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M, at 56, in his first year of retirement at Meung-sur-Loire, is visited by young Jean Maura, the son of a wealthy businessman, John Maura of New York. With the help of his elderly lawyer, Maître d'Hoquélus, he convinces M to sail with him to New York, where he believes his father is in danger. But upon arrival Jean disappears. M goes to the Saint-Régis to see his father, but is greeted by the secretary, Jos MacGill, who says he's away, but he can talk to him. M refuses to talk to him, and John Maura comes out of the next room, but on hearing M's story isn't interested.
M checks into the hotel, and that night meets his old FBI friend Michael O'Brien who tells him that Maura, as a young immigrant, had lived in the Bronx, near Findlay and 169th St. M goes up there by cab to look around for where the tailor, Angelino Giacomi lived. The next day when he returns, he learns that Giacomi, an old man, had been run down by a car. Meanwhile M has hired a private detective, Ronald Dexter, to help him get background on Maura's past, when he was part of a comedy act J & J. He learns there'd been a partner, Joseph Daumale, and a girl Jessie Dewey. Meanwhile Jean Maura has reappeared, at his father's hotel, and apoligizes to M saying it was all a mistake. Dexter comes to M and says he's told all to the gangsters, everything that M had learned so far.
But by this time M has figured it out. He calls Maura and MacGill to his hotel room, where he's also brought Jim Parson, a drunken newsman who'd lived in France, and makes a long distance call to Daumale confirm his ideas. Maura and Daumale, in their 20s, young musicians, had come to America. Maura and Jessie had fallen in love, and married just before Maura had to return to France where his father was dying. While he was gone his friend took advantage of the situation, and when a child was born he had it put in a home, as he believed it was Maura's. Maura returned, and on learning the story killed Jessie in a rage, witnessed by the old tailor, who said nothing. Grief-stricken at what he'd done, he eventually remarried and had a son, Jean. The past year, Parson had met Daumale in France, and Daumale had gotten drunk and told the story. He'd located Jos MacGill, who'd run around with the same bad crowd. MacGill had shown up at Maura's announcing that he was his son, but the gangsters had been blackmailing Maura ever since. They were eventually arrested for killing Angelino.
Maigret of the Month: March, 2006