First One Looks and Listens

The Inspector rose from his crouch to meet us.  As we took our final few strides Sir Edward leaned over and whispered to me one of Essentials, the principles of conducting one's in a higher way. 

"Young Mister Mallory, remember ... first, one looks and listens."

"Yes, Sir Edward," trying not to expose my inner frustration with having heard that same instruction quite possibly one hundredfold.

"Too many fail to understand that the soul of things cannot help but reveal itself eventually."

The Inspector began the courtesy, "Sir Edward, so good to see you out so early on this fine day.  Allan,  I hope you're off to a good start."

"Inspector Smithson, you look to have this ghoulish matter well in hand.  What have you found to be the situation?"

"The Sargent Major here, a Charles Harrell, was found here this morning by the old grounds keeper, before dawn.  Apparently the Sargent Major left his quarters late last night after the locking of the gates.  A contingent of the Beefeaters had been employed last night for the shooting of  BBC documentary on the history of the Tower.  Possibly that explains the full uniform.  Appears to have been stabbed in the back, but no murder weapon yet.  Poor fellow.  Had only recently begun his service here.  War hero, you know.  Victoria Cross."

Sir Edward took a couple of steps to gain a closer look at the body.  Turning to the Inspector, "And what of the bird?"

"The bird?"

"Yes, the raven.  How did the raven die?"

'Well, I don't really know.'

"Mind if I take  look?"

Sir Edward knelt down, picked up the sizable carcass - ravens are of greater stature than most people realize - then gave the lifeless bird a thorough once over. 

"Someone wrung this poor old boy's neck, the raven's that is.  Much like my dear mum used to do with the chicken she'd have me chase down on our Sussex farm.  Don't you find that rather strange, Inspector?"

'Well, I would think it rather odd."  You could tell that the Inspector was not yet captured by the intrigue of the raven's murder, but decided to press on.  "No footprints.  No breaking of the gates.  No apparent robbery though the Administrator's staff is now doing a full inventory.  The Beefeaters have been called to be interviewed over in the Armory.  As soon as the wagon arrives, I'll be heading over.  Sir Edward, you and Allan are welcomed to come and assist if you like."

"Well thank you, old boy.  That would be most helpful.  And please, if Young Mister Mallory can be of any assistance, I am sure he would be eager to lend his services."

"To be sure, Sir Edward," I was obligated to answer, but I always hated that when he would volunteer my so-called services.  One night I had to babysit a lady's five cats and  her feeble dog who suffered from a rather pronounced incontinence problem.



The End

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