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"I Shot the Sheriff" by Hy Conrad

See-n-Solve #105 - November 2015

Orig. appeared Jan. 2000


Learn about Amy and Harry Silver

"The Star-Crossed Star"
Can you solve the mystery?

Crime Scene See-n-Solve

Once a year, like clockwork, Harry Silver visited the sleepy town of Blue Trout, his fishing gear in tow. This spring, he towed Amy along as well.

"No business," the detective promised his daughter.

Amy had her doubts.

They had only been fishing for about an hour on that Saturday morning when Deputy Lem Laramie ambled up to their private bend in the stream. "Hey, Harry! Sorry to bother you, but we got us a murder."

"Todd Bowford can handle it," Harry shouted back.

"That's gonna be hard," Lem replied. "It's Sheriff Bowford that's dead."

When Harry and Amy walked into the sheriff's office, they found the deceased sprawled in his desk chair, a crimson stain framing a small hole in his shirt.

"Yancy at the bait shop heard a shot around 10:10 this morning. By the time he got his bum leg working and came outside, there was no one in sight."

"What time did the sheriff get in today?" Harry asked the deputy.

"He called me from his house. Said he'd be late. His nephew's living with him. The kid's a firebug. He'd be in jail if he didn't have a sheriff for an uncle. Anyway, he was gonna have a heart-to-heart with the boy. Then he had an eviction to take care of, some deadbeat in one of May Clark's apartments. I was late myself this morning. I was still at home when Yancy called with the news."

"Bring in the nephew, Zach Bowford and the deadbeat, Ralph Hiers. Oh, Lem," he added, almost as an afterthought. "You married Todd's little girl, didn't you?"

"Yes, sir," stammered the deputy. "But Donna and me are getting along better. Ask anyone."

Harry and Amy waited in the dead man's office while Lem rounded up the suspects. "I hope you can wind this up before the fish stop biting," Harry whispered.

Amy's feet were soggy inside her waders and the last thing she wanted was to get back into that stream. "I'll do my best."

Crime Scene See-n-Solve

Illustrations by Josh Neufeld