"Murder Spends the Weekend."By Donald Bayne Hobart (1898-1970).
First appearance: Triple Detective, Fall 1950.
Reprinted in Popular Detective, September 1952 and
Triple Detective Novels #2 (U.K.) (FictionMags data).
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; go down to text page 53).
"Uncle Hank liked jokes, but the corpse wasn't a bit funny!"
They shot an arrow into the air
And it fell to earth precisely where
they aimed it.
But still they have a reason for regret
Because, you see, it
Came to rest inside the wrong @#$%&@ target.
~ Thomas Marshall:
An insurance salesman.
~ "Mugs" Kelly (narrator):
"'The name is Kelly,' I said. 'I’m six feet four, weight two hundred and ten, and the last fellow who made cracks about my looks is still recovering.'"
~ Dexter Blake:
"As I told you in the taxi, I’m an old friend of Mrs. Clayville. She invited me for the weekend. I’ve never met her husband."
~ Fred Steele:
"If you should ask me, which of course, you won’t, Kelly, you are a fool to go to the Clayvilles’."
~ John Porter:
"The taxi driver apparently knew everything about everyone. 'Uncle Hank is just a boy at heart, and every time he pulls one of those practical jokes of his he nearly kills somebody.'"
~ Martin Clayville:
"'Good Lord!' Clayville said. 'Uncle Hank has killed that friend of Nancy’s. He’s murdered Dexter Blake!'"
~ Uncle Hank Dawson:
"You know that if anything should happen to me Nancy will inherit all my money. How you would enjoy hearing of my execution, Martin!"
~ Nancy Clayville:
"She gasped as she saw the dead man, but she didn’t scream."
- Donald Bayne Hobart, FictionMags tells us, was "born in Baltimore, Maryland; died in New York City." Hobart could be described as one of those reliable, all-purpose pulpsters who churned out stories in many genres; in our author's case he specialized in Westerns and crime fiction, with a few romances tossed in. Hobart hit his stride in the mid-'20s and consistently produced copy for the next three decades, his last credit being "Rainy Night" in the January 1965 Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. Hobart had several series characters weaving in and out of the pulps in the '20s, '30s, '40s, and '50s: Whistling Waddy (1928, 1933, 1935, 1947), Hal Denning (1930), and Wayne Morgan (The Masked Rider), a character he shared with a lot of other publishing house scribes (19 stories of his own, 1938-42, 1944, 1945, 1951). In addition to those, he had "Mugs" Kelly, the hardboiled dick in today's story, in 23 adventures (the first one, "Suicides Are Saps") spread throughout Black Book Detective, Triple Detective, G-Man Detective, Popular Detective, 2 Detective Novels, Triple Detective, Detective Novel Magazine, Thrilling Detective, Exciting Detective, and Thrilling Mystery (1938-48, 1950, and 1952) (FictionMags data).