A young man in his late twenties, probably early thirties, approached the elderly man four seats up from him as the commuter train slowly pulled out of Ferrin Station and began its journey uptown. He waited for a bit before making a polite throat clearing sound as he arrived at the old man’s seat.
“Excuse me, please.” “Isn’t it true that you’re Doctor Mitchell?” he inquired.
“Yes,” said the seated man, looking up from his seat. “Do I recognize you?”
“No, sir,” says the narrator. You did, however, know my father. You were instrumental in saving his life. Gordon is my name. Gordon Black is a fictional character. You treated my father after he was shot in the stomach with a shotgun. “
| BODY OF EVIDENCE | As he sat across the aisle from the doctor, Doctor Mitchell stared at the young man. “Your father is Simon Black?” he inquired, rather astonished. What’s he up to these days? That operation was almost fifteen years ago, by the way. “I’m hoping he’s doing fine.”
“No, I’m afraid that dad died three years ago,” the young guy murmured slowly, holding his head down. Whether you believe it or not, According to reports, there was yet another hunting mishap. This time, though, the bullet struck him in the head. I’ve always had my own style of doing things.
However, I have my reservations. There was nothing that could be done to save him. Please excuse me, doc, but I have something really important to tell you, so I’ll skim over the details of my father’s accident. As he proceeded, his face became solemn:
“Because you are the State’s Chief Medical Examiner, you will be receiving a body for autopsy in two days.” The sheriff in Cole City, where the body is being transported, has requested that you do the requisite autopsy. Cole City’s meanest man in the valley assassinated the body in question. He did it, and the sheriff knows it. He did it, the prosecutor knows. Almost everyone in town knows that he is guilty. The issue is that they can’t discover a mark on the body that proves Big Jim Crocker committed the murder. ” He was waiting for the doctor’s response.
Doctor Mitchell scrutinized the young man’s features for any evidence of dishonesty. It’s impossible to be too cautious when riding these trains. He pondered his thoughts. “What, exactly, are you telling me?” he inquired, satisfied that the man was sincere. Doesn’t your medical examiner know what he’s supposed to be doing? I have no idea what’s going on here. Why are you able to come to me when no one from Cole City or the county has contacted me? Is it the Sheriff’s Department or the County that you work for? What exactly does all of this have to do with your visit to Warrenville? “
The young man leaned into the aisle to avoid talking too loudly over the train’s roar. He spoke softly but clearly enough for the doctor to understand what he was saying. “I am tied to the Sheriff’s Department in certain ways.” I used to work in the coroner’s office as a volunteer.
I used to like watching our medical examiner perform his duties. The issue we have here, Doc, is that our examiner has been retired for about ten years. He can’t see much anymore. He suffers from arthritis that might bring a horse down. He will continue to be an examiner for another nine months, after which he will be retired, whether he wants it or not. By that time, his brother, who also happens to be the mayor, will have served his term. He won’t be able to defend the examiner any longer. By the way, you’re familiar with the examiner. “”It’s Phil Luck,” says the narrator.
“Phil Luck?” you might wonder. Doc Mitchell almost screamed the name in surprise. “Are you serious?” Is this all part of a big joke? “Are you going to record this?” He took a quick glance around to see if he could find the camera.
“Doctor, this isn’t a joke. It’s Phil Luck we’re talking about. “
The doctor kept looking around for anything unusual, still unsure of what was going on. “Phil Luck should have retired ten years ago,” he replied, looking at the man. He’s about thirty years my senior, and I’ll be retiring in two years. There are plenty of fish simply waiting for me to feed them. He laughed. Returning to seriousness, he continued, “Now I see why the
The Sheriff has requested that we investigate the situation at the state. I’m sorry, young man. Needless to say, with your narrative, you caught me off guard. “
Young Gordon Black smiled at the man and continued to give Doc Mitchell the information he needed. “You see, Doc, I’m aware of the man’s death.” I’m aware of when and where it occurred. I’m afraid I can’t go into detail, but instead of telling the sheriff, I had to visit you. Again, without going into detail, going to the law or anyone else other than you would be a waste of time. “Shall I continue, or do you feel the need to summon someone to remove me? “
“I apologise, young man. You’ve got me stumped. I recall seeing your father, but it’s been a long time. What exactly do you expect from me? I have to trust you have all the answers you require based on what you’ve said. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. You should have told the… if you knew how he died. Why are you unable to inform others? If they don’t believe you, there’s nothing you can do. “Then why should I?” says the narrator. The doctor began to feel curiously uncomfortable listening to the young man narrate his story. “How come you know who killed the unfortunate soul but can’t name who or why?”
Gordon Black peered around, as if he was looking for someone or something he didn’t want to see. “Look, Doc, I’m only here for a few minutes.” When you acquire the body, I need to know that you’re going to do what I say.
Doc Mitchell’s professional awareness warned him that he should pay attention to what Gordon was trying to say. “Go ahead, son.” “Say so if you know what I need to do.”
The man gave the doctor a full-faced smile and told him what he needed to do. When you get the body, check the left ear very closely. The eardrum will have a little hole in it. Big Jim Crocker completed the task with a heated, thin ice pick. The wound was soon sealed by the heated pick. It will resemble a rupture rather than a real hole. I’m pretty sure he put poison on the tip of the pick. Crocker did his thing as the dead man was lying in bed.
He then dressed the man up and dumped him in a dirty part of town, hoping that people would mistake him for an unknown homeless man. Despite the fact that the deceased man lived in Cole City, he was not well-known. Big Jim, not wanting to take any chances, splashed sulfuric acid on the man’s hands and face. They’ll need any fingerprints they can get for identification. That’s exactly what Big Jim was hoping for. He is certain that no one will be able to link him to the murder. Consider this, Doc: a man died for the sake of a few hundred dollars. “It’s strange.”
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The doctor had been paying such close attention to Gordon that he almost missed his stop. As the train approached the station, he asked if there was any strong evidence that Big Jim was the murderer.
Gordon Black whispered one last thing to Doc Mitchell as the train came to a halt. “When he clothed the body, his hand rested on the victim’s belt buckle.”
He left a handprint on the buckle. That should cover everything. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Doc, I must depart. He glanced around, and the man had exited the train before Doc Mitchell could say anything.
The lengthy hours in the medical examiner’s office dragged on for Doc Mitchell. He was thinking about the young man he had met on the train. He simply wanted the day to end so he could return home and relax for the evening. For some reason, he was conflicted about what he would face in two days. Those days went by in a flash.
A deputy sheriff stood guard over a sheet-covered body when Doc Mitchell arrived for work that day. “Are you Doctor Mitchell?” the deputy said as the doctor entered the autopsy room.
As he approached the table, he said, “Yes, I am.” “Is this the Cole City body?”
“Yes, sir, I was directed to stay here until I personally handed the body over to you.” “Do you ever get used to what goes on in here?” he questioned as he gazed around the room. Just being in here gives me the creeps. “
“Only if they don’t sit up in the middle of everything,” the doctor said, looking at the pale-colored deputy.
The deputy put his hand to his lips, but he didn’t say anything since he didn’t want to spill his breakfast.
The doctor was embarrassed by his joke. “Please accept my apologies, son.” That was merely a bit of medical satire. I’m afraid to suggest that we do become accustomed to it. However, it is preferable that we do so. If we have any sentiments for the departed, we will be unable to perform our duties.
“Nothing personal, Doc. I hope I don’t see you again,” the deputy said over his shoulder as he took a quick step toward the exit.
“Same here, son,” he said softly before returning to his job.
He gasped as he peeled back the covers, remembering the talk on the train that night. Years of dealing with the dead should have hardened his sentiments by now, but the sight of this acid-burned human being made him sick to his stomach. To regain his composure, he took a step back.
He took the requisite fingerprints to help identify the victim before beginning his inspection… notably the left ear. He requested an assistant to strip the body and place the garments on the auxiliary table behind them once the print card was completed. He gave the print card and the belt to the assistant with instructions to take them to the forensics lab.
He paused before reaching for the knife to begin his interior examination, thinking to himself, “I might as well examine the ear first.” “Who knows?” you might ask. Gordon Black had ordered him to look for a puncture wound in the left era, so he focused the flashlight’s beam there. Slowly, he swung the light back and forth, but nothing happened. On his third run over the little canal, he noticed a dark speck. He reached for the glowing object as swiftly as he could.
with the narrow tip of a magnifying lens. He let out a loud “by dammit!” as he spotted the mark.
His mind began to race with many ideas. “The mark is there, but how did Gordon Black find out about it if he didn’t frame this man?” Jim, the colossus
Crocker. Perhaps he holds Big Jim responsible for his father’s death. ‘ When his assistant returned from the lab with the fingerprint findings, his profound thoughts were interrupted.
“By God, he was right about the ear,” the doctor stated with a smile before his assistant could say anything. He could tell his assistant didn’t know what he was talking about by the look on his face. He decided to tell him about his conversation with Gordon Black on the train. He asked the man why he looked so puffed when he finished his report.
As he explained the report in his palm, the assistant inhaled deeply and braced himself. “Uh, I have the police report on the belt-buckle fingerprints.” They are the property of Jim Crocker.
“Yes!” Doc Mitchell exclaimed with glee. “That’s Big Jim Crocker,” says the narrator. Gordon claimed he was the one who murdered this man three days ago. By the way, what about these man’s prints on the table? “
“Well, there appears to be a major blunder here,” the assistant observed. As you requested, I took the prints to the lab. I waited for them and followed their every move inside. “Now…”
“What exactly is it?” The doctor was growing irritated. “How come you’re so pessimistic about the lab?” Did they mix up the prints with someone else’s? “Say something, guy.”
“Please accept my apologies, sir.” It’s only that… Gordon Black couldn’t possibly have been the person you spoke with that night. Gordon Black, the man on the table, left his fingerprints on the table. doctor? Is there a problem?
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