The Man Who Was Poe

by Avi

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What are the summaries for Chapters 13,14, and 15 of The Man Who Was Poe?

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At Mrs. Whitman's urging, Dupin attends a gathering at her home, but the guests appear to him to be ghosts. The guests know Dupin's true identity, Edgar Allen Poe, and one of them, Mr. Arnold, engages him in a discussion about his work, wondering why his writings are so dark and focused on evil. Poe responds that "evil is only name we give...our secret fears," and when pressed, points out something Arnold is apparently very afraid of, as evidenced earlier by his strange behavior of ordering a coat, and then not taking it. Arnold leaves precipitously, and Poe notices that his own fear is now gone and the guests no longer look spectral. Another visitor, MacFarlane, queries Poe on his story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," whose main character, Auguste Dupin, is Poe's alter ego. The discussion moves to the subject of "the reading of faces," and Mrs. Whitman asks Poe for a daguerreotype of himself so that she might "study (his) character at (her) leisure" (Chapter 13).

Meanwhile, Edmund, as directed, goes to the quay. He meets Captain Elias, who says he saw someone who resembled the boy's auntie wandering around distracted and disheveled. The Captain tells Edmund that a man named Fortnoy found the body of his aunty, and that Fortnoy had served on a ship called The Lady Liberty. As Edmund goes home, he feels he is being followed, and tries to elude his follower, running to the edge of the wharf and hiding underneath it. Edmund gets a look at his pursuer, noting that he has "a halo - of white hair." When the sinister man is gone, Edmund sets of to find Dupin, or Poe, at Mrs. Whitman's (Chapter 14).

Arriving at Mrs. Whitman's home, Edmund spots a ghostly figure kneeling in the adjoining cemetery. The figure, who turns out to be a man with hair that is virtually white, is startled, and exits hastily, leaving behind a prayer book. Dupin appears and is proccupied; he tells Edmund that he has seen ghosts and must be mad. Edmund tries to tell Dupin what he has learned at the quay, but Dupin is distracted, and rushes to have a daguerreotype made of his image for Mrs. Whitman; Edmund runs after him to the studio. As Dupin is waiting for his daguerreotype to be finished, his attention is caught by a portrait on the wall. The subject of the portrait turns out to be Edmund's mother, and Dupin is shocked by her resemblance to Edmund's dead aunty. Edmund reveals that they are twins, and upon hearing this news, Dupin rushes out of the studio to return to the cemetery, with Edmund in pursuit. At the mausoleum, he orders Edmund to search the floor carefully with him. Scrabbling on his hands and knees, Dupin finds what he is looking for - some straw and a single white button (Chapter 15).

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