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In the short story The Apples of the Hesperides, Inspector Wagstaffe is an English policeman assigned to assist in the investigation of the theft of the Vertrino goblet.

The wealthy American financier Emery Power had purchased a renaissance era golden goblet from the Marchese di San Veratrino. However the goblet was stolen from the Marchese before Power could take possession of it. The crime took place in Italy, but Wagstaffe was sent to assist probably because the crime had been traced to an international gang of jewel thieves and a cat-burglar from Liverpool, Patrick Casey, was a key member.

The theft took place some ten years before the events in the story. Casey had died shortly after the crime. The rest of the gang had been caught. Although many stolen items were recovered, the goblet was never found. Wagstaffe had, among other things, searched Casey's house thoroughly but without success. He told Poirot that he still believed that Casey had hidden the goblet somewhere.

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