Sunday, July 26, 2009

Uncle Sal and the Busted Butcher (Episode 103)

Detective Gstohl leaned across the table and looked at suspected mafioso Giuseppe "The Giraffe" Graffanino. The Giraffe didn't show an ounce of worry about being interrogated, probably because he had been in a room like this countless times in his life.

Gstohl leaned back in his chair and said, "Describe your relationship to Nathan Pidwick."

Graffanino's lips moved, but his expression could hardly be called a smile. "Was he the butcher at Murray's Meat?"

Gstohl grimaced. "No, he certainly wasn't."

"Perhaps you could show me a photo of this gentleman."

On the other side of the glass, Uncle Sal removed a strip of buffalo jerky from the pocket of his Order of Curt Hungarian Ornithologists bowling shirt. "Thanks for inviting me to see this interrogation, Cap'n."

The captain said, "No problem. I thought you might find this one interesting. We've been after this guy for so long."

"Yeah, first Rollie Hitchens, and now The Giraffe. Seems like the criminals in this town are gettin' a little sloppy."

Gstohl showed a photo of Pidwick to Graffanino.

"I'm afraid I don't recognize him. But then, he doesn't have the sort of face that is terribly recognizable."

Uncle Sal said, "What'd you bring him in for?"

Captain Sandstrom said, "Just watch Gstohl work here."

Gstohl asked some more questions of Graffanino without ever getting a real answer. Graffanino knew how every cop worked. Inevitably, the poor shamus would ask a seemingly innocuous question, and expect the suspect to fall into his "clever" trap. Graffanino had been through tougher interrogations than this one.

"So, if you didn't know Nathan Pidwick, perhaps you'd like to explain what his hand was doing in a jar of vinegar in your house."

On the other side of the glass, Uncle Sal gasped. "He did that?"

"How do I know you're not making that up?" Graffanino answered. "You flatfoots are always making up things to get someone to confess to what you think he did."

Gstohl was ready. He drew another photo from the file and held it out to Graffanino. "That's Pidwick's hand. In a jar of vinegar. Which we found in your closet."

"It wasn't. The only way it would have been in the closet is if someone removed it from my safe." Graffanino suddenly went pale. Gstohl smiled, and threw the photo on top of the file. He gave a quick glance and a wink toward the captain on the other side of the glass.

Uncle Sal swallowed another bite of buffalo jerky and said, "Well, I'll be. The guy's been suspected of money laundering, extortion, point shaving and who knows what else. And he was finally brought down by the pickled hand of Nate."

This episode featured:
Ricky Limes as Detective Gstohl
Elvis "Man" Hatton as Giuseppe Graffanino
Mike Robe as Uncle Sal
Luther "Donuts" Donitzky as Captain Sandstrom
Jellybean Merengue as the buffalo jerky.

Tune in next week when Uncle Sal says, "Recession? I gotta miniature golf tournament to focus on!"

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