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In the novel Crooked House, Sir Arthur Hayward (AKA ”The Old Man” to his friends and subordinates) is an Assistant Commisssioner of Scotland Yard, and the father of Charles. He supervised the investigation conducted by Chief Inspector Taverner into the murder of Aristide Leonides. When he learnt that Charles is in love with Sophia Leonides, he sent Charles to live as a guest in the Leonides house Three Gables, reasoning that if the case was ever to be solved, the police needed the "inside dope" on all of the people in the house and they had to get this "from the inside". Charles was the ideal man for the role.

Charles observed that this was an unorthodox tactic but then his father had never been highly orthodox.

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