Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday Mystery Theater


Ratso, a sleazy-looking cowpoke, ambles into the blacksmith's shop and plops down a saddle, announcing it's for sale. The blacksmith pays the price of $50.00, then rushes to the sheriff's office. The sheriff rustles up Ratso, handcuffs him and says, "You're under arrest for the murder of Yosemite Slim."


On what grounds was Ratso arrested for murdering Slim?


1. The blacksmith shared a secret with Yosemite Slim.
2. Yosemite had been a prospector.


Think you know the answer? Fill in the comment box to submit your guess. Winner receives a free Heartsong Presents Mystery!


MLB said...

The blacksmith had sold the saddle and a horse to Yosemite Slim. Slim had paid him with a gold nugget that he had found while prospecting. He wanted to keep the discovery of gold fairly quiet. He knew it would bring himself in danger if others knew how good it was. Yet he needed to get a better horse (and maybe another pack mule) since he now could afford it. Slim trusted the blacksmith with the news and also alerted him to the possibility of danger and had even named the blacksmith in his will. So when Ratso came into town with the saddle, the blacksmith assumed the worst had happened and wanted Ratso arrested for the murder of Slim before he could escape. Then the balcksmith could direct the sheriff to where Slim's claim was in the mountains.

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Great guess, MLB! I loved your solution. Unfortunately, the real answer is a little more complex.

Yosemite Slim and the blacksmith were close friends--so close they shared a secret. Slim was a prospector who had resolved never to be without at least $10,000 as a grubstake.

Because it was dangerous for a prospector to ride around with gold dust, Slim and the blacksmith devised a way to conceal it--in the form of pure gold rivets, rings and other hardware on Slim's saddle. After casting the gold pieces, the blacksmith coated them to disguise them as ordinary brass.

Slim had been missing for many weeks. He couldn't have sold Ratso his saddle, since Ratso was unaware of its value and only asked $50.00 for it. Chances were pretty good that Ratso had come into Slim's saddle by some other means. Murder, maybe?

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Many blessing to you all.