Senator Bilford Blowbye was not reputed to be an overly patient man and on this particular afternoon he was bordering on a fit of apoplexy.
He took several deep breaths, adjusted his cravat, buttoned his suit jacket and adjusted it carefully about him
before he knocked on the door that lead to the office of his church pastor, the Reverend Daniel Lionel O'Blivion.
"Come in!" was the obvious response to his imperative rapping.
"At least the old reprobate has the decency to be here to keep our appointment!" the Senator fumed,
then assumed his most diplomatic facial expression and pushed open the office door.
"Ah! Good afternoon, Senator! I was at this very moment putting the finishing touches to the homily for this Sunday.
Won't you come in, sit down and make yourself comfortable?"
"The Reverend is being his usual gracious self, the fraud!" thought the Senator as he took a seat in the leather chair
that stood against the wall to the right of the minister's desk.
"Reverend, we are both busy men therefore I shall proceed directly to the point, if you have no serious objection?"
"I have no objections whatever, Senator, serious or otherwise," D.L. O'Blivion replied in a somewhat more guarded tone of voice.
"Very well then! We have a small matter of business to transact, do we not?"
"The matter to which you refer, Senator, is, I have not the slightest doubt, in process even as we speak."
"May I be so bold as to inquire how this can be when you have in some mysterious way seen fit to allow your gunman, Amos Frye,
to sojourn somewhere in South America?"
How the Senator managed to spit out his statement in a single breath is a matter for conjecture.
Suffice it to say here that he had a number of years of experience and considerable practice in the art of oratory as well as rhetoric.
"Senator," O'Blivion began in his most placating tone of voice,
"One such as I would neither deign nor dare attempt tell individuals the like of Mr Amos Frye
what they may or may not do nor precisely when they may or may not do it."
The Senator blinked. The delivery may have been placating but the message was one of reproof and correction.
The Senator offered no comment and O'Blivion continued.
"Amos Frye is somewhere in South America that is true, but think you that I am left entirely without resources?
As I said but a moment ago," Reverend O'Blivion paused to consult his watch,
"I fully expect the situation to be well in hand in a mere matter of hours if not minutes!"
"May I ask how, Reverend?"
"Ah, all ye of little faith," the minister smiled at his visitor,
"Did you not perhaps realize that the lady Candace has been undergoing care for a certain medical condition?"
"Oh? No, Reverend, I was not aware of this! Pray continue!"
"An appropriate request in this instance ... to introduce the matter of prayer,"
O'Blivion procrastinated and pressed his fingertips together as if in meditation
while his visitor pressed his lips together with impatience. O'Blivion decided at once not to bait the Senator any further.
"Candace confided in her minister that she was undergoing medical treatment in an on-going effort
to combat certain habits of - shall we say - substance abuse which have claimed dominion over her."
"Certainly! She came to you seeking console and advice. In the course of your discussion she divulged her innermost secret.
You feigned concern and an interest in her condition.
You had her trust already so you took advantage of the situation and poisoned her medication when the opportunity presented itself.
It was never your intention to employ Amos Frye in this matter from the first, was it?"
"That is all interesting conjecture, Senator!
But you are quite correct in at least one respect.
Amos Frye certainly did need and was fully entitled to a vacation."
"Oh! But how I wish I could be there!" The Senator had warmed to his theory.
"Tell me O'Blivion! Does Candace make it a practice to sleep in the nude?"
"How on earth would you expect me to have knowledge of a habit such as that?!"
"Oh! But I can almost see it all now! Her great body arching!
Her magnificent bosom heaving as she grapples with death in her final earthly struggle!"
"I suppose next you'll want to have a camera installed in the ceiling to capture this for posterity?"
"For posterity, Reverend? Has it not occured to you that eavesdropping upon a woman in her death throes
might have certain possibilities of a dare I say, commercial nature?"
"It may at that, Senator! We shall have to delve into a bit of research in this subject."
"Alas! I see two drawbacks to the application of a poisoned potion!"
"Oh? And what may they be, Senator?"
"All this has been but pure speculation on my part!
There is no way for us to verify at this distance that the lady Candace is no more, is there, O'Blivion?"
"I remain quite certain that you will have notification in the local news journals, Senator."
"Perhaps, yes, but there remains another item of at least equal import!"
"Which would be what, Senator?"
"Neither you nor I actually bore witness to the woman's unfortunate accident!
I was not afforded the opportunity to watch her buck and heave in protest as she died!
Nor even was her assassin given the pleasure!"