Entire Village Confesses To Murder of Local Banker
Police Baffled, Annoyed Regular readers of this paper will remember that the village of Standoffish was recently the scene of a murder. The victim was a Mr. Gordon Ghastly, a local Banker; he was Found Stabbed in the Abbey Ruins. The murder itself was strange, but what has happened since in Standoffish is stranger yet.
The First Confession
The first confession came at 2 A.M., when Police Constable Varlot was “woke up from slumber, sudden-like” by a knocking “as of several elephants” on his front door. When he answered the Summons, he found the widow Ghastly standing on his steps, “a wild look” in her eyes.
“Varlot,” she said. “I did it. I killed him. I thought it would be the best thing for us, for our marriage, if he died.”
But Constable Varlot had hardly clapped the cuffs on her when he had to take them off again, and fetch out another pair, to put on the wrists of the local doctor and his wife. “We did it,” sobbed the doctor’s wife. “Yes,” the doctor confirmed, “we did it. We killed him. We did it on moral and hygienic grounds; Ghastly had a mortgage on our house, where I have my Surgery, and he was going to foreclose. The village needs a doctor; we do not require a Banker.” But Constable Varlot had hardly locked them up in the station cell when there came another knock at the door. It was the Hon. Gertrude Wright, one of last year’s most eligible debutantes, and a Mr. Peter Crookshanks, the Curate. They are, it seems, Engaged to be Married (though we note with disapproval that no-one bothered to send this paper a Notice to this effect; we feel that this is a hole-in-corner, dodgy way to go about getting married, and we Suspect The Worst). They were, when Constable Varlot opened the door, Confessing like mad.
Constable Varlot established, after hours of close interrogation, that they were not Guilty, but merely Fatheads. “She’d thought he’d done it, so she confessed; he thought she’d done it, so he confessed,” explained Constable Varlot. With some thought and a helpful diagram, we understood what he meant.
“As soon as I’d got rid of those two, and scraped the doctor and his missus out of my lock-up, I thought I’d get some sleep,” Constable Varlot confided to us.
It was not to be.
The confessing continued on. The confessing is still going on. Some people are coming back for second or third tries at The Gallows.
Constable Varlot’s Important Announcement:
Constable Varlot would like the citizens of Standoffish to know that he is “through.”
“I have thrown my handcuffs into the sea,” he told us. “No one is getting arrested.”
Notes: I wonder if I am right in suspecting the Constable himself of the murder. I feel so sure about it, but I am going on Feminine Intuition, which I Do Not Trust. I could pop down and poke my nose in… but I met Mr. Ghastly once, and I can’t seem to summon up any interest in hanging his murderer.