Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"I Am Pleased to Say We Have Found a Slight Clue to the Criminal"

"The Murderer in the Dark."
By F. Britten Austin (1885-1941).
Illustrations by S. Seymour Lucas (1878-1954; HERE and HERE).
First appearance: The Strand Magazine, June 1922.
Short short story (8 pages, 3 illos).
Online at (HERE).

"How? Why? How? Why? These two questions besieged him incessantly, battering at his crumbling mind."
An incriminating brooch, a missing button, a small splotch of paint, an empty cartridge in the revolver—that ancient Greek guy knew what he was talking about when he cautioned us, "No man is free who cannot command himself . . ."

Comment: This one would have had an afterlife of reprintings if it had been better written.
- You can find out much more about Frederick Britten Austin at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers in the Great War (HERE), the SFE (HERE), the ISFDb (HERE), and the IMDb (HERE).
- Wikipedia has an article that relates to the plot of our tale (HERE), but READ THE STORY FIRST.

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