Excerpts from Spring 1958 Edition
"Boy, what a case," I said to the police chief as he was driving me home.
"Yeah, it's something that should be in a detective story," he said. "You know: wealthy widow gets murdered, wall safe left open..."
"Now that wall safe," I said. "You know, there just might have been no money at all there."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, the murderer had to know the widow very well to have known where the wall safe was; and practically all the widow's friends are extremely rich. So, if the murderer was a friend of hers, he was in no need of money."
"Then why was the wall safe left open?"
"Just to throw us off the track."
"Well, then why was the murder committed in the first place?"
"Oh, you know the kind of crowd she hung around with: snobbish, argumentative, jealous...."
"You mean you think they killed her just because of an argument? Uh-oh. Here's your house. I'll drop you off here."
"Okay. Thanks for the ride."
I got out of the car and went into the house. Mother was entertaining two guests.
"Wilber," she called. "I'm sure you've met Matilda Richter and Abigal Flow."
"Why, yes," I said. "How are you, ladies?"
"We're fine," said Matilda.
"Yes, we are," said Abigal. "Isn't it awful?"
"I beg your pardon?"
"I mean the crime. Think of it. Only one block away and our own dear friend Irma had to be killed."
"Yes," I said. "It is a shame. Do you have any idea who did it?"
"Oh, it was probably some scoundrel after her money in the safe," said Abigal.
"How did you know there was a safe?" I asked. "It wasn't in the papers."
"Why - uh - uh I was a good friend of Irma's. She told me about the safe. Say, you aren't investigating us are you?"
"Anybody's a suspect around here," I answered.
"Well, at least you can't pin it on me," Matilda interjected. "I was playing bridge at Edna Server's house."
"And you can't pin it on me," said Abigal. "I was I taking the New York plane home that night after visiting my uncles. And it takes a whole night's time to get here by plane."
"Now hold it a second," Mother said. "You must have lost a couple of hours because of the time zone; so you still had time to kill her."
"Phyllis!" Abigal exclaimed, flabbergasted. "Are you accusing me of killing my dear friend Irma?"
"Well, as Wilber said, anybody's a suspect around here."
"Why, I've never been so insulted in my life! Come, Matilda!"
"I'd stick around your houses if I were you," I called after them.
"Do you think you can convict her?" Mother asked me after they had gone.
"Abigal? I'm sure of it."
"Well, then you're safe."
"I'm safe anyway. I doubt if anybody would ever suspect me, a detective."
"By the way, how much did you get?"
"Fifty-thousand dollars," I said triumphantly.