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Ben the tramp, with his usual genius for trouble, runs into danger when he finds a dead body and decides to help out.
Ben knew that whenever his thumbs were itching, something 'orrible' was about to happen. Sure enough, on one foggy afternoon of itchy thumbs, the hapless Ben is implicated in criminal activity by the police - the kind of mistake it isn't easy to explain. Doing a runner, Ben hides in the basement of a deserted house, where he discovers the body of a well-dressed man, shot through the head . . . and much more trouble than he bargained for.
The subsequent hair-raising events are charged with all the mounting excitement that made J. Jefferson Farjeon a peerless storyteller and Ben one of the most popular but unorthodox amateur detectives of his day.