THE WELL-INTENTIONED MURDERER

No, Squattedman did not die in the tremendous explosion in Edison’s warehouse. He didn’t even suffer the least scratch. Of course, he took a fright. A hell of a fright. But now it’s all over. Tammany Hall has been broken up. I am not saying that there are no longer corrupt politicians or street gangs. But now they all run around like headless chickens. From now on, the task of Squattedman would be the ordinary task of any superhero: rescue people in distress, prevent a robbery or a murder, safeguard the peace and order of the planet, stop the indiscriminate cutting down of trees and poaching, prevent the derailment of a train or the sinking of a ship, or warn a confident buyer that the second-hand car they are selling to him is actually a lot of junk assembled to give the appearance of a Ford T…

He got back pain just thinking about it. But it was his duty, and if a man should not escape his duty, even less a super-man! Compliance with the duty was the most important principle of a superhero. However, that same afternoon he bought an ocean liner ticket to the Seychelles with a fictitious name. But it was too late. All papers talked about him and his feats. He was already a famous superhero. So, despite his rabbit costume, when he got on the ship he was immediately recognized. He had to pretend that he thought he was queuing at a bakery and return to his apartment. He stared at the sunset through the window. He told himself that after all there would not be so much difference between the sunset in New York and the sunset in the Seychelles. At that moment, he looked down and his eagle eye detected a man stealing another’s wallet in the middle of Times Square. He sighed, took off his clothes and instantly was off like a shot. 

It turned out that it was a false alarm: the alleged thief was actually the legitimate owner of the wallet, whose custody he had entrusted to the alleged victim. But then an individual ran by with a blood-stained jacket and a smoking gun in his hands. “Another false alarm”, he thought, but still he started chasing him. When he caught him, the man denied having committed any infraction: he had waited for the traffic policeman to give way to the pedestrians before crossing. There was nothing to reproach. Then Squattedman mentioned the gun in his hand and his blood-stained clothes, and the man assured that he didn’t know how they got there.

“Why were you running then?”

“I’m training to run the hundred-yard dash.”

“In a frock coat and top hat?”

“I am an elegant man. Is that a crime? ”

Squattedman didn’t know what to think.The got a bad feeling about it but his answers were credible. On the other hand, the gun had stopped smoking and the blood was drying. So he let him go.

The next morning, while reading the newspaper, he knew that he had made a mistake: a gravedigger had been murdered in the New York City Marble Cemetery, just the direction from which the frock-coated athlete of the previous afternoon came. That was a bad business for Squattedman’s reputation. He could not afford to be deceived in that way, as the newspapers made clear. He had to catch the killer.

The first thing he did was go to the cemetery to question the witnesses. Unfortunately everyone was dead. It was not that any massacre had been committed. It was that they had been dead and buried for a long time and even centuries. But there was something that didn’t fit. Why would anyone want to kill a gravedigger? Unless he resented him for having buried a loved one. But if he was dead, what was wrong with burying him? Maybe the killer had other plans. What if he wanted to mummify his loved one or preserve him in brine, and the gravedigger had got ahead of him? 

While thinking about the multiple possibilities, it was getting dark. It’s funny how, despite knowing you’re indestructible, old fears don’t disappear. Being alone in a graveyard at night was one of Squattedman’s old fears. If at that moment a tomb had been opened and a dead man had come out of it, he would have skedaddled just like before becoming a superhero. So he hurried to carry out his task: he stuck his ear to the ground and listen carefully. Among the thousands of communications that were taking place in New York at that time, he caught one that gained his attention:

“Phil?”

“Is that you, Mirna?”

“No, it’s me: Rudolph.”

“Did you kill the gravedigger?”

“Yes, but I think …”

“Well done! He shouldn’t go unpunished after killing so many people. “

“I think it was a mistake, Phil. That is a cemetery! ”

“I already told you! There were graves everywhere, right? Didn’t I tell you that his yard looked like a cemetery?!

“He didn’t kill them, Phil!”

“Don’t be ingenuous! All those graves in his house’s yard, and he hasn’t killed anybody?!”

“It wasn’t his house’s yard, Phil. He lived in the house because he was in charge of the cemetery. ”

“Brzwwzz. I don’t hear you, Rudolph. Brzwwzz. Communication is cut. Brzwwzz. This damn phone line. Brzwwzz ”

After tracing the call and the callback thanks to his super powers, Squattedman took flight, grabbed the murderers and left them well packed in front of a police station.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

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