“The South-Side Window” – A Short Story

Constable Davis sat down to read. He often did this during his recovery from his encounter with Mrs. Hartley. It was about eight thirty in the evening, his typical time for leisure reading. He picked up the book he had been slowly chipping away at for the past couple weeks entitled The South-Side Window. It consisted of a modern-day mystery about a series of crimes committed using a window on the south side of the house in question as a means of entrance. This particular book fascinated him, as he loved a well-written mystery as much as anyone.

In fact, he was so engrossed in the literature that he failed to notice a slight creak as the south window of his apartment opened and a mysterious figure entered into the dwelling.

The black-clad figure approached the oblivious officer ominously. The intruder then proceeded to raise a large club above his head and strike the policeman on the right temple, killing him instantly.

The masked murderer quickly fled the scene of the crime through the south-side window.

 

The scream was heard at 7:52 in the morning the day after. The apartment housemaid, who usually began to clean the apartments at 7:30 A.M., found Constable Davis’ body on the floor of his apartment, with his book sprawled out on the floor open to page 179.

Dr. Varney and the other constables arrived at 8:15. Though his heart was pained with grief, he thought clearly enough to determine the cause of death and the point of entry, as well as the time of death and the sickening irony which the perpetrator had wrought though Davis. He knew there had to be “reasonable” motive; possibly an old rivalry or a perversion of justice that wasn’t really the officer’s fault.

Then he thought back to a few weeks ago when Mrs. Porter had been senselessly murdered by the secret society who had stolen the Dragon’s Knoll artifacts from the Longfellows and the Breckenridges. He recklessly looked about the apartment for some sort of sign that the top secret group had assassinated his colleague.

He looked back at the terrible wound inflicted by the club on the constable’s head and felt a pang of guilt. This is my fault, he thought. I’ve angered the society and now they’re killing my friends.

He looked away and then quickly looked back, with a more careful eye.

 

There, in the spot where Davis had been struck, was a small but unmistakable crest branded on the side of his head . . .

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