|"I'm Speed Saunders and I want you to tell me something.|
You're an unnamed druggist and you want to tell me."
Oh, now he's a SPECIAL Investigator. Must have happened off-panel.
|This druggist takes AN ENTIRE PANEL of Speed's time to look this information up. Brave fellow.|
By the way, you know where you went in 1936, if you wanted to kill some rats? The druggist, apparently.
|Speed arrived just in time; one hour later the druggist's head exploded from over-largeness.|
Then we get a Speed-explanation about why the murder would poison a boy, then smash his head in with a hammer and it makes about as much sense as you'd think.
|I guess if Speed says that's a thing that blood clots do, I can't question him.|
Stop a second to appreciate the irony of SPEED SAUNDERS giving us a lesson in not making any hasty or rash deductions. As for why the sled, well, I've already explained that myself: it makes a better story title.
|That's not at ALL how that works, Speed.|
In the interest of time and wrapping up the story, Speed completely misrepresents the legal process and double jeopardy. He's got a murderer to catch and since it's obviously not Miss Evarts (because she's The Dame), there's only one person IN the story. I mean, other than Constable Safetybelt and those guys don't count.
|Points if you remember that "Jameson" was the name of the butler.|
Speed's obviously determined who the murderer is, but having babbled away too much already about the method he's left without enough palaver for his ending Speed-explanation, which needs to be fulsome enough to overwhelm the murder and dizzy the reader. So, where does he go for the answer....?
|It ain't the Metropolitan, but it'll have to do.|
Let's see; given the amount of panels left, picking up the first book and reading it should do the trick (just as CobraMisfit predicted yesterday).
|Those curtains really do get around.|
Then, just like Eddie Valiant understanding "the Cloverleaf Connection", Speed gets it.
|"That lame-brained freeway idea could only be cooked up by a Toon."|
Speed's not the only one who's going to get it, as Jameson arrives.
|Be glad that you, the reader, cannot see the Face of Judgement.|
Here it comes; BRACE YOURSELVES!
|Please note how close Jameson and Speed are;|
it will be important later.
|THE FACE OF JUDGEMENT CONDEMNS THEE!|
Well, that was a... wait, let me stop and think about that.
So, I'm Jameson and the family is away except for Tommy, and I want to look for the jewels (because, okay, sure, jewels, isn't it always jewels?) but instead of waiting until Tommy goes out--say, SLEDDING-- I do it while Tommy is AROUND the house, so I get caught. Okay. that's dumb. So, assuming I can't play it off ("Look, sir! I found them for you!"), I've got to kill Tommy so I grab the closest... um....syringe of digitalis? And inject a struggling youth with it? Or do I hit him on the head and knock him out and THEN inject him with digitalis? And then drag him to the shed to bash his head in with a hammer, so that... no one will think the boy died of a heart attack? THEN I wire him by his easily scarred wrists to a sled and shove him down a hill into a thicket of trees where he lands with a thudding sickening thump that a neighbor is close enough to HEAR but NOT close enough to reach before I myself walk down the road (because I am clever enough to use a ROAD), tromp out to the trees, snip the wires, tromp back to the road, go back to the garage (because it's cold out), where I drop the damning evidence of the wires without any concern, then on the way back to the house, whack a hole in the pond with the hammer and drop it to the bottom? Also, I do all this in formal wear and then casually greet the nosy neighbor who must have been RIGHT behind me and who seems to have pulled an Ace Investigator OUT OF THIN AIR not five minutes after I murdered this kid? Jeez, no wonder I didn't have a snappy comeback when they showed up at the front door.
Well, I'm not sure that makes me a mastermind, per se, but it's certainly... impressive. After that spate of criminal improv work worthy of "Whose Crime Is It Anyway?", it turns out Jameson is much better prepared than you would expect because he
PULLS OUT A GUN AND SHOOTS SPEED SAUNDERS AT POINT BLANK RANGE.
|I told you to remember how close Jameson and Speed were.|
|Note that they are STILL the same distance apart.|
There is NO WAY the Jameson could miss Speed. Nor it is one of those 'only a flesh wound' situations, because Speed is pretty clearly non-shot. My only vaguely rational explanation is in the weirdly angled table and falling lamp, which may imply that Speed... saw Jameson getting out his gun, so he lifted the table with his left hand to block the shot while getting out his gun with his right.
There's simply no TIME to show it so it all happens in one panel, I suppose.
|Hand bandaged off-panel, in the interest of time.|