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Mystery of the Stolen Manoot Part III

by Hans Bluedorn

You may remember that the burnt remains of "The Picnic," by Manoot, were found in Mrs. McLeary's library fireplace. . .


MAID: Yes sir. Here is the corner sir. I don't think it can be fixed, sir.

Constable Dobson went to tell Mrs. McLeary.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Mrs. McLeary, I'm afraid I have some bad news.

MRS. McLEARY: If it's about that dratted painting, don't bother.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Uh, yes, as a matter of fact, it seems the thief has burnt it.

MRS. McLEARY: Then he beat me to it. I was about to do it myself, if I ever found it. I can't believe that swindler of an art dealer ever sold it to me. I have just heard the most shameful things about Manoot. I can't believe I ever liked the painting.

Puzzling developments. Do you know who stole the painting, now?

"I think Brinkley the Butler did it. He has the best access to the fireplace/fires, aside from Mrs. McLeary, and his fingerprints were found on the frame and the window sill." – Kimberly, Logic Loop reader.

That could be true. So Constable Dobson went to talk to Brinkley the Butler again.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Brinkley, it was you who stole Mrs. McLeary's painting and burnt it, wasn't it?

BRINKLEY: Yes sir. I must confess I am culpable in the matter. It seemed to me to be the best course in order to keep in tact the prestige of Mrs. McLeary's collection. I also could not endure the daily task of viewing the painting for the purpose of dusting it. I took the steps you mentioned, planning to assuage Mrs. Mcleary's grief by informing her later of the sordid details surrounding the origin of the painting.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Brinkley, who was Manoot?

BRINKLEY: I am told Manoot was of the genus simian.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: He was of the what?

BRINKLEY: More specifically he was an orangutan, captured in the country of Borneo . I believe his owner had trained him to paint, and consequently made money off the animal by showing his talents in small villages on several continents. I have heard that this particular painting, "The Picnic," was completed while on a trans-Saharan trek.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Don't tell me he painted it while riding a camel.

BRINKLEY: I believe that was the mode described to me. I also believe there were alcoholic stimulants involved as well, sir.

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Who would have guessed it? But Brinkley, what about Pinkie? Had he nothing to do with it?

BRINKLEY: No sir. I endeavored to cast suspicion on Pinkie in order to give Mrs. McLeary someone to blame, knowing she would never press charges. Also, the nights have been frigid lately, and I believe Pinkie finds it more comfortable in the jail. Will that be all sir?

CONSTABLE DOBSON: Quite. You may go.

BRINKLEY: If I may ask, sir, will there be any charges filed in connection with the painting?

CONSTABLE DOBSON: I don't think so; I think the world has seen enough of "The Picnic," by Manoot.

The End

If you have any comments or questions about the "Mystery of the Stolen Manoot" send me an email.

Copyright May 16, 2004, all rights reserved. 4041 views

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