Sunday, November 8, 2015

"I Guess That's Really Why They're Both Dead Now"

"Coroner's Inquest."
By Marc Connelly (1890-1980).
First appearance: Collier's Weekly, February 8, 1930.
Reprinted in EQMM, September 1944, EQMM's Overseas Edition for the Armed Forces, September 1944, and EQMM (Australia), Septem-ber 1947 and February 1950.
Short short short story (2 pages).
Online HERE and finishes HERE (scroll down to page 51).
(Warning: Some of the text is very hard to read.)
"Who killed Robel and Jimmy, the midgets? Follow the witness' answers to the end and bring in your own verdict . . ."
A knife comes between two brothers-in-law:
. . . "You can see it's a kind of a butcher knife. Then Mrs. Pike told me it was one that she'd missed from her kitchen a few weeks before. She'd never thought either Robel or Jimmy had taken it. It struck me as funny Robel or Jimmy had stolen it, too. Then I put two and two together and found out what really happened."  . . .
Resources:
- A brief Wikipedia article about Connelly (who won a Major Award the same year) is HERE, and an even briefer FictionMags listing is HERE.
- A lot of Connelly's fiction was dialogue-only; an ingenious story written in the same style (Steven R. Novak's "No More Questions") can be found in Tricks and Treats (1976), edited by Joe Gores and Bill Pronzini, a mystery anthology that's well worth tracking down.

The bottom line: O, beware, my lord, of jealousy!
It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
The meat it feeds on.
— Shakespeare, 'Othello'

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