(Image credit: إبراهيم الشعيبي)
Morton was a bad influence. So was Archie. And that's probably why they were such good friends. The two playboys had simultaneously squandered their trust funds and now were facing the consequences.
"I suppose I'll have to start selling things," Morton said with a shiver. He had just arrived home from a night on the town. "Want to come in for a drink, old man?"
Never one to say no, Archie followed his friend inside. Morton's trusted valet, Gene, was there to pour their drinks and watch as his employer removed his diamond cufflinks and tossed them into an empty vase in the library.
Archie stayed for one drink, complained about his own financial straits, then headed out into the damp night air. Morton exited the house a minute later, taking his German shepherd for a walk that they both felt they could use.
"My car wouldn't start," Archie told the officers. "I was just about to walk back here to call the garage when I heard glass breaking." He pointed to the shards of broken glass on the terrace and then to the hole in the terrace's French doors. The glass pane right above the latch had been smashed and the door stood open. "Looks like a burglar."
When Morton came in from walking the dog, he found one police officer searching his friend and the other searching the library. He also found the diamond cufflinks missing from the library vase.
"We caught him almost red-handed," the senior officer told Morton. "But we can't find the cufflinks. Were they insured?"
"Yes, of course," Morton replied. "Just look at the mess you've made." He pointed to the muddy footprints they'd tracked in from the garden. "If there was any evidence of a real burglar, you've completely obliterated it."
But Morton was wrong. There was one piece of evidence. And it pointed straight to the thief.
Whodunit? And what was the evidence?
The whodunit above was provided by American mystery fiction author Hy Conrad.
In addition to his work in mystery and crime puzzles, Hy was also one of the original writers for the groundbreaking TV series Monk.