Maigret is called to a tiny village lost in time, Vitry-aux-Loges, in the forest of Orléans. An old woman had been killed, Marguerite Potru, 62, stabbed to death. Her sister, Amélie Potru, 65, had numerous stab wounds, none serious. But since that time she'd refused to speak or leave her bed. Share certificates and valuable papers were found to be missing. The evidence, including especially fingerprints, suggested that Marguerite's son, Marcel Potru, a rough wood-cutter, was guilty, and he'd been arrested. But Maigret had understood the case completely before he even arrived. Amélie had killed her sister, then stabbed herself. She'd hidden the papers in an empty wine cask, which Maigret knew of from the drips of candle wax found nearby. It had been assumed that Marcel had gone in for a drink. Maigret assumed she'd read somewhere of fingerprints, and that had given her the inspiration of how to get rid of the two people she hated most, her sister and her nephew. Maigret lost little time in sawing open the empty cask, and revealing the "stolen" documents.
This report prepared by Dana Samson