some degree of forestalling to determine what’s on provide. One afternoon, because the board debates a merger upstairs, a salesgirl starts an indication in a single of the home windows, exhibiting off French’s new Murphy mattress. A crowd gathers to monitor the mattress decrease from the wall after a unmarried contact of a button. yet because the mattress opens, humans run screaming. Out tumbles a woman—crumpled, bloody, and dead.
The sufferer used to be Mrs. French, spouse of the corporate president, and discovering her killer will flip this esteemed shop the other way up. just one detective has the delicate contact necessary—debonair highbrow Ellery Queen. As Queen and his police inspector father dig into French’s secrets and techniques, they locate their killer is extra critical than any window shopper.

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The Inspector took a breakthrough, leveled his finger at her. “Why did you open this mattress at twelve-fifteen this day? ” “I, I had to,” she faltered. “That was—” Lavery waver his arm hesitantly on the Inspector. “I can clarify that—” “Sir! ” Lavery coloured, then smiled cynically. “Go on, leave out Johnson. ” “Well, sir, that used to be the ordinary time for the exhibition. I continually pop out into this room a couple of minutes ahead of twelve and prepare. ” The phrases tumbled out. “And then, whilst I’d simply obtained via exhibiting this contraption”—she indicated the divan, which appeared a mix of couch, mattress, and bookcase—“I visit the wall, push the button, after which that—that lifeless girl fell out correct at my toes. …” She shuddered and drew a deep breath, glancing on the detective Hagstrom, who was once busily taking down her phrases in shorthand. “You had no suggestion the physique used to be within for those who pressed the button, leave out Johnson? ” demanded the Inspector. The model’s eyes flew broad open. “No sir! I wouldn’t have touched that mattress for one thousand cash if I’d recognized that. ” The uniformed nurse giggled nervously. She sobered immediately because the Inspector stared in her path. “Very good. That’s all. ” He became to Hagstrom. “Got each notice? ” The detective nodded, preserving a serious silence because the outdated guy winked fleetingly at him. Inspector Queen became again to the gang. “Nurse, take Diana Johnson in your sanatorium upstairs and preserve her there until eventually I supply the note! ” The version stumbled in her eagerness to go away the window-room. The nurse a bit of sulkily in the back of. The Inspector had Patrolman Bush summoned. The policeman saluted, replied a number of questions on what had happened at the sidewalk in the meanwhile the physique fell, and to that end contained in the window-room, and was once commissioned to return to his submit on 5th road. “Crouther! ” the shop detective was once status by means of the aspect of Ellery and Dr. Prouty. He now slouched ahead and stared boldly at Queen. “You’re the top shop detective? ” “Yes, Inspector. ” He shuffled his toes and grinned, showing tobacco-stained enamel. “Sergeant Velie tells me that he recommended you to scatter your males throughout the major ground quickly after the physique was once came across. have you ever attended to that? ” “Yes, sir. bought a squad of half-dozen shop detectives workin’ outdoor, and positioned each on hand ‘spotter’ at the activity, too,” spoke back Crouther speedily. “But they haven’t grew to become up anyone suspicious but. ” “Could not often count on it. ” The Inspector took one other pinch of snuff. “Tell me simply what you stumbled on for those who got here in the following. ” “Well, Inspector, the 1st I knew concerning the homicide used to be while considered one of my detectives ’phoned me upstairs in my workplace that whatever had occurred outdoor at the sidewalk—riot or anything. I got here down right now and as I handed this window I heard Mr. Lavery yell for me. I ran in, observed the physique layin’ right here, and the woman fainting at the flooring. Bush, the officer at the beat, got here in correct after me. I informed ’em not anything must be touched until eventually the Headquarters males came, after which acquired correct after the mobs outdoor, and customarily saved an eye fixed on every little thing till Sergeant Velie came.

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