Leonard Vole • The young man, 27, accused of murder
Romaine Vole • His foreign suspicious wife, in her mid-thirties
Emily French • The murdered woman, 56
Janet Mackenzie • French’s long time housekeeper who dislikes Leonard Vole
Sir Wilfred Robards • Vole’s lead defense lawyer
Mr. Mayhew • Vole’s second council, the lawyer who he originally consulted.
The Mysterious Woman • The mysterious woman who meets with Robards and Mayhew to deliver letters.
Additional Characters • Dr. Wyatt (medical examiner) • Mr. Clegg (forensic expert)
Summary • Though charged with the murder of Miss Emily French, Leonard Vole swears his innocence. He tells his lawyers that his devoted wife, Romaine, will give him an alibi.
Summary • Romaine declares that she hates Vole and that he is not her legal husband. • Vole goes on trial but things are not going too well. There is no real defense and his wife swears under oath that he is guilty.
Summary • Towards the conclusion of the trial, a mysterious woman brings letters to Sir Wilfred Robards that demonstrate Romaine’s intention to incriminate her husband. • In court the next day the letters are presented and Vole is found not guilty.
Summary • Vole is freed. Romaine meets Robards, Mayhew, and Leonard after the trial and reveals how she worked the lawyers and the jury. • Vole tells Romaine that he is leaving her for a younger woman. She stabs him and he immediately dies. Romaine pronounces him, “Guilty.”
Act I • Mayhew, a local lawyer, brings Leonard Vole to Sir Wilfred, a high level defense lawyer.
Act I • Leonard gives his side of the story and as he is finishing up the police come in to arrest him.
Act I • A few minutes later his wife Romaine turns up at the office also to ask how bad is the trouble her husband is in?
Evidence against Vole • Younger man w/older woman • Doesn’t bring wife to see French • Was there alone on the night of the murder • Has handled French’s finances • Only alibi is his wife • No money • No job • Allowed French to believe that he was unhappily married • French left him almost all of her money
How does Leonard refute this evidence? • Doesn’t seem to know that French left him her money • Wife will say he was at home when French was killed • Claims to have a genuine fondness for French because she reminds him of his Aunt Betsey • Volunteered information to the police
What do they anticipated as the problem with Mrs. Vole? • She is a foreigner and won’t be trusted by the jury • A wife isn’t the best witness—bias • She’ll be too emotional
What do we learn about Romaine when we first meet her? • Cold—seemingly unloving • Thinks Leonard, like all men, is a fool • Leonard helped to get her out of the Russian sector of Berlin • Really isn’t married to Leonard—was and still is—married before and Leonard doesn’t know. • Suggests that she is tired of being grateful
What can we conclude at the end of Act I • Leonard is in some serious trouble • Robards, Mayhew and the clerk think he is innocent • They are concerned on how they should treat Romaine
ACT IIWho is in the line of witnesses? • Inspector Hearne (police) • Dr. Wyatt (medical examiner) • Mr. Clegg (forensic expert) • Janet Mackenzie (housekeeper) • Romaine Vole (Leonard’s wife) • Leonard Vole (the accused)
Evidence of Inspector Hearne • Window broken on the inside • No fingerprints other than French’s, MacKenzie’s and Vole’s • Nothing stolen—jewelry still on French • Blood on Vole’s sleeve • Chisel marks on the outside
Refute Inspector Hearne • Wind blew window in and it broke inside • A thief would wear gloves • Thief probably was spooked by French’s death • Vole cut himself with a knife • Chisel didn’t match one Vole owned
Evidence of Dr. Wyatt • French was hit behind her left ear • Died between 9:30—10:00 pm • No evidence of a struggle • Left-handed killer (probable but not necessarily • Blow could have been delivered by either a woman or a man
Refute Dr. Wyatt • Left-handed killer (probable but not necessarily) Leonard is not left-handed • Blow could have been delivered by either a woman or a man
Evidence of Janet MacKenzie • Heard Vole’s voice just after nine • Knew that Vole was aware of the will • Knew that Vole helped with French’s finances • Said French was buying books about older women marrying younger men
Refute Janet MacKenzie • Needs a hearing aid • Knew that the will originally was in her favor • Feared that Vole would change her relationship with French
Evidence of Romaine Vole • Leonard came in 10:10 pm • His sleeve had blood on it • She said he announced ”I’ve killed her.” • Leonard told her to lie to the police.
Refute Romaine Vole • Romaine used Leonard to get out of Germany • She has admitted that she is tired of being “grateful”
Romaine stabs Vole Guilty, my Lord!