EQMM November 1946 1November means Thanksgiving, and the story starts with Ellery humbugging the holiday. Ellery tells Nikki, “I say, if we must celebrate Thanksgiving, let us give thanks to the red man, whose land we took away. I say – let us have facts!” By “red man,” Ellery meant the native peoples of what is now southeastern Massachusetts, primarily the Wampanoag. Despite changing language, the point remains.

Not everyone agrees, however. In the back of a taxi, Ellery exclaims,

‘ “Hang the Pilgrims!”
“That’s subversive propaganda, brother,” said the driver.
Ellery shut the communicating window, violently.’

The story centers around a tiny French restaurant, which is described wistfully. Could a restaurant really be able to survive “just off Canal Street…squeezed between a button factory and a ship chandler’s?” Since “cars with Brooklyn accents wished by its plate glass front,” I suppose anything is possible.

The restaurant is, of course, a front for a drug dealing operation. The story is one of redemption, as Ellery clears a man framed three years earlier, restoring his and his wife’s lives back to some degree of respectability, while, yes, throwing the cab driver in jail.

One thought on “The Adventure of the Telltale Bottle (1946)

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