|“||I fetch a hammer and a nail from the workshop and do the job myself. And I do it right, Snicket. Don't think it's my fault they keep falling.||”|
— Marguerite Gracq, File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents
Sometime after the economy crash, her father believed they'd gotten all the gold out of the mine, and left town to find his family a better place to live, leaving Marguerite to watch the mines and the gold; she was given the only key to his workshop, where the gold was supposedly kept, though she didn't know where. He hired a woman named Dagmar to watch her, but they didn't get along and all Dagmar did was sit and listen to polka music on the radio.
After Dagmar arrived, several of her mother's paintings of finnish poets began to fall, but they fell too neatly to be on accident, and only when Marguerite was in the mines.
Marguerite goes to meet Lemony Snicket at the Lost Arms, having heard that he was a detective. She brings him to her home. She explains to Snicket about the fallen paintings and Dagmar. When Snicket suspects that the woman watching her is after the gold, Marguerite explains that her father always melts down their gold and hides it somewhere in his workshop, and even though she's not sure where, Marguerite is the only one who has the key to the room, which she always keeps on her.Marguerite leads Snicket into her house, and after informing Dagmar that she was going to make her friend a poached egg, she takes him to the living room to investigate the paintings. While Marguerite say she suspects Dagmar is knocking them down- as they only fall while Marguerite is in the mines and Dagmar is in the house- nothing seemed to have been stolen. Snicket inspects a painting of Larin Paraske, and then asks Marguerite if there are nails in the workshop. She informs him that there are several jars full, and that her father always uses his special black nail, which curve slightly so they do less damage to the wall. Snicket then tells Marguerite he's going upstairs to talk to Dagmar, and then he's going to call the police.
Snicket explains to Marguerite over a breakfast of very fluffy eggs that Dagmar had beeen removing the paintings to steal the nails, which had been painted black like her home's floor, so that the gold could be hidden. Dagmar is arrested for attempting to steal the Gracq gold, nail by nail.
Figure in Fog
Though she does not appear, Snicket thinks about Marguerite as he walks, and he wonders about her mother, "who had left her beloved portraits on the walls but was nowhere to be found."
Marguerite is described as wearing a helmet with a light attached to it, along with work gloves and boots. In the illustration she appears in, she has short, light-colored hair.
- Marguerite says that her mother was interested in Finnish poets; all her portraits of them used to belong to her.
- She specifies to Snicket that her name is spelled "the French way."
- She informs Snicket that while making poached eggs, she puts "a little vinegar" in the poaching water, to make her eggs turn out "nice and fluffy."
- Her surname, "Gracq", is probably a reference to the French writer Julien Gracq.
- Her first name may be a reference to Marguerite Duras, a French novelist and contemporary of Julien Gracq. Both of them wrote for the Nouveau Roman genre.
- Her first name seems to have originally been "Colette", but it was changed for the final edition of the book, possibly to remove confusion that she may be the Series of Unfortunate Events character of the same name.
|Mr. Gracq||Ms. Gracq (†?)|