Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The Man in The Morgue - Robert Arthur
Story: The Man in The Morgue
Author: Robert Arthur
Source: 20 Tales of Murder
Story Number: 60
Mildred Wilson has a violent temper and each of her tempers leads to a seizure and the doctor has strictly warned her not to get excited or shocked or lose temper. She has also been prescribed a special medicine which she can take whenever she encounters such an attack, failing to do so would definitely lead to her death. The story starts off with her husband Herbert declaring that he has taken an insurance policy against his death and might come in handy if he meets with an accident due to a weak break on his automobile.
On a rough day when the people have been asked to stay indoors and not to venture out in the icy conditions, Herbert declares to his wife that his firm is not doing good, that he needs to file for bankruptcy and they might have to let go of the house that they are leaving in. Remembering the insurance policy, she thinks that he is better off dead than alive and thinks of a not so foolproof way of killing him. She breaks the bottle and spills her medication and requests Herbert to fetch the medicine immediately. She is hoping that he will meet with an accident when already 7 people have been killed due to the rough weather.
He does meet with an accident but is not killed; a passerby helps him to the nearest destination which happens to be a Morgue. The caretaker of the morgue attends to him and while he is still unconscious, he decides to call the injured man’s wife and update the status to her. Over a choppy telephone connection and with the thick accent of the caretaker, all Mildred hears is that her husband has met with an accident and that he is in the morgue – from which she is able to reach only one conclusion!
What happens next? An eventful and a surprise ending await the reader!