Chapter 36

Of course, Miss Marple was intrigued by what the book had to say about the roles people took in the recovery process. The talkative Mr Caspar was a ‘storyteller’; Professor Wanstead was of course a ‘professor’; Mrs Sandbourne was the ‘organiser’; Mr Jameson was a’pigeon’; Mrs Riseley-Porter was what the book called a ‘bleeding deacon’ and Miss Temple appeared to be ‘a pilgrim’.

Then the trip took a nasty turn as Miss Temple was badly injured by a rock. It turned out the Miss Temple was more of a ‘chronically failing sinner’ since she was not entirely sober at the time of the accident, if that is what it was. Presumably, her inebriated state had made it harder for her to get out of the way of the rock. Sad though the event was, it did reinforced the sobriety of and strengthen the growing alliance between the rest of the party, and the shock encouraged some like Mrs Riseley-Porter to be more open about themselves and their struggles.

It also brought Misses Barrow and Cooke more into the community. Miss Barrow turned out to be something of a mentor for the party including Miss Marple, and the confidence that grew between them was of course crucial for solving Mr Rafael’s puzzle.

Enquries about Mr Rafael’s son were yielding confusing information. He seemed to be involved with homeless alcoholics in London, but whether as an addicted member of this group or as a helper was not clear.

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