While Inspector Pyke of Scotland Yard is staying with Maigret to observe his methods, Maigret receives word of a murder in the Midi, on the island of Porquerolles, of Marcellin, a man who claims to have been Maigret's friend. Actually, he'd been a criminal whose girlfriend, Ginette, a prostitute, Maigret had helped to find a sanatarium years ago. Maigret and Pyke go to the island. Jojo, a maid at the hotel, mentions to Maigret that Marcellin had boasted that he could get money any time he wanted. Maigret checks with the local telephone operator, and finds that Marcellin had called Ginette to find out "what year Van Gogh had died". Maigret makes the connection. Marcellin had discovered that Jef de Greef, a vagabond painter, had forged a Van Gogh, and Philippe de Moricourt had bought it for his mistress, Mrs. Ellen Wilcox, an Englishwoman. One or both of them had killed Marcellin to stop him from revealing the truth.
This report prepared by Dana Samson