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Geoffrey West and Marian Ferguson, Americans who see each other in a London hotel, begin a series of epistolary communications through "The Agony Column" in the Times , identifying themselves respectively as "the strawberry man" and "the grapefruit lady," denoting their breakfast menus. He is advised that if he publishes a letter for 5 successive days, and if they are sufficiently interesting, she will meet him. He invents a murder in which Captain Fraser and his young brother, Norman, are involved and ends his series of letters by confessing to the crime himself. Marian arrives with the police and has him thrown into a dungeon from which he is rescued by anarchists. He finds her bound and gagged in a perilous situation; but he discovers that the whole affair has been staged by her to give him a taste of his own imagination.