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THE CASE OF THE DOUBTING UNCLE
Anthony Durrant - 08:12pm Nov 30, 2003 PSTGuest User
THE CASE OF THE DOUBTING UNCLE
(c) 2002 by Anthony Durrant
"My Uncle Henry was an amazing man!" I said. "He joined the Navy while working as a wheelwright's apprentice, then retired without a nickel to his name, and became a successful mechanic, making a fortune in his first twenty years in business. We hadn't grown close since my cousin Drew's death, for I knew that he was interested in mourning his lost son, but I knew that he was always very fond of me."
"Which makes this little task doubly hard, I suppose!" Uncle Henry's lawyer Matthew Broderick said. "Oh, well, let's get down to it!"
My Uncle Henry Carstairs - the father of my cousin Drew - had committed suicide a few days ago, leaving notes that indicated he wanted to divide his wealth between me and his alma mater. The money was contained herein in a safe in his office, which could only be opened by me.
"I believe your note included the safe's combination too," said Matthew, "so let's open the safe."
"Yes, let's" I said, looking at the potted plant whose leaves faced the window; it was a daffodil, lovely yellow, with long green leaves. "God, I feel like I'm doing my Cousin Drew's work!"
The safe unlocked with a click and I pulled open the damn door by using the locking lever.
"The safe's empty!" I cried.
"Of course, it's empty!" he cried. "I have the money and the will - complete with the names of all the witnesses - which your uncle sent me. He wanted to test you - to see if you'd try to open the safe before the four days elapsed and make yourself a fortune!"
"I never was in here!" I cried.
"A bad lie," said Matthew, "and a costly one. Now all the money will go to your uncle's alma mater. You see, once I spotted the potted plant and saw that it had been turned toward the safe by an intruder, I knew that you'd been in to open the safe before the four days elapsed and I was right. Plants usually shift their leaves toward the sun when the've been turned away from the window, just as the plant in the corner was!"
I laughed so hard I cried.
"Where did you get the idea for this little plot, Matthew?" I asked. "TWO-MINUTE MYSTERIES? I'm sorry, but it won't wash. You see, I happen to know that the notes 'written' by my uncle are fakes - in which case, his supposed will isn't worth a tinker's damn! I'm sorry, Matthew, but in this case you've lost - you've lost big time!"
With that, I put an end to his posturing by pointing out the blunder in his plot. He then threw his hat on the ground and stormed off, a clear victim of his own greedy nature.
"Thank you, Uncle Henry!" I cried. "If it hadn't been for you, I wouldn't have seen through his dirty red plot and I would have been bankrupt forever!"
HOW DID I KNOW THAT THE NOTES AND WILL WERE FAKE?
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Mystery Net Community Writing Mysteries Mysteries By Members Solve-it-Yourself and Puzzle Mysteries THE CASE OF THE DOUBTING UNCLE