When Louis Thouret is found stabbed to death in an alley off Boulevard Saint-Martin, his identity card shows a workplace, Kaplan et Zanin, that had gone out of business three years earlier. As far as his wife, Emilie Thouret, knew, he still worked there, and she insisted that the shoes and a tie he was wearing when he was killed "couldn't be his". It soon becomes evident that although he had a source of income, he spent most of his time sitting on a bench in the neighborhood, often with the same unknown man; a search uncovers the room he rented and used as his "den". His daughter, Monique Thouret, had a young boyfriend, Albert Jorisse, who has disappeared, and Thouret had a girlfriend, Antoinette Machère, a woman who'd worked for a while at his company, the widow of a policeman.
Finally his bench companion, Fred the Clown, is found, and admits to doing a series of daytime burglaries which Thouret had, in a sense, masterminded. His daughter, Monique, had discovered his secret, or at least that his former job had disappeared, and with her boyfriend Albert, had been extorting money from him to keep the secret from his wife, with the two of them planning to elope. Maigret eventually realizes that the murder was committed by someone connected to the boarding house, and finally Marco, the boyfriend of Mariette Gibon, the owner, is arrested. He had stolen the money from Thouret's room, and killed him to cover up the theft.
This report prepared by Dana Samson