A BEARTOWN MYSTERY
"The Goodmans were known to be in
reduced circumstances. Owed everybody," said Johnson,
the insurance investigator. "The eight thousand
dollars they'll collect on the shattered antique vase
will save their hides."
"Then it's your contention the Chinese vase was
deliberately broken?" asked the Beartown Constable.
"Of course, but I can't budge the eyewitness, Mrs.
Lilly. She's the Goodmans neighbor and closest friend.
"A few moments before the alleged 'accident,' Mrs.Lilly
received a box containing a mink coat. It was her first
fur, and since it was a warm September day, she
imnmediately went upstairs to unpack it and hang it in
the storage closet.
"The window next to the storage closet,"
continued the insurance man, "is the only one in her
house which has a view into the Goodmans' bedroom. After
hanging the coat, Mrs. Lilly heard Mrs. Goodman scream
and saw her neighbor stumble into the vase. It sailed
through the open window and shattered on the ground below.
"The fur company's driver noted the Lilly delivery
was made at 2:30 PM. A couple minutes later he heard Mrs.
Goodman scream. Rushing from the truck, he saw the
fragments of the vase, and both women looking down from
"As it was a warm September day, interrupted the
Beartown Constable, "why wasn't there a screen on
the Goodman window?"
"It was being repaired. That was the first angle I
investigated. About the only thing I've got to go on is
the hunch Mrs.Lilly is lying for her friend."
"I should take the matter to court before paying,"
agreed the Beartown Constable. "And make sure you
have several women on the jury."
What did the Constable mean by his
last remark? Check the next issue of Beartown
News for the answer.
LAST ISSUE'S SOLUTION: The real
Pierpont Wordsworth, a master of the English language,
would not have committed one of the most common errors in
the language - misusing the word "scan."
The verb "to scan" means to examine intensively.
The imposter, like most semieducated persons, thought it
means "to skim" in reading.