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While collecting for one of her favorite charities, "The Reformed Criminals Assistance League," Miss Marple and her librarian friend, Mr. Stringer, see an elderly recluse named Mr. Enderby fall to his death after being frightened by a cat. Immediately suspecting foul play, Miss Marple listens in on the reading of the dead man's will and learns that his estate will be divided among four relatives. Miss Marple also overhears Enderby's sister declare that her brother was murdered; before any further sleuthing can be accomplished, the sister is also slain. The dead woman's companion, Miss Gilchrist, suspects Miss Marple of the crime, but she is cleared by the long-suffering Inspector Craddock. Determined to solve the mystery, Miss Marple moves into the riding academy inn, The Gallop, which is owned by Enderby's nephew, Hector. She discovers that the three surviving relatives are all anxious to obtain a supposedly worthless painting belonging to the murdered sister. The painting is actually an old French masterpiece worth a fortune. After the murder of another relative, George Crossfield, Miss Marple deduces the identity of the killer but still lacks the proof. Miss Marple fakes a heart attack while dancing the Twist after pretending to have evidence enough to convict the killer, and she permits herself to be placed in a room alone. The murderer, Miss Gilchrist, attacks, but Miss Marple is able to hold her off until Inspector Tingwell arrives. As she prepares to leave The Gallop, Hector proposes marriage, but Miss Marple gracefully declines.