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Death of a Duke

“I canna believe that he’s gone,” wailed the widow, though perhaps a little too loud.
“Tis a terrible fate,” said the butler, as he moved away from the crowd.

“Who spoke to him last?” the detective inquired, determined to find a cause.
“Alfred the cook,” said the maid, very fast, deflecting and giving pause.
“Surely you can’t suspect me,” cried the cook, but his bright eyes might have lied.

“That is for me to decide tonight,” the detective darkly implied.
“He was dead when I found him like that,” said the butler, the maid right at his side.
“Everything else was in order, then?” The policeman had finally arrived.

“Sir was face down on his plate,” said the maid, with her hands behind her back.
“All else was quite normal,” the butler agreed, as he edged toward the window’s crack.
“Lord, what shall I wear to the wake?” asked the widow, to no one’s surprise at all.
“Ma’am, that’s the least of your worries,” said the cop, who always suspected them all.
“Oh, but you can’t suspect me,” cried the wife, who stood to inherit a slew.
“No one is under arrest tonight,” the detective said to the crew.

“Maybe you all would have liked him dead,” the detective continued to say,
“Or maybe each of you killed him, each in your own small way.
“Under this roof, a man has died, and all of you reek of fear,
“Still I must let you off the hook, for the clue is all too clear.
“Surely you would have killed him, but I know that none of you tried.
“Everyone has a secret,” he said, “and I know how he died.”

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