Sometimes "Is" Isn't by P-UntreedReadsPubl

VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 4

Identical twins can cause all kinds of difficulty when someone is attempting to decide who is who, not only when both are alive but also when one has died. Which one has died? How do you prove it? It gets even worse when somebody is charged with murdering the one who died. Did he kill the one that everyone thought he killed? What if he didn't murder either one? Sometimes "is" just plain isn't! See if you can figure out who died and who killed him in this short story by the author of the crime collection NEVER USE A CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES.

More Info
									Sometimes "Is" Isn't
Author: Jim Newell
Description

Identical twins can cause all kinds of difficulty when someone is attempting to decide who is who, not
only when both are alive but also when one has died. Which one has died? How do you prove it? It gets
even worse when somebody is charged with murdering the one who died. Did he kill the one that
everyone thought he killed? What if he didn't murder either one? Sometimes "is" just plain isn't! See if you
can figure out who died and who killed him in this short story by the author of the crime collection
NEVER USE A CHICKEN AND OTHER STORIES.
Excerpt

The courtroom in the small central Tennessee town of Greenburg was beyond warm in the May heat
wave. It was steaming. The two large circulating fans that hung from the ceiling lazily chased each other
in circles and stirred the air around without making anything or anybody cooler. Nevertheless, the air was
electric with anticipation when Court Clerk Walter Grange stood up and made his announcement."Order
in the court. This session in the case of the State of Tennessee versus Jacky Paul Nelson, His Honour
Judge Gabriel Holman presiding, will come to order. All rise."With the court clerk's announcement, the
crowded courtroom struggled to its collective feet, the door to the judge's chamber opened, and the
rotund figure of Judge Holman entered and took his seat on a platform several feet above the floor of the
room. The judge looked at the State Attorney's table behind which the prosecutor, Gerald Copeland and
Sheriff Billy Bob Turner stood, then glanced at the defence table to the right. The stately man in the light
grey suit, Thomas Gifford, stood with a thin, dark-haired young man beside him. This young man, Jacky
Paul Nelson, known to his friends as JP, was charged with the murder of his father, Hansford Nelson.
JP's appearance was visibly unhappy, but he stood straight and waited on the judge. On the left side of
the table was an unusual object, a package somewhat less than a foot high and about a foot and a half
long wrapped in what appeared to be a small bath towel."Satisfied that all was in order, Judge Holman
said in his courtroom voice, "Y'all may be seated." The judge's deep and measured courtroom tones were
different from the social voice that showed a usually friendly man who gave the impression that all was
well in his particular part of the world. After his permission was given, the seats in the courtroom again
became occupied, all of them. The reason for the large crowd was that this little town of Greenburg had
not had a murder trial in five years. The last one had been in 1930 when Clement Gurridge had been found
guilty of murdering his wife. In that case, Clem had been hanged shortly thereafter and the town had
talked of nothing else for a couple of years. Now it appeared that something similar was about to take
place."Mr. Gifford," said the judge when all was quiet, the State completed questioning its final witness
before the noon recess. Do you wish to cross-examine?""Yes, Your Honour." Thomas Gifford's voice was
well modulated and had very little of the common Southern drawl, although he had lived and practiced law
in Greenburg all his life."Sheriff Turner, will you kindly return to the stand?" asked the judge. He leaned
back in his chair and appeared to take an extra keen interest in Gifford's next move.Before he left the
State Attorney's table, the sheriff had a short and apparently agitated conference with Gerald Copeland,
causing Judge Holman to sit forward again and ask in a noticeably annoyed tone, "Sheriff Turner, are you
going to present yourself for cross-examination?"The sheriff broke off the conversation and walked across
the courtroom floor without looking up at the judge, took the oath and settled himself in the witness chair,
scowling at the defence attorney. Gifford maintained his usual calm demeanour and began by asking,
"Sheriff Turner, you testified under oath this morning that you made the arrest of JP. Nelson on the
charge of murdering his father, Hansford?""Yes.""What did you say to my client when you came to look
at the body of the dead man?"I asked, 'Who shot him?'""And what did he reply?""He said, 'I don't know...

								
To top