The day started out like most for Lt. Baumgarten, but it quickly changed about 10 a.m. Thatís when he was called out to the sprawling campus of the local university, precisely to the biology department and to ask for Dr. Browning.
"Milt Browning, Lt. and this is Mike Spratz, one of our students."
"My pleasure," the Lt. said.
"Itís a finger, Lt. we have to show you," Mike said. "I found it doing some overdue lab cleaning.
"A womanís finger?" the Lt. asked.
"A womanís. With a tattoo. All preserved in liquid."
After examining the finger, the Lt. shook his head. "Who knew about this?
Dr. Browning spoke. "Iím afraid no one. No one working here now, that is. Dr. Carlton would have known. Thereís no doubt."
"He never mentioned it to you?"
"Never," the Dr. said. "But thatís not so unusual. There were many things he never mentioned."
Dr. Hernando Carlton, biologist, had sternly ruled the universityís biology department for over 30 years. No person or object came into the department or left without his knowledge.
"The finger, Iím certain, belonged to one Ruth Lamb," Lt. said. "She went missing 10 years ago. The tattoo, a Peter Rabbit likeness, is info weíve withheld from the public all this time."
Mike and his boss, Dr. Browning, looked gravely at each other. Both silently asked the same question: Had the great, fearsome Dr. Carlton, eminent biologist, husband and father, been a murderer also? (dum dee dum dum)
submitted at 19:10pm
4 January 2009
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