Easter Parade

And Four to Go: Christmas Party. Easter Parade. Fourth of July Picnic. Murder Is No Joke

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Synopsis of Easter Parade

When Nero Wolfe’s envy is aroused he’ll go to any length to satisfy it. He embarrassed Archie in his pursuit of Jerome Berin’s recipe for saucisse minuit, and he strongarmed Lewis Hewitt to get those black orchids. Now he’s learned that Millard Bynoe has hybridized a pink Vanda orchid, a unique plant. He wants to examine one and Bynoe has turned him down.

Wolfe has also learned that Mrs. Bynoe will sport a spray of the pink Vanda at this year’s Easter parade in New York, and wonders if Archie knows anyone who would steal it from her. Archie does have a suggestion, a shifty character nicknamed Tabby, who would probably commit petty larceny in public for a couple of hundred bucks. He suggests that in addition to arranging for Tabby’s services, it might be wise to get a photograph of the orchids. Archie offers to attend the parade too, with Wolfe’s new camera.

So it’s decided: Tabby will position himself outside the church where Mr. and Mrs. Bynoe will attend Easter services and will try to snatch the orchid corsage from her shoulder as they exit the church. Archie will be across the street with the camera, attempting to get a good photo of the corsage in case Tabby’s attempted theft fails.

Easter morning arrives. Both Tabby and Archie are in place – Archie’s sharing some wooden crates with several other photographers so as to see over the crowd. One of them is a comely young woman named Iris Innes, who is there as a staff photographer for a magazine.

The Bynoes exit the church in the company of another man. Tabby tries to grab the orchids but the Bynoes’ companion wards him off. So Tabby ducks away into the crowd and begins to stalk them as the three walk up the avenue. Archie has been able to capture much of the action on film.

Suddenly, Mrs. Bynoe collapses. As her companions try to help her, Tabby dashes up to them, snatches the orchid corsage, and sprints away. Archie takes off after him, and catches up just as Tabby gets into a cab. Archie joins him, hushes him, and tells the cabbie to take them to 918 West 35th.

Only after Wolfe has had time to examine the orchids, and to announce that he would pay $3,000 (in 1958) for the full plant, does Archie get a chance to point out that if necessary the police will identify and track Tabby down, and that inevitably Tabby will give up Wolfe and Archie. Archie phones Lon Cohen and learns that Mrs. Bynoe is dead. Wolfe wants to avoid any public mention of his association with the incident, and offers Tabby $10 a day to remain incommunicado at the brownstone. After trying unsuccessfully to raise the per diem, Tabby accepts.

Synopsis taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Parade_(short_story)


Easter ParadeEaster Parade

; 30.2

Included in: And Four to Go

Publisher: Bantam
Year published: 1992
ISBN 0553249851

Language: English
Format: Print

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