Arthur ran to Merlin’s hut, slipping in the mud as he climbed the shallow slope. Arriving out of breath, he found Merlin stooped over a body resting upon the trestles…clearly a dead body.
Arthur, while gasping for breath, said, “I came as soon as I heard.”
“This one’s in no hurry”, Merlin responded while turning toward the door. “Clearly, he’s been bludgeoned by a club. See how his head is stove in on the right side”?
“Yes”, Arthur replied, “but there’s dimpling present. I don’t think a club did this work. Meritius”, he yelled out the door, “come in here immediately.”
Meritius entered the room pushing a barrow filled with a variety of heavy implements. Arthur began sifting through the pile, pulling some out for closer inspection. Finally he held a war mace, testing its heft at the end of its chain. “This, I think, is the weapon we’re looking for. See how the contours match”, he asked holding it next to the dead man’s gruesome wound.
Merlin joined him and agreed, “Yes, you’re right, but this is only circumstantial. We need proof positive.”
“Proof positive, you want? I’ll give you proof.” Without warning, Arthur swung the mace with all his might. Meritius went down like a tipped log. Merlin looked and saw that the wound was, in fact, identical.
“Fine Arthur, I believe that’s the weapon. But we’re no closer to finding the killer.”
“Ah, but we are”, opined Arthur. “You fail to notice the one difference between the wounds. I am right handed and struck Meritius swinging forward. The wound, you can see, indents in a clearly upward motion. Your victim has the wound on the right side as well, but with the indentation moving downward. We’ll need to conduct further experiments, but I think our killer is left handed and struck downward with a backhanded motion.”
Merlin looked closer and said, “I believe you’re right, but how can we be sure?”
Arthur hollered again. “Chrisantia, come in here” Chrisantia came through the door and Arthur immediately swung backhanded with his left hand, dropping her before she’d taken two steps into the room.
“Yes, yes”, Merlin said. “This wound is more identical.
“It is, isn’t it”, said Arthur. “But there are no left-handed men in the realm. So clearly, we’re looking for an evil sorcerer who can mimic the motions of a left-handed warrior.”
Merlin hesitated while he thought and then said, “People have commented that Prius’ horse seems to gallop while making no noise. They say they’re not even sure it’s running! And I saw with my own eyes, a blood spot in an egg he cracked last week. He must be our sorcerer.”
Arthur said, “As usual Merlin, you’ve solved the crime. Prius will be burned at the stake tomorrow at dawn. I don’t know how we’d get on without you.”
“No, no Arthur. Without your dedication to the scientific method, I never would have put the pieces together.”
With that, Merlin clapped Arthur on the shoulder and they sat down to the roast chicken at the foot of the table. Arthur said, “Mmm. This is quite tasty. Good thing there are only the two of us here with it being so small.” They both chuckled and dug in.
Tune in next week when Arthur and Merlin only have to execute 36 serfs to identify the distinctive marks left on their beheading victim.