Monday, January 1, 2018

"We Always Arrest the Butler, Mr. Kent"

"Who Do You Think Did It? or, The Mixed-Up Murder Mystery."
By Stephen Leacock (1869-1944).
First appearance: Harper's Magazine, October 1920.
Reprinted in Winsome Winnie, and Other New Nonsense Novels (1920; HERE).
Novelette (12 pages in original text).
Online at UNZ (HERE) and at Fadedpage (HERE; select file type; then go to page 95).

"NOTE.—Any reader who guesses correctly who did it is entitled (in all fairness) to a beautiful gold watch and chain."
  I. He Dined with Me Last Night
  II. I Must Save Her Life
  III. I Must Buy a Book on Billiards
  IV. That Is Not Billiard Chalk
  V. Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?
  VI. Show Me the Man Who Wore Those Boots
  VII. Oh, Mr. Kent, Save Me!
  VIII. You Are Peter Kelly
  IX. Let Me Tell You the Story of My Life
  X. So Do I

More criminous nonsense from Stephen Leacock . . .

Some really, really, really suspicious characters:
~ Masterman Throgton, general manager of the Metropolitan Planet newspaper:
  "The big chief was sitting in his swivel chair with ink all round him. Through this man's great brain passed all the threads and filaments that held the news of a continent. Snap one, and the whole continent would stop."
~ Transome Kent:
  ". . . was not a detective. He was a reporter. After sweeping everything at Harvard in front of him, and then behind him, he had joined the staff of the Planet two months before. Kent's work on the Planet consisted now almost exclusively of unravelling and unearthing, and it was natural that the manager should turn to him."
~ Kivas Kelly:
  ". . . a well-known club man and bon vivant, had been found dead in his residence on Riverside Drive, with every indication—or, at least, with a whole lot of indications—of murder."
~ Inspector Edwards:
  "The Chief Inspector of the Detective Department, a large, heavy-looking man, was standing beside a gate-post."
~ Alice Delary:
  "Tall, graceful and willowy, Alice Delary was in her first burst of womanhood."
~ Peter Kelly:
  "A minute later the door opened and a man entered. Kent's keen eye analysed him as he stood. His blue clothes, his tanned face, and the extraordinary dexterity of his fingers left

no doubt of his calling. He was a sailor."

- It seems like just the other day we perambulated with Stephen Leacock—in fact, it was just the other day (HERE).

Masterman Throgton (an approximation only).

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