Skip to main content

The Wearing of the Green


Margaret Elligham lay sprawled across the parquet floor of her house's grand living room, a look of terror upon her face. The Shamrock Charlatan (as he or she had been dubbed by the press) had struck again. This time, however, there had been a twist. Someone had died. The wealthy victim not only lost her jewelry, but her life.

For months the thief had carefully broken into houses in the wealthy part of town, stolen several items of valuable jewelry, and left without a trace. The residents were none the wiser until they found their belongings missing, and the police were baffled. Unfortunately, for Ms. Ellingham, she must have caught them in the act, and the burglary had escalated to murder.

"What's been taken?" sniffed Detective O'Malley, peering over the corpse with his hands clasped behind his back.

A bald, upper-middle-aged man stepped forward, clearing his throat. "Madame's necklace, sir. It was her prized possession. It was so beautiful, too... "

O'Malley cut him off. "Who are you again?"

"Nesters, sir. I am the butler."

Waving a dismissive hand, O'Malley remarked, "Thank you, Nesters, you can give the description to my sergeant."

The butler sloped off toward a younger man in police uniform. They began conferring about what was stolen, and what it looked like. At that moment, a tall, rakish man with a pencil-thin mustache and wearing an ill-fitting suit rushed through the front door.

"My Maggie!" cried the young man. "What have they done to you, my dear?"

"And you are....?" asked O'Malley.

"Charles Tally, and who are you?" the man replied, his head cocked back and his nostrils flared.

The detective announced himself to the man and, through a quick succession of question, determined that Mr. Tally was the late woman's fancy man. It appeared, through further questioning, that Ms. Ellingham had kept the young man in a very comfortable way of life.

"And where were you between nine and eleven o'clock this morning?" O'Malley asked Tally.

"I was at home, sleeping-off a hangover," Tally replied. "Some friends and I went downtown last night. Perhaps we had a tad too much to drink."

"So no one can vouch for your whereabouts at the time Ms. Ellingham was killed and her jade pendant necklace was taken?"

As Mr. Tally replied in the negative, Sergeant Coffer looked-up from his notepad and cocked his head to the left. "Excuse me, sir, but how did you know what the necklace looked like?"

Detective O'Malley turned to his subordinate, his mouth a frown. After a few notable beats, he said, "Well, Nesters, the butler told me."

"No, sir," Coffer said, slowly approaching his superior officer, "he told me."

Flustered, O'Malley replied, "Well then I must have seen it!"

"Yes..... you must have." Sgt. Coffer began to stare down his colleague. "Mind emptying your pockets, sir?"

"Yes, I do mind, sergeant!"

"I'm sorry, sir, but I must ask you to." Coffer's gaze was intent.

Detective O'Malley stood, at first defiant, then thoughtful, then resigned. He began to slowly empty his pockets and, finally, placed a green pendant necklace upon the table before him.

"That's it!" cried Nesters. "That's madame's necklace. It was a family heirloom, from her great-grandmother from Ireland. She loved it so."

Sighing, O'Malley held out his hands. "I guess you'd better cuff me, sergeant. What can I say? They don't pay me enough to be a policeman, and nice jewelry fetches so much on the black market." He looked down at Ms. Ellingham.  "Sorry, lass."

_________________________________________________

The preceding was an original work written by yours truly. A tad experimental, it combines my love of writing fiction (especially detective fiction) with this blog. And, of course, with a nod to Saint Patrick's Day. Hope you enjoyed it.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Matt L. Gladney


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …

Third Death

My father has had three funerals. The third (though perhaps not final) one, was last night.
In reality, Lewis died in 1997. Cancer. Aged 52. He had a real funeral. I was there. The next two funerals occurred only in my dreams, yet they seemed real at the time, and their impact during the waking hours was keenly felt.
You see, during the intervening nineteen years, Lewis has come back to life in my dreams, many times. It is more than simply having a dream about him. During these nighttime images, it is noted that Lewis shouldn't be there, that he died of cancer and is resting six feet under. How, then, could he be alive and, seemingly, healthy?

Thoughts on an Election

Before I get started on the ruminations of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I'll begin by saying I really have no clue as to who our next president will be. I've always fretted over the outcome of elections, regardless of the polls, and this year is no different. Especially this year. A good case can be made as to why Hillary Clinton will become our 45th president. All one has to do is look at the polls. Clinton has a comfortable lead in many states, enough to make one think that she will win handily on November 8th.
Of course, polls can be wrong. 538 gives Clinton's changes of winning in the low-mid 80 percent range. Several polls would seem to agree. Many Republicans are jumping ship from Trump. The race looks over. But of course, humanity isn't as easily predictable as polling would have us believe. Things happen. People can surprise us. And, for better or worse, I think that Donald Trump may very well become our next president.