Saturday, December 16, 2023

"The Body Was Sprawled on the Floor Like a Grotesque, Inanimate Doll Discarded by a Fickle Child"

   "Ned Randolph thought he had committed the perfect crime, but he never stopped to realize that . . ."

"Dead Men Talk."
By Ernest C. Amaral (?-?).
First appearance: New Detective Magazine, November 1949.
No known reprints.
Short short short story (4 pages).
Online at The Luminist Archives (HERE; starting on page 110 and ending on page 127).

   "Knots? I don't understand."

"A message from the grave," says the sheriff; but we really think that Ned can be forgiven for not making a connection between the blind man's uniform and the fishing rod . . .
Comment: An unusual amount of time is spent on the killer's emotional states but without harming the story.

Main characters:
~ Ned Randolph:
  "For days, he had been torn by the fear that his blind employer might have guessed his intentions."
~ Bill, the old man:
  "The blind had an uncanny ability for sense impressions. It was as if they sent out invisible antennae to perceive waves of emotion."
~ Sheriff Tom Taggart:
  "There was a curious edge to the sheriff's voice."

- Our author could hardly be characterized as prolific, earning only two citations on FictionMags:
  (1) "Dead Men Talk," (ss) New Detective Magazine, November 1949 (above)
  (2) "Death Sentence," (ss) 15 Story Detective, June 1950.
As for other info about Ernest C. Amaral, there doesn't seem to be any.

Unless otherwise noted, all bibliographical data are derived from The FictionMags Index created by William G. Contento & edited by Phil Stephensen-Payne.

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