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John Hudson Tiner
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Match wits to solve a murder mystery. Randolph Battle is a wheeler-dealer on an international scale. Police find his blood soaked body shot twice with two different guns. They arrest Crystal Fenton, his secretary for the crime.
Dewey Hunter, her defense counsel, is not content to take the hand dealt him by fate. He puts his professional reputation at stake as he investigates for himself, stirs things up, and breaks new ground. Dewey's staunchly supportive secretary, Serra Land, is an essential part of his success, along with Don Steel, his long-suffering private detective.
Hunter said, "If the court pleases, I would like to cross-examine Lieutenant Trench before making my decision."
"I object," Elliot said.
Judge Grandville looked surprised. "You object to defense counsel cross-examining your witness?"
"Yes, I do. This is a stalling tactic. The defense counsel plans to stretch his questioning until the time for afternoon adjournment. In addition, defense counsel declined to cross examine Lieutenant Trench a few minutes ago."
"The witness has taken the stand for a second time," Hunter pointed out.
"The objection is overruled. Ask your questions, Mr. Hunter."
"Lieutenant Trench, did you also attempt to trace the .45-caliber revolver, the gun that fired the shot described by the autopsy surgeon as the fatal bullet?"
"Yes, but unsuccessfully. As Mr. Peter Rawlings testified, the gun disappeared as a part of a shipment after World War II."
"Yet, you think that gun belonged to Randolph Battle?"
"Yes, I do. It would hardly be a weapon a woman would carry, and--"
"I object, your Honor," Elliot began. Then as he thought about the answer he said, "No, I withdraw the objection."
"As I started to say, the .45-caliber Colt revolver would hardly be a weapon a woman would carry, yet it would be the type of gun to be kept in a desk drawer."
"Would it fit in the top drawer of Battleâ€™s desk?"
"Yes, quite easily. The entire top drawer was empty."
"Did you find any evidence that the gun had, in fact, been kept in that drawer?"
"Yes. In the top drawer I detected a discoloration caused by cleaning oil."
"Did your search of the defendantâ€™s apartment uncover a handgun?"
"I object," Elliot said. "I think it is quite clear defense counsel is desperately trying to prolong this case."
"Lieutenant Trench, isnâ€™t it a fact that Randolph Battle purchased two .25-caliber Colt automatics?"
"You are correct. The gun shop recorded the purchase of two identical weapons. Even the serial numbers are identical except for the last digit."
Hunter said, "Now in your investigation of this case, did you come across the second gun?"
"Two bullets were removed from the deceasedâ€™s body. Did you find any other bullets or bullet holes?"
"In searching the deceasedâ€™s office at his home, did you find an expended cartridge other than the one entered into evidence?"
"Yes, on the desk. A heavy glass ashtray that had been used to hold miscellaneous items such as paper clips, erasers and so on had been overturned. Lying with those items was a single .25-caliber cartridge."
"What did you do with that cartridge?"
"I object. Where is this taking us? Defense counsel is asking nothing but random questions which are cluttering the record."
The judge waved aside the objection. He paused to look speculatively at Hunter. "Overruled. Answer the question."
John Hudson Tiner, a long time fan of mysteries, has more than 100 fiction stories published including two mystery books for teenagers. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America. In addition, he is the author of textbooks, curriculum material and biographies. He has written more than 800 manuscripts, including 70 books.
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 210
Paper Weight (lb): 9.0
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