Grand Guginol

He saw me eyes light up and asked, “Mean something to you?”

“Might be part of a job I’s on. Can I see ‘em?”

Bart pulled out the yellow brittle sheets from his inside coat, brown splatters mixin’ wit’ the notes. I gave ‘em a quick look and asked, “Any problem if I keep these?”

“Not until after the inquest,” Bart said firmly.

“Well, if it’s an open and shut case a’ suicide, what’s it matter?”

“Maybe nothing, maybe everything,” Bart said, holding out his hand. “That duty belongs to the magistrate. I’ll have those sheets back now, Mr. Grimstone.”

I’m only Mr. Grimstone to Bart when I’m on the verge a’ bein’ arrested. I handed the sheets back. Bart’s sneer broadened a bit as he walked over to the steam cart.

#

The inquest was four days later and, as expected, Phillips was declared a suicide. It was still like pullin’ teeth to get those sheets back from Bart. This, mind, in spite a’ the fact that Phillips didna have any living relatives.





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