Wednesday, June 2, 2021

"What He Might Have To Do Needed Careful Planning"

THE PERFECT CRIME is by definition one where the malefactor escapes, his or her identity never being revealed; in today's story a killer succeeds in getting away with a perfect murder—until, that is . . .

"The Clue Got Lost."
By Ray Cummings (1887-1957).
Illustrator unknown.
First appearance: Popular Detective, July 1948.
Short short story (6 pages).
Online at (HERE).

     "Then he saw the level revolver."

In almost any endeavor careful planning usually results in success—but then plans can go south on—dare we say it?—the "spur" of the moment . . . .

Main characters:
~ Robert Tarn:
  ". . . was tense and grim as he drove his rattling car down the last declivity of the little mountain road."
~ Mrs. Greer:
  ". . . was downstairs screaming."
~ Parks:
  "Seems it jus' got lost, didn't it?"
~ Jake Conlin:
  ". . . had discovered that he had been tricked, of course."

Typo: "a snor of contempt" [snort is likely].

Reference and resources:
- "The ore of cinnabar": "It is the most common source ore for refining elemental mercury, and is the historic source for the brilliant red or scarlet pigment termed vermilion and associated red mercury pigments" (Wikipedia HERE and HERE).
- Our latest encounter with uberpulpster Ray Cummings was his "Crimes of the Year 2000" mini-series (HERE). You might also enjoy Cummings's nonSFFnal "The Scarlet Letter" (HERE).

Bottom line:

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