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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Cane


Mr. Merriwether sat at the table in a small conference room. A cane with travel emblems from around the world leaned against the table beside him.  

Detective walks in. 

Detective:
Mr. Merriwether, can you give it to me once more from the top? 

Merriwether:
I’ve gone over this with you and that other man at least five times now. 

Detective:
I know. Just for the record. We don’t want another George Zimmerman situation. People claiming we didn’t do our job. Led the witness. Stuff like that. 

Merriwether:
Do I need a lawyer? 

Detective:
We already read you your rights. Only people I see lawyer-up are guilty. But up to you. 

Merriwether:
Ok. I don’t want a lawyer. Never had much use for lawyers. 

Detective:
Ok. Just once more from the top. Where were you going? 

Merriwether:
Just out for a walk. Thought maybe I’d stop at the corner market and get me some Hagen Daas.

Detective:
Then what happened? 

Merriwether:
Well. This bum in a doorway comes out towards me. 

Detective:
Did he say anything?
 

Merriwether:
Yeah. I think he did. 

Detective:
Did he ask for money? Threaten you? 

Merriwether:
No.

Detective:
You sure? 

Merriwether:
Yeah. 

Detective:
Well. What did he say? 

Merriwether:
Said something like “nice cane.” 

Detective:
Is that all?  

Merriwether:
Hell no. Like I told you and the other fella. He reached for my cane. 

Detective:
Then what? 

Merriwether:
I hit him with it. 

Detective:
How many times? 

Merriwether:
I don’t know. I kinda lost count. 

Detective:
Did you feel threatened at any time? 

Merriwether:
Hell yeah. Bum comes out of the dark. Reaches for my cane. Thought for sure he was gonna bash my head in. 

Detective:
Ok. I think that’s all. 

Merriwether:
Can I go now? 

Detective:
Just a little more paperwork. Are you comfortable? Want some coffee? 

Merriwether:
Sure. 

Thinking about Granddad always made him sweat a little. But examining the travel medallions on the cane bought back good memories along with the sweating. 

So many places he and Granddad had traveled. All over Europe, some parts of Asia. Even Australia. Granddad sure was the traveler.  

But then there were the times when he had not pleased Granddad. Didn’t sit up straight enough at the dinner table. Or wasn’t polite to the porter. Maybe just because. Then Granddad let the cane do the talking. Funny thing was, after Granddad passed, only thing of Granddad’s he wanted was the cane. 

Detective comes back with coffee. 

Detective:
Sure is nice cane. What are all those emblems? (Reaching for cane.) We’ll have to put it in evidence. 

Merriwether:
Don’t touch my cane.

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