By Ric Waters
The door to the Study flew open before Detective Inspector Ronald Grey entered with a cadre of constables.
“Arrest them all!”
The mustachioed Joshua Mustard stepped away from the hearth. “What is the meaning of this?”
“Simple, Colonel: You all are suspects in the murder of Doctor Emile Black, just found dead outside this mansion.” Turning to one of the constables, Grey said, “You’ll find that Colonel Mustard’s revolver has recently been fired.”
The policeman removed the gun from the colonel’s right-hip holster, sniffed it and said, “Freshly fired, sir.”
A flustered Sandra White bent her head back. “Should that not be sufficient evidence to arrest Colonel Mustard and let the rest of us alone?”
Inspector Grey rounded on her. “By no means, Mrs. White. The late Doctor also was stabbed in the back, hanged and suffered trauma from three distinct blunt objects. There’s sufficient reason to believe that the rest of you may have been involved in his death.”
“I protest this … this accusation!” blurted the petite Elaine Peacock.
Grey looked down at her hands, prompting her to fold them together. “Something to hide, Mrs. Peacock? Rope burns, perhaps?”
Elaine was appalled by the implication, but didn’t say a word as her mouth hung open. Peter Plum noticed the movement and quickly hid his hands and smoking pipe behind his back.
“Professor Plum, might we see your hands, sir?”
“I have nothing to hide!”
A constable approached, pulling his arms in front of him. Streaks of grease and soot stained his hands. He dropped his smoking pipe.
“It’s … it’s from my pipe,” Plum blurted.
Grey looked him up and down. “From your lead pipe, I suspect.”
The professor looked away.
“Reverend Green,” the Inspector resumed. “A candlestick resembling ones from your church was found beside the body.”
“And, my part in this, Inspector?” inquired the lovely, young Yvette Scarlett, who sat languidly in the corner.
“What others might mistake for lipstick is in fact blood. Doctor Black’s, in fact,” Grey said. “The red marks on your blouse appear to be lips, but clearly aren’t. You wiped your knife on it.”
Scarlett smiled deceptively. “And, dear, old Mrs. White?”
The elderly woman looked daggers at the redhead.
“We’ll likely find a spanner in her handbag,” the Inspector concluded.
Mrs. White reached for her large purse, but a constable snared it from her and brought it to Grey, opening it to reveal a wrench with reddish goo on it.
“Where did that come from?” she said mock-innocently.
Grey ignored her. “Take them all down to the station.”
After the suspects were removed, a constable stopped to ask, “Which one killed him?”
“None of them. He was dead before they attacked,” the Inspector replied. “Which reminds me, make sure to take custody of the cook. She poisoned him.”
Ric is a writer/photographer from Aurora, IL, and a fan of pop culture.