A Crack Shot

A Crack Shot

Professor Fordney was hunting in the Rockies when informed of a tragedy at one of the camps. Thinking he might be of some help, he went over, and, after introducing himself, Butler, the victim’s companion, told him of the accident.
‘When Marshall hadn’t returned to camp at nine o’clock last night, I was a bit worried because he didn’t know these mountains. There wasn’t a star out and it was dark and moonless, so I decided to look around for him. We’re five miles from anyone, you know.

‘Putting more wood on the fire, I set out. After searching for an hour, I was coming up the slope of a ravine when I saw a pair of eyes shining out at me in the dark.

‘Calling twice, and getting no answer, I fired, thinking it was a mountain lion. Imagine my horror when I reached the spot, struck 2a match, and saw I had nearly blown the head off Marshall. A terrible experience! ‘I carried his body back to camp and then walked to the nearest house to report the accident.’

‘How far from camp did you find Marshall?’ asked Fordney.

‘About a quarter of a mile.’

‘I see your right hand is bandaged. How do you manage to shoot with it?’

‘Oh, I use either hand.’

‘Mind if I look at the gun?’

‘Not at all,’ said Butler, handing it over.

‘Hmmm, European make, I see. Had it long?’

‘No, it’s rather new.’

‘Why did you deliberately murder Marshall?’ demanded Fordney abruptly ... ‘for that’s what you did.’

How did the Professor know Butler had murdered his companion?


It was a dark, starless, moonless night. The nearest habitation was five miles. The eyes of no animal ever shine in the dark unless there is a light by which they can be reflected, and a man’s eyes never shine under any circumstances.
Therefore, Butler could not possibly have seen any eyes shining at him in the dark. It was clearly murder.
And thy deep eyes, amid the gloom,
Shine like jewels in a shroud.