He was chubby1 and plump, a right jolly old sight,
And we laughed when we saw him, in spite of the night!
A click of the pen and a check next to "Dead"
Soon gave us to know we had nothing to dread2.
"What's that sound" cried dreams
. "What now?"
"It's the door bell ... I wonder who would be calling on us tonight?" wondered WT Sharpe
"I'll get that" shouted Alex
, running down the stairs. "I called the insurance company. They promised to send an agent out right away."
Opening the door, Alex
found a short, nattily dressed 3
man wearing a bowler hat4
, wire-rim glasses5
, and a cautious smile. Tipping his hat politely, the man introduced himself: "Good day, Sir. Here's my card. I'm Jellby
, from the firm Jellbby, Jelbby, Jjellby, and Jellby
You remember we were involved with your Kindle Dev Forum
? Also, the Sony Dev Forum,
which introduced us to the Kobo Dev Forum
. Very good groups you have there. Yes, sir. Why some of the things that I discovered there were amazing. Did you know, that there is this one guy, goes by the name of geekmaster.. "
"Yes, yes. That was all handled nicely by your partners," Alex
cut in. "Now, about why I called you."
"You rang our office about a *ahem* tragic accident, I believe?" Jellby
consulted the forms on his clipboard. "A fall from the roof whilst hanging lights?"
"Come in, come in" cried Alex
. "We've moved the body inside. Yes, a fatal fall. We still can't believe it happened. I'll take you upstairs to view pilotbob
's body. "
"Pssst ... Alex
... a word before you go upstairs!" whispered dreams
. "Errrr ... We don't think it was an accident Alex
. Look at the cord that WT Sharpe
unwound from pilotbob
's body. It's been cut! And .... we can't find my scissors anywhere! We think that someone did this on purpose .... that pilotbob
"Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. This is very bad." murmured Mr. Jellby
. "Very bad indeed."
"Yes, it's absolutely terrifying! One of us is a murderer!" cried dreams
"Well, yes, that too. But I was referring to your insurance coverage6
" explained Jellby
, smoothing his remaining strand of hair over his shining pate7
. "You chose not to purchase the 'MobileRead Holiday Homicidal Havoc' package 8
... so a murder is not covered under your policy. You sir will be fully liable for damages if you choose to regard this *ahem* tragic holiday accident as a murder. And since the *ahem" alleged 9
murder weapon has inexplicably vanished, I don't see any problem with writing this up as an accident, and wrapping things up tonight."
"But what about this?" demanded WT Sharpe
, holding the cut ends of the light cord in Jellby
"Oh yes, oh yes .... obviously old decorations ... normal wear and tear from being used outdoors ... perfectly understandable. Let's just get rid of some trash, all right?" Jellby
He rang for the maid before anyone could object, and when the housekeeper, ravenne
, entered the room, Jellby
handed her the cord and bade her to throw it into the trash.
"Now sir, let's get this pesky paperwork filled out, and I'll be out of your hair. And you can go on with your holiday festivities," Jellby
silently took the cord and went back into the kitchen where she quickly made a call to Marc_liest
?" "I think you both should stay busy in the Deutsches Forum
for a while longer, just to be safe. It may be a good idea to stay together and don't let mtravellerh
sneak off by himself. Right, we don't know what might happen next. Talk to you soon."
returned and announced "Dinner is ready!" Ringing the dinner gong brought everyone downstairs, crowding around Alex
, talking excitedly.
, you even had time to cook dinner tonight?"
"What are we having?"
"Can I have pilotbob
's nose twitched as the delicious aroma wafted out of the kitchen. "That's odd. I could swear I smell chicken. We never have chicken. poohbear_nc
gets hysterical whenever someone suggests we have chicken."
Glancing around the room, DaleDe
asked "Where is old pooh
anyways? We haven't seen him since we carried pilotbob
Everyone froze for a long, silent minute .... and then stampeded10
into the kitchen. ravenne
was laying out the silverware on the long table, candles burning brightly at each place setting.
came out here earlier to pop the corn for decorating the tree" cried dreams
. "Where is he? What's happened to him? Have you seen him, ravenne
"No ma'am," ravenne
replied. "When I came on duty this afternoon there was no one in the kitchen. The microwave was running though. I assumed someone had already started making dinner. I did have to clear away all these bags of popcorn - somebody had spilled them all over the floor."
All eyes turned to the microwave ... the source of the savory11
aroma tickling all nostrils12
. In the hushed silence, a sound rang out
[End of Episode 4]
1 chubby: pausbäckig, dicklich
2 to have nothing to dread: nichts zu Fürchten haben
3 nattily: schick
4 bowler hat: Melone
5 wire-rim glasses: Nickelbrille
6 insurance coverage: Versicherungsdeckung
7 pate: Haupt, Kopf
8 MobileRead Holiday Homicidal Havoc package: Versicherungspaket, das selbst an Feiertagen Mord und Totschlag abdeckt
9 alleged: mutmaßlich
10 to stampede: in Panik rennen
11 savory: herzhaft, appetitlich
12 nostrils: Nüstern, Nasenlöcher