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FIND THE MAN'S WIFE.
One summer day in 1903 I was loitering on the Brighton front, watching
the people strolling about on the beach, when the friend who was with me
suddenly drew my attention to an individual who was standing alone, and
said, "Can you point out that man's wife? They are stopping at the same
hotel as I am, and the lady is one of those in view." After a few
minutes' observation, I was successful in indicating the lady correctly.
My friend was curious to know by what method of reasoning I had arrived
at the result. This was my answer:--
"We may at once exclude that Sister of Mercy and the girl in the short
frock; also the woman selling oranges. It cannot be the lady in widows'
weeds. It is not the lady in the bath chair, because she is not staying
at your hotel, for I happened to see her come out of a private house
this morning assisted by her maid. The two ladies in red breakfasted at
my hotel this morning, and as they were not wearing outdoor dress I
conclude they are staying there. It therefore rests between the lady in
blue and the one with the green parasol. But the left hand that holds
the parasol is, you see, ungloved and bears no wedding-ring.
Consequently I am driven to the conclusion that the lady in blue is the
man's wife--and you say this is correct."
Now, as my friend was an artist, and as I thought an amusing puzzle
might be devised on the lines of his question, I asked him to make me a
drawing according to some directions that I gave him, and I have
pleasure in presenting his production to my readers. It will be seen
that the picture shows six men and six ladies: Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and
11 are ladies, and Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 are men. These twelve
individuals represent six married couples, all strangers to one another,
who, in walking aimlessly about, have got mixed up. But we are only
concerned with the man that is wearing a straw hat--Number 10. The
puzzle is to find this man's wife. Examine the six ladies carefully, and
see if you can determine which one of them it is.
I showed the picture at the time to a few friends, and they expressed
very different opinions on the matter. One said, "I don't believe he
would marry a girl like Number 7." Another said, "I am sure a nice girl
like Number 3 would not marry such a fellow!" Another said, "It must be
Number 1, because she has got as far away as possible from the brute!"
It was suggested, again, that it must be Number 11, because "he seems to
be looking towards her;" but a cynic retorted, "For that very reason, if
he is really looking at her, I should say that she is not his wife!"
I now leave the question in the hands of my readers. Which is really
Number 10's wife?
The illustration is of necessity considerably reduced from the large
scale on which it originally appeared in _The Weekly Dispatch_ (24th May
1903), but it is hoped that the details will be sufficiently clear to
allow the reader to derive entertainment from its examination. In any
case the solution given will enable him to follow the points with