For the first time in his career, Maigret is summoned to the Chief Commissioner's office by a written summons. He has been accused by Nicole Prieur, 17-year-old niece of a high-ranking public official, of picking her up in a bar, getting her drunk, and taking her to a hotel room, where he undressed her, but "was unable to do anything." Maigret is forbidden to interview her or anyone regarding the case, and told that if offered, his resignation would be accepted. Maigret disregards the injunction and starts to investigate, returning to Manuel Palmari's, who he had been investigating for a series of jewel robberies, and sending out inspectors, against orders.
He learns from a Sorbonne porter that Nicole was a member of the Hundred Keys Club, which he visits, and discovers that her sponsor had been François Mélan, the dentist whose office was opposite Palmari's. Suspicious, he visits the dentist and makes inquiries about him, eventually discovering that besides being a brilliant, troubled man, he was also an abortionist. Three of his clients had died during the procedure, and he had buried them secretly in his garden. He had spotted Maigret at Palmari's, whose window was opposite his, and assumed that Maigret was on his trail, so had set up the situation with Nicole to get Maigret off the case.
This report prepared by Dana Samson