By Howard Rigsby (1909-75) and Luraine Rigsby (?-?).
First appearance: Collier's, November 9, 1956.
Short story (18 pages).
Online at UNZ: Start (HERE) and finish (HERE; scroll down to page 78).
"The trip to New York was a bonus from the boss to the employees of Willets and Company . . . Just one big happy family, they seemed, until a smoldering hatred flared up into murder, and terror took over the train."Jeff Byrne, our first person narrator, tells us what he does for a living, and it isn't private detective:
"Have you heard of show trains? Well, they're the rage these days. Pay your money down, and you get entertainment in a great big package; a trip to New York on a special train and tickets to some hit Broadway shows, plus hotel accommodations, meals, sight-seeing, culture—even romance, maybe. My name is Jeff Byrne, and I'm a promoter of such trains. Making up one of these package trips always presents plenty of headaches and trouble,
but I never really knew what trouble was until I got murder mixed in with the package."
Because of this murder Jeff, a man whose profession is to help keep people entertained, can hardly believe what's happened to him in the last twenty-four hours, and at one point he pauses briefly to reflect: "Here I was, I thought, ghosting around searching luggage and knocking people down—and my only excuse was that the night before I had walked into
that club car and fallen in love."
- The French Wikipedia has an entry about Howard Rigsby (HERE).
- According to the IMDb, a Western novel by Rigsby (writing as Vechel Howard) served as the basis for a movie (HERE) and one of his stories inspired a TV episode (HERE); also see FictionMags for a list of his short fiction. As for Luraine, this appears to be her only story credit.
The bottom line: "People more often kill those they love than those they hate. Possibly because only the people you love can really make life unendurable to you."
― Agatha Christie