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), September 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."  . . .
- 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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