Saturday, August 31, 2013

Murphy: "The Long Spoon".

[There are quite a number of unpublished Murphy stories, and even a novel.
Sales so far of the published titles, do not justify proceeding with these.
But in an effort to spark interest,  we now begin a series of teasers.
Should reader response warrant, these might be published.]

The Long Spoon

Swooning in a circle  around the groaning board,  now littered with the detritus of a feast  -- crumbs scattered like the aftermath of a bunfight, now sodden in spilt drink, and bones gnawed bloody, half draping off porcelain plates --  Mr. S. Guile, the host, and his guest, Senator Swill,  along with sundry liegemen and attendants,  sank back  in a sort of stupor of pleasure.   The conversation, which had been animated, though saltatory, subsided, as belts expanded a notch over paunch, and napkin patted pout.  The monogrammed linens were of smoothest silk, so that, rather  than abrading or absorbing the grease, they merely smeared it.  All observed a respectful silent as the guest of honor, grease purling from his fatflesh  in rich glinting globs, expanded slowly, like a meat balloon.
            The Senator at last let out a satisfied sigh.  “What’d’ye call that dish again?”
            “Long pork, ”  said Guile with a smile.
            “Long pork!  Gotta get my mistress the recipe.  What’s it made of?”
            “Long pig, spiced and sweetened, then simmered in its mother’s milk.”
            The sated Senator closed his eyes, and seemed about to drift off.
            Guile -- completely alert -- snapped his fingers, as his manservants,  Gammon and Mammon, rushed forth to clear the board.
            At length the Senator, now even more porkly-portly than before, heaved himself onto his gaitered pegs, and, puffing, signaled for his cloak:  which was swiftly and richly wrapped around his ample shoulders.  He wordlessly held out his hand; his opera hat appeared, and then his walking-stick.  Then, swaggering and staggering, he made for the butler, who bowed and swept open the door.  (It is difficult to swagger when you stagger;  but he tried.)
            “A capital chow-down, Sam old chap,” said the Senator, over his shoulder.”  I’ll remember you, at appropriations time.”
            And I… shall well remember thee… at -- appropriation time, thought Guile to himself.

For a selection of individual detective stories,
available for your Nook or Kindle,
visit this site: