"The Gold Beetle."
By Josephine Underwood Munford (1885-1948).
First appearance: The Royal Magazine (1916).
Short short story (6 pages, 2 illos).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).
(Note: Text faded and smudged in places, and there are a couple of racial epithets.)
"The circumstantial evidence is great, but it is all malignant, diabolical coincidence."
Cuthbertson admits there was emotional warmth in his relationship with the victim, but it was all coming from her, and Mrs. Cuthbertson says she believes him. For our sleuth, how-ever, no one is above suspicion, and that includes the accused's wife.
It'll take some snooping around, but detective Haverley will turn up the true significance of the new olive-green paint around the door facings and a peculiar nailprint therein, the posi-tion of the windows in the study and the street lights outside, the man with a triangular cicatrix on his left cheek, and especially that curiously-wrought ring with "an enormous gold beetle with fantastically carved wings" belonging to Kiku that was taken by Mrs. Cuthbertson from her husband's smoking-jacket just before the police arrived, another piece of circum-stantial evidence that the authorities would no doubt consider as one more nail in Cuthbert-son's coffin . . .
The bottom line: "Oblige me by taking away that knife. I can't look at the point of it. It reminds me of Roman history."
― James Joyce