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The Man Who Was Poe by Avi

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1 The Man Who Was Poe by Avi
Notes: Prologue to Chapter 8

2 Prologue and Chapter 1 11 year old, frail, Edmund Brimmer lives in a decrepit tenement (apartment) building on Ann Street in Providence, Rhode Island. He lives with his Aunt Pru and twin sister (Sis). It is November 1949, Edmund mother and Aunt Pru are both mysteriously missing. His father was lost at sea. Edmund and Sis are alone, cold, and starving. Out of desperation Edmund decides to go out and search for both his Aunt Pru and food. While searching for Sis, Edmund meets a man called August Dupin, who offers to help Edmund find his family.

3 Chapter 2 Edmund tells Dupin that he and his sister spend a lot time down by the docks collecting the names of the ships. Dupin insists they go to the docks. When they arrive, Dupin meets two men, Mr. Fortnoy and Mr. Throck, who are looking at a dead body. The dead body is a woman who resembles Edmund. She will be buried in the pauper’s field. Edmund tells Dupin that the dead woman is his aunt but insists the dress she is wearing is not hers.

4 Chapter 3 When Edmund returns to the room, Dupin is asleep at the table. Dupin has been drinking. Edmund breaks the meat pie in half as he thinks about Dupin’s mood swings. While Edmund wonders if he should trust Dupin, he thinks how he did not tell Dupin about his stepfather. Dupin wakes after Edmund has gone to sleep. Dupin stares at the cracks in the ceiling, where he believes he sees pictures and words. A piece of paper is slipped under the door.

5 Chapter 4 Dupin ask Edmund a series of questions where the readers learn that Edmund, Aunty and Sis came to Providence from London a month ago. They came because Aunty Pru received a message from a sailor. The message was given to him from Edmund’s mother, who left London a year before. Edmund says his aunt was searching for his mother and when she left a few days ago she said she was meeting a man who might be able to help. Dupin asks again if Edmund is certain he locked the door when he left Sis; Edmund is certain and tells Dupin there are only two keys. Dupin notices that there is another building right next to the one they are in, with a window to a room facing the window in Edmund’s room. Dupin and Edmund go to the other building and find the room that looks into Edmund’s room. Dupin breaks the door open.

6 Chapter 5 Edmund finds a pearl from Sis’s shoe. Dupin speaks with the landlord who tells him that the man who rented the room owes her rent. She says the man called himself Mr. Smith and was very particular about which room he wanted. He never lived in the room but he and another man visited it frequently. Edmund and Dupin go to a café. Dupin tells Edmund that he believes Edmund and Sis were being watched. He asks Edmund again about being detained on the street the night of Sis’s disappearance. Dupin tells Edmund that he believes two men worked at luring his aunt away and kidnapping Sis. Dupin believes the men watched Edmund and Sis and waited until one left. One man took Sis, while the other detained Edmund. Dupin learns from the waiter that Throck, is investigating a bank robbery that took place the night before.

7 Chapter 6 Dupin thinks about how Edmund’s life is so similar to his own. Dupin believes that Edmund’s story must end with the death of Sis, as his did. Dupin orders Edmund to deliver letter to Mrs. Whitman. Dupin insists that Edmund gives the letter directly to Mrs. Whitman. Dupin tells Edmund he will wait at the café until he returns, but leaves after he asks the waiter for directions to the courthouse.

8 Chapter 7 Edmund races to Mrs. Helen Whitman’s house. The servant, Catherine, lets him see Mrs. Whitman. Mrs. Whitman does not recognize the name “Mr. Dupin” at first. She asks where Dupin is and if he is drinking. Catherine tells Mrs. Whitman that her mother wishes to speak with her. At the inquest, Dupin listens to Fortnoy testify that the found the body after being relieved from watch aboard The Lady Liberty. Dupin watches the spectators. He sees a woman that looks exactly like the dead woman.

9 Chapter 8 Dupin resolves never to drink again because he must keep a clear head if he wants to marry Mrs. Whitman. He decides to return to the café where Edmund is supposed to meet him. On the way, Dupin sees the bank that Throck mentioned. He pretends to be with an insurance company to gain access. At the bank, Dupin meets Mr. Peterson and Mr. Poley. Peterson shows Dupin the vault in which the stolen gold was kept. Dupin is very nervous in the vault, which he perceives as tomb-like. Dupin finds a piece of string in the vault and Peterson shows him a button that he found in the vault. Peterson tells Dupin that the man who built the vault put an airshaft in it because he was afraid of being locked in.

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