Law-n-Order

Pavo looked positively pathetic.  Dark circles under his eyes, wings drooping, aqua feathers rumpled.  He looked like he’d been mugged in an alley near the waterfront and left under a rotting pier.

“Where were you when we needed you Big Guy,” he grumbled.  “Things got out of hand here last night.  It was all your fault.”

“But I was away on vacation for a few days Pavo.  Just got in this morning.”

“That’s when things always go south Big Guy.  When you’re out of town.  And you left my cage door closed for the whole weekend.”

“But I always leave your door closed when I’m out for a while.  It’s safer that way.  Keeps you out of harm’s way.”

“But I couldn’t reach the phone.  Had an emergency.  I needed to call 9-1-1.”

As I’ve learned, Pavo has a tendency to exaggerate so I humor him by pretending I’m listening. “What happened?” I asked, squinting to feign interest.

“Well, I wasn’t actually a witness but Ms. Musculus saw it and told me about it.”

“Ms. Musculus, the mouse who lives in the hole in the wall behind the refrigerator?”

“That’s the one.  She told me to call.

“Tell me about it quickly.  Maybe it’s not too late to get some help.  What’s the emergency?”

“The worst kind Big Guy.  A death in the house.”

“Omigod Pavo!  What happened?  Should we notify the authorities?”

Pavo likes Cops, CSI, and Law & Order programs because he says they stretch his mind, so I like to play along.  But he cut me short.

“Not so fast Big Guy.  Think about it.  You may be an accessory.”

“Me?  How am I involved?  I wasn’t even here.”

“It’s Seymour and Goldie.”

I looked across the room and saw them swimming lazily in their fishbowl on top of the teak credenza.   “They look okay to me,” I said.  “Something happen to them?”

“Not them.  Their guest, Carassius auratus, the one you brought home from the pet shop last month.”

“What about him?”

“He’s dead?”

“Dead?  I can’t believe it?  Any witnesses?”

“Ms. Musculus saw the whole thing.  And it wasn’t pretty.”

“What happened?”

“As you know, Seymour and Goldie have been cohabiting for a number of years and, except for a few spats now and then, seem to have gotten along pretty well.  But she’s been doing a lot of carping lately about how he hasn’t taken her any place since they first met, about how their relationship seemed to be going around in circles, and about how they hadn’t met anybody new in years.”

“I suspected all that Pavo.  That’s why I brought home Carassius”

“Big mistake Big Guy.  You got it all backwards.  You’re obviously not an Adult Playpen reader.”

“What does a porno magazine have to do with it?”

“You should have realized that a menage a trois is okay when females outnumber the males. It never works the other way around.  And please keep that in mind when you decide to do me any favors.”

“I’ll try to remember.  But what’s that got to do with the death of Carassius?”

“As soon as you brought him to visit, he began making a play for Goldie, chasing her around the bowl, nipping playfully at her fins.  And to make things worse Big Guy, I think she egged him on.”

“I can understand that Pavo but Seymour’s been looking a little shopworn lately and Carassius was a pretty handsome devil with his potent pecs and taunting triangular tail.”

“Well BG, I guess it all came to a head last night just after I went to sleep.  Although I didn’t actually hear it, Ms. Musculus said that Seymour threatened to get Carassius if he didn’t stop chasing his lady.  But Carassius ignored him.”

“Never ignore an angry lover Pavo.  Results can get your name in the papers.”

“Exactly Big Guy.  And Carassius paid dearly for that mistake.”

“Just give me the details Pavo.”

“Carassius was lazing around the bowl, flashing his pecs and flaunting his fan, showing off for Goldie.  Seymour was hiding in his castle on the bottom watching the action.  As soon as Carassius made a pass at Goldie, Seymour came flying out and attacked him.”

“But he’s hardly half the size of Carassius.”

“I know, but he had the element of surprise on his side and he hit that big fish so hard, it flipped him up out of the water and over the edge of the bowl.  Landed on the floor in front of the credenza.  He flopped around for a while but didn’t last very long.  He might have been saved if you’d been here to put him back in the bowl.”

“Not necessarily true Pavo.  Could still be considered an accident.  Perhaps he died from the fall.”

“But it doesn’t make any difference.  He’s dead.  That’s all that matters.  The next thing to do is charge the culprit.”

“Charge?  What’s the charge?”

“If this was Law & Order it would be Murder One.”

When Pavo and I watch cop shows together we try to analyze the plots, so I played along with his line of reasoning.  “Okay.  Let’s review the situation here.  If it was premeditated and Seymour had the motive and the opportunity, then we have all the necessary elements to make the case for murder one.”

“Right.  And with Ms. Musculus as a witness willing to testify, it looks like we’ve got a watertight case.”

“Okay.  Next thing we have to do is have an autopsy to establish the cause and time of death.”

Pavo’s head jerked upward as he gave me a bewildered stare.  “Uh-oh.  An autopsy to confirm the cause and time of death huh?  Looks like our watertight case may have sprung a leak Big Guy.”

“What’s the problem?”

“No corpus delicti.  For murder one you need the body right?”

“I believe that’s usually the case.”

“Then we’re out of business.  Best charge now would be manslaughter.”

“Why not murder one Pavo?”

“Because Phallix the cat ate the evidence.”

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About D. B. Guy

ex-traveler, ex-Navy vet, ex-depression baby, long time retiree, current lounge chair occupant, husband, grandfather, computer novice-junkie, man-about-town(ret.), jolly good fellow
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2 Responses to Law-n-Order

  1. Jean says:

    Dear Mr. Big Guy,

    Oh my! It appears within your menagerie, you have quite a murder mystery on your hands. I suppose Phydeau napped through the whole episode but you still have a number of witnesses to the sordid deed. Without a corpus delecti however, a prima facie case will be hard to prove in a court of law. Have you called in Inspector Jock Clewso to launch one of his full and thorough investigations? Perhaps you should. He might be able to persuade Phallix to cough up some evidence. No doubt, Phallix is cogitating and digesting the fact that he could be charged with obstruction of justice. Certainly Ms. Muscules would not want to confront Phallix however and possibly have the whole affair turned into a double murder – again with no corpus delecti.

    Please don’t leave your readers hanging in suspense!!! Inquiring minds need to know.

    Aloha!

    Jean

    • D. B. Guy says:

      Thank you for your concern. I contacted Inspector Klewso but his specialty is immigration fraud so he suggested that I contact the local authorities. I did so but they say that without the needed evidence, a prima facie case would be impossible to pursue and that it could be further complicated if the witnesses are reluctant to appear unless their safety can be assured.

      I also called the veterinarian about another concern but she assured me that a strictly fish diet might be a detriment to Pallix’s health in the long run but as long as his diet includes varieties of Fancy Feast there’s little long term effect expected from this episode.

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