Thursday, January 18, 2018

"I Arrest You for the Murder of X.Y.Z."

"The Mystery of a Handsome Cad: A Story for the Bar."
By Moll. Bourne (?-?).
First appearance: Time, (month?) 1888.
Reprinted in The Armchair Detective, Winter 1986.
Short short story (7 pages).
Online at Hathi Trust (HERE).

(Note: Use "Full Screen" button to center text.)
"In a moment she had developed from an innocent and unheeding girl into a self-reliant reader of 'The Leavenworth Case.'"
In times of crisis, some people cope by rising to the occasion; in May Nettleby's case, she does the opposite . . .

Odd bodkins:
~ Gerald Annesley:
  "The only surviving scion of a fine old Irish stock, proud and impoverished as the ill-fated race from which he was believed to have sprung, emigrated to Australia . . ."

~ May Nettleby:
  ". . . the devoted and only daughter of the millionaire who had begun life with a rusty nail and closed it with a rusty temper."

~ Mr. Nettleby:
  "At that instant a figure dashed violently past them, waving in his hand a scroll of paper."

~ Mr. Johnson:
  "You are aware that a murder has been committed on the person of an unknown individual, bearing the initials X.Y.Z.?"

~ Fred Addlepate:
  "One can overdo this kind of thing, you know."

- All handsome cads aside, you might be interested in an article about the author of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (HERE).

The bottom line: "They were shot with a shotgun and put in garbage bags and thrown under a bridge," Shrake said. "If it wasn't murder, it was a really weird accident."
John Sandford

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