Beware the Idles' March The Weekly: Maintaining Britain's Standards
Flip upwards, balancing your weight on your elbow in resemblance of a harmless sapling

Jab elbow smartly, once, on the ignition button of your ejector seat

Point alarmedly with elbow, then flee in the opposite direction

Hide elbow by straightening your arm

Race towards tiger, elbow foremost, and veer aside at the last moment, pogoing to safety on your elbow
Who's the Culprit?
Chapter Two
Read Chapter One | Chapter Two | Chapter Three
It seemed that Gerald Hewell, Virgina Ginia and the Bishop of Lichfield had all heard the gunshot. Hewell imagined it was nothing but the sound of a tree branch breaking in the wind. Miss Ginia thought it simply the snap of a poacher's leg bone as he was caught in one of the many man-traps the gamekeeper had laid about the grounds. The Bishop of Lichfield said he believed it just the clicking of the cartilage in his own ear but had in any case noted the time - 2.17am - when it occurred. Nobody had thought any more of it until Miss Ginia rose in the morning and knocked on Dee's door. Unable to rouse him, she'd called upon the Bishop of Lichfield who - finding the door locked from the inside, became concerned and awoke the others to help (except for me, as they knew I was an old woman and wouldn't be of any use). It took the combined efforts of Potomac, Hewell and Colonel Haverly-Haverly to break down Dee's door. When they did so they found him dead, just as he was now. I checked discreetly. Yes, still dead - I'd been caught like that before.

"Tell me - was the key still in the lock on Dee's side, like this?" I asked. "His side of the door," I added as Hewell opened his mouth.

"Yes," replied Potomac. (Hewell nodded in corroboration.) "We haven't touched anything. Anyway, I remember checking for that, and being impressed by the ornateness of such an old-fashioned, brass key."

"Did you say 'brass'?" I quizzed.

"Yes, it's a brass key," he confirmed.

" My moustache I didn't "
"Mmmmm..." I said and smoothed out my moustache. I didn't have the remotest idea how a brass key might be important, but I always like to get people thinking by doing this kind of thing at about this point. And if it turned out not to be important, then it'd be a nice piece of misdirection, which I find is generally useful in a murder investigation.

"Have you checked for secret passages?" I queried.

"First thing we did," replied Hewell. "There aren't any."

I moved over to the window. "Shut?" I asked Hewell.

"Yes it is," he agreed.

"No, I mean was it shut? When you came in?"

"Absolutely. Fastened by four bolts on the inside - look - and look - and look - and look. And see how the frame has been specially nailed into the wall with extra big nails too."

I peered outside, down below the window. It was quite a drop from the third floor and positioned on the ground was a large, modern sculpture titled "War" constructed of huge spikes and razor wire. I glanced up towards the roof. As an anti-pigeon measure it had been trimmed with large spikes and razor wire. I ran my hand along the window sill then examined it closely, rubbing my index finger and thumb together. Condensation.

"How do you think the murder was committed, Miss... Miss... Actually, what is your name?" asked Hewell.

"Florence. Florence de Fraude. How was it committed? How is obvious. The question is why?"

I strode from the room, puzzling.

"I think I'll go for a lie down," muttered Potomac. "I don't feel too well."

Immediately, I span round.

"Of course," I sighed, irritated at my own stupidity. "that's it." Everyone looked at me in silence. "Would you all come down to the drawing room. I believe we can settle this matter now."

"The problem," I began when everyone was seated "is that we've been concentrating on the wrong thing. All the time we've been wondering how the murderer got out of the room when we should have been asking why it was that Giles Dee was in there."

"Does that mean anything at all, actually?" asked Hewell.

"And why have we all come down here, when were all together anyway?" added Potomac.

"It means," I replied, "it means that the important thing isn't some technical detail, but the fact that Dee was here in Stochastic Manor last night, holding that dinner party."

"And why did we all come down here?" repeated Potomac.

" Starting to lose the mood "
"Be quiet." I moved over to the piano and, rising up the keyboard, played D aug, F aug, A flat aug, B aug and octave D aug - which I find always helps if you're starting to lose the mood. "Now, you'll recall that there was condensation on the window? Condensation only occurs on windows under two sets of circumstances; if damp things are being heated - and we all know the heating doesn't work in Stochastic Manor - or because of the respiration of some living things, animals or plants, inside. Yet Giles Dee was dead. Why, then, had condensation built up on the window?"

"Because we were in there?" offered Miss Ginia. "We'd been in there even before we woke you up and then we all went in there again."

"Oh. Right. I'd forgotten about that," I said.

"There was that big aspidistra in the room too," chipped in Mrs Haverly-Haverly, "and the two rubber plants."

"Yes, yes, OK."

"Why did we all come down here to the drawing room?" asked Potomac.

"Be quiet." I motioned towards the piano again and he took a step backwards. "Never mind that about the condensation, it doesn't matter. The important thing is that Dee was holding the dinner party, holding it for..." I turned round quickly, paused, and then quickly turned back to where I'd been facing, "you, Mr Potomac."

"Me?" He eyes darted across the room, but I caught them, and held them. "Are you accusing me?"

"I didn't say that."

"No, I did."


"If this is a joke," interrupted the Bishop, "it's in pretty poor taste. Not as bad as the one about the pastry genitalia and the guide dog, but fairly close. I demand you explain yourself."

"I fully intend to, Bishop," I countered, "for I now have all the facts and irritatingly meaningless anti-clues I need to solve the mystery."

Read Chapter Three.
A few alsos:
The Altairians | Who's the Culprit?
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