MAY 1, 2000
A BEARTOWN MYSTERY
"At 8 AM, on Monday February 7, you
were drinking coffee in a rear booth at the snack bar at
the Beartown bus station?" asked the district
The Beartown Constable was in the back row of the
courtroom intently listening.
"I was," answered the murder defendant.
"And you didn't see the man in the booth across from
you - not five feet from you - stabbed to death?"
"No, I was reading the morning newspaper."
"The cashier remembers you. You were in an awful
hurry. You gave her a ten dollar bill in payment of an 80
cent check, and you didn't wait for your change."
"I had to catch a bus."
"You were aware of the time, but you didn't notice
the man in the next booth was dead - with a knife
sticking out of his chest?"
"I might have seen him, but I never looked directly
"You didn't hear him order eggs and coffee?"
"I might have. I don't remember. I was busy reading
the stock exchange listings, I own some shares."
"How long did that take you?"
"A couple of minutes. Then I read the market news.
There was a long article forecasting high tech stocks for
the next year. After I finished reading the article, I
noticed the time. I had less than two minutes to catch my
bus to Boston.
In the rear of the courtroom the Beartown Constable
silently said "If he isn't convicted of murder, he'll
draw a stiff sentence for perjury!"
How did he know? Check the next
issue of Beartown News for the
LAST ISSUE'S SOLUTION: Hot water
instantly flowed from the tap which could only happen if
it had been used very recently.
Copyright 2000 Claude Dern, All
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