Agatha Christie Wiki
Advertisement

In the short story The Pearl of Price, Caleb Blundell is an American millionaire, and the father of Carol. Together with his secretary Jim Hurst, the Blundells are members of Parker Pyne's party who are on a visit to Petra in Jordan.

During the excursion, Carol loses an expensive earring which is reputed to be worth some $80,000. Unusually, Caleb insists that he be among the people in the party to be subjected to a thorough search.

The explanation for this comes later through Carol. Carol explains that she and Jim Hurst are in love and hope to marry but her father prefers her to marry an English M.P. marry Sir Donald Marvel. Jim Hurst was, on the other hand, a reformed thief who had made good. Caleb wanted to be searched in order to show his daughter that he had not taken the earring as a "frame-up" against Jim and as an excuse for him to object to their marriage.

When Parker Pyne finally solves the mystery of the missing pearl, he discovers that the pearl is not worth much more than five pounds. He surmises that Caleb Blundell had lost much of his money in a slump and is no longer as wealthy as before. Thus he does the next best thing and bluffs. This explained why Caleb boasted so much and flaunted his wealth before the other members of the party.

Advertisement