Chapters One - Two
* Marlowe visits Kingsley's office, where he is made to wait until Kingsley, almost as an afterthought on his way to a haircut, deigns to see him.
* Kingsley hires Marlowe to find his wife, whom he thought had run away with another man but whom he now suspects is missing, since her lover denies running off with her.
* Marlowe plans to visit the lover, Lavery, and the cabin at Little Fawn Lake where Mrs. Kingsley was staying and gets a letter of introduction to the cabin's caretaker, Bill Chase.
Chapters Three - Four
* Marlowe visits Lavery, who says he hasn't seen Crystal Kingsley since May and is antagonistic toward the detective.
* Outside Lavery's house, Marlowe notices Dr. Almore, the neighbor across the street, watching him and phoning someone.
* Degarmo comes in response to Dr. Almore's call and hassles Marlowe, warning him to stay away, and...
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