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As the story opens, and we are given some crucial background information regarding Mr. Framton Nuttel and his reason for sojourning in the countryside amongst strangers, Vera very astutely asks two questions that quickly establish how much he does and doesn't know about where he is. If we look at the story, whilst her aunt is getting ready to descent, we can see that Vera asks these two following questions:
Do you know many of the people around here?
Then you know practically nothing about my aunt?
It is only when we reach the end of the story and re-read these questions that we recognise the cunning and astute nature of Vera. She asks these questions, cleverly disguised as polite, conversation-making questions, which allow her to ascertain whether Mr. Framton Nuttel would be a suitable victim of one of her incredible fictions. Having gained sufficient signs of his complete ignorance about Vera and her family and environs, Vera identifies that Mr. Framton Nuttel is something of a blank canvas to work on and subjects him to the full power of her storytelling talent.
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