The Silent Speaker (Nero Wolfe Mysteries) by Rex Stout

By Rex Stout

While a robust executive legitimate scheduled to talk to a bunch of millionaires turns up lifeless, the enterprise international clamors for an answer, and Nero Wolfe takes the case.

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Ed Erskine has calluses on his hands. ” He sighed clear down. “I was going to finish that book this evening. ” He heaved the bulk forward and rang for beer. I, standing at the cabinet filing the germination records that Theodore had brought down from the plant rooms, was compelled to admit that he had earned my admiration. Not for his conception of the idea of digging up a paying customer; that was merely following precedent in times of drought. Not for the method he had adopted for the digging; I could have thought that up myself.

I stood up and stretched, and looked at him. “I presume,” I observed, “that the rest is merely routine collection of evidence. Ed Erskine has calluses on his hands. ” He sighed clear down. “I was going to finish that book this evening. ” He heaved the bulk forward and rang for beer. I, standing at the cabinet filing the germination records that Theodore had brought down from the plant rooms, was compelled to admit that he had earned my admiration. Not for his conception of the idea of digging up a paying customer; that was merely following precedent in times of drought.

On a beeline, Miss Harding. ” She laughed competently. “What! ” I laughed back. We were chums. “I guess that’s nearer the truth, at that, because I admit I’ve come to get a load of nectar. For Nero Wolfe. He thinks he needs a list of the members of the NIA who were at that dinner at the Waldorf Tuesday evening, and sent me here to get it. He has a copy of the printed list, but he needs to know who is on it that didn’t come and who came that isn’t on it. ” She didn’t answer that, and she was through laughing.

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