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1053 No. 1053 edit
I had just received fifty thousand dollars in cash.

Where this came from, I know not, but I deigned to use it to go hiking; to explore the wilderness. My sister suggested I go to the rain-forests of Brazil; I inclined to agree, seeing as how life most vibrant flourished there. So, going on that plane, she waved me good-by and I waved good-by to her, and I was on my way.

Shit, I'm lost in this hell-hole alone! Where'd the guide go? Back when I was running from that huge-ass snake, did he...?!
Ah, shit!
In any case, gotta collect my thoughts... Shit, I'm missing a shoe, gotta keep walking, or as it were, hopping on one foot... ah, shit! I lost my balance! I lost my fucking balance! My foot touched the grimy floor, to be splintered or infested with maggots or ticks or something!
No pain came, though.
I only felt numb.


An unspeakable pain. Blood began to drip forth from my mouth and, I realized, my ears, my nose, and a few other orifices it's not appropriate to mention. I don't know why I'm so calm. Is it because I'm going to die?
I look at my bare arm. Although I sprayed it with insect repellant, it's ... bleeding from the pores... my entire body, it's bleeding, from everywhere possible...!

It's all gone. All suddenly. Can't see shit. Can't feel shit. Can't hear shit. Can't smell shit. Certainly can't taste shit.

What... who... killed me? How... why?!
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>> No. 1054 edit
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Leeches sucked you dry.
>> No. 1056 edit
>leeches sucking dry
One cannot be sucked dry and be bleeding at the same time.
In addition.
Knox and Van Dine apply in the following magnitude:
1. The criminal must be someone mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.
2. All supernaural or preternatural agencies are ruled out as a matter of course.
3. Not more than one secret room or passage is allowable.
4. No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.
5. No Chinaman must figure in the story.
6. No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.
7. The detective must not himself commit the crime.
8. The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.
9. The stupid friend of the detective, the Watson, must not conceal any thoughts which pass through his mind; his intelligence must be slightly, but very slightly, below that of the average reader.
10. Twin brothers, and doubles generally, must not appear unless we have been duly prepared for them.

1. The reader must have equal opportunity with the detective for solving the mystery. All clues must be plainly stated and described.

2. No willful tricks or deceptions may be placed on the reader other than those played legitimately by the criminal on the detective himself.

3. There must be no love interest. The business in hand is to bring a criminal to the bar of justice, not to bring a lovelorn couple to the hymeneal altar.

4. The detective himself, or one of the official investigators, should never turn out to be the culprit. This is bald trickery, on a par with offering some one a bright penny for a five-dollar gold piece. It's false pretenses.

5. The culprit must be determined by logical deductions — not by accident or coincidence or unmotivated confession. To solve a criminal problem in this latter fashion is like sending the reader on a deliberate wild-goose chase, and then telling him, after he has failed, that you had the object of his search up your sleeve all the time. Such an author is no better than a practical joker.

6. The detective novel must have a detective in it; and a detective is not a detective unless he detects. His function is to gather clues that will eventually lead to the person who did the dirty work in the first chapter; and if the detective does not reach his conclusions through an analysis of those clues, he has no more solved his problem than the schoolboy who gets his answer out of the back of the arithmetic.

7. There simply must be a corpse in a detective novel, and the deader the corpse the better. No lesser crime than murder will suffice. Three hundred pages is far too much pother for a crime other than murder. After all, the reader's trouble and expenditure of energy must be rewarded.

8. The problem of the crime must he solved by strictly naturalistic means. Such methods for learning the truth as slate-writing, ouija-boards, mind-reading, spiritualistic se'ances, crystal-gazing, and the like, are taboo. A reader has a chance when matching his wits with a rationalistic detective, but if he must compete with the world of spirits and go chasing about the fourth dimension of metaphysics, he is defeated ab initio.

9. There must be but one detective — that is, but one protagonist of deduction — one deus ex machina. To bring the minds of three or four, or sometimes a gang of detectives to bear on a problem, is not only to disperse the interest and break the direct thread of logic, but to take an unfair advantage of the reader. If there is more than one detective the reader doesn't know who his codeductor is. It's like making the reader run a race with a relay team.

10. The culprit must turn out to be a person who has played a more or less prominent part in the story — that is, a person with whom the reader is familiar and in whom he takes an interest.

11. A servant must not be chosen by the author as the culprit. This is begging a noble question. It is a too easy solution. The culprit must be a decidedly worth-while person — one that wouldn't ordinarily come under suspicion.

12. There must be but one culprit, no matter how many murders are committed. The culprit may, of course, have a minor helper or co-plotter; but the entire onus must rest on one pair of shoulders: the entire indignation of the reader must be permitted to concentrate on a single black nature.

13. Secret societies, camorras, mafias, et al., have no place in a detective story. A fascinating and truly beautiful murder is irremediably spoiled by any such wholesale culpability. To be sure, the murderer in a detective novel should be given a sporting chance; but it is going too far to grant him a secret society to fall back on. No high-class, self-respecting murderer would want such odds.

14. The method of murder, and the means of detecting it, must be be rational and scientific. That is to say, pseudo-science and purely imaginative and speculative devices are not to be tolerated in the roman policier. Once an author soars into the realm of fantasy, in the Jules Verne manner, he is outside the bounds of detective fiction, cavorting in the uncharted reaches of adventure.

15. The truth of the problem must at all times be apparent — provided the reader is shrewd enough to see it. By this I mean that if the reader, after learning the explanation for the crime, should reread the book, he would see that the solution had, in a sense, been staring him in the face-that all the clues really pointed to the culprit — and that, if he had been as clever as the detective, he could have solved the mystery himself without going on to the final chapter. That the clever reader does often thus solve the problem goes without saying.

16. A professional criminal must never be shouldered with the guilt of a crime in a detective story. Crimes by housebreakers and bandits are the province of the police departments — not of authors and brilliant amateur detectives. A really fascinating crime is one committed by a pillar of a church, or a spinster noted for her charities.

17. The motives for all crimes in detective stories should be personal. International plottings and war politics belong in a different category of fiction — in secret-service tales, for instance. But a murder story must be kept gemütlich, so to speak. It must reflect the reader's everyday experiences, and give him a certain outlet for his own repressed desires and emotions.

18. And (to give my Credo an even score of items) I herewith list a few of the devices which no self-respecting detective story writer will now avail himself of. They have been employed too often, and are familiar to all true lovers of literary crime. To use them is a confession of the author's ineptitude and lack of originality. (a) Determining the identity of the culprit by comparing the butt of a cigarette left at the scene of the crime with the brand smoked by a suspect. (b) The bogus spiritualistic se'ance to frighten the culprit into giving himself away. (c) Forged fingerprints. (d) The dummy-figure alibi. (e) The dog that does not bark and thereby reveals the fact that the intruder is familiar. (f)The final pinning of the crime on a twin, or a relative who looks exactly like the suspected, but innocent, person. (g) The hypodermic syringe and the knockout drops. (h) The commission of the murder in a locked room after the police have actually broken in. (i) The word association test for guilt. (j) The cipher, or code letter, which is eventually unraveled by the sleuth.

>> No. 1057 edit
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Your sister killed you. You died of a homicide.
>> No. 1058 edit
The unresolved questions here include:
* What happened between the victim and the snake?
* Why did the guide vanish?
* Why is the victim's boot missing?
* What was the cause of the victim's symptoms in the moments preceeding his death?

A first-cut theory involves those snakes of the colubrid family which have "back fang" venom to subdue their prey. Such venom causes internal bleeding and mental disorientation, among other symptoms. The guide would then have gone to get an antitoxin or a physician.

The disadvantage is that this does not explain how the victim lost his boot, or why it was numb in the moments leading up to his death.
>> No. 1059 edit
Certainly, the sister is the "obvious" culprit, according to Knox's stricture that the culprit must appear and Dyne's that it must not be a servant. But I found it difficult to construct a means by which she could have carried out the crime.
>> No. 1060 edit
The narrator died of a homicide.
The narrator's sister did not kill the narrator, per se, but she is the culprit.


The obvious reason the last one isn't included is because it's the answer.
The obvious reason the first ones aren't included would be that they aren't important and would serve only for narrative purposes.
>> No. 1061 edit
Sorry about that. It was really meant more as an enumeration of possible clues than a request for clarification; I have a habit of thinking aloud.

The sister hid a poisonous snake in the victim's supplies.
The sister tainted one of the victim's supplies with poison, which took effect slowly.
>> No. 1062 edit
No snake was involved in the narrator's murder.

Were the sister to have directly poisoned the narrator, regardless of time lapse, the sister would become the direct killer, which she is not.

In addition, as to poison:
I hereby declare that there are three parts to poisoning in a mystery:
1. The event in which the poisoning occurred;
2. The symptoms of the poisoning;
3. The death.
2 and 3 are clear; however you have yet to light upon 1 and by Van Dine's 5th and 8th, the mystery must be solved with the clues presented.
In other words, please find where the narrator was poisoned and then you will have solved the who and how. I find the why is fairly obvious; in all actuality, I intended for this to be solved within 12 posts.
>> No. 1063 edit
To check our boundaries: she payed off the guide to poison the victim - if a more specific theory is necessary, let's say the guide poisoned the insect repellent; after which the guide took his leave at the first opportunity. I suspect that Rule 11 contradicts this, but it's best to be sure.
>> No. 1064 edit
The guide did not poison the insect repellant. The guide was not paid by the sister.

Try some abstract thinking. Actually, I want this sad excuse for a mystery I thought up on my way home from school finished. Have you ever heard of a suicide mission?
>> No. 1065 edit
Are you implying that the sister simply suggested a dangerous locale for the victim's trip, under the assumption that her naive sibling would be killed by the wildlife? Perhaps I've been overthinking this all this time.

The victim stepped on poisonous animal X (I have not researched which one yet) which delivered its toxin by touch.
>> No. 1066 edit
The narrator stepped on an assassin caterpillar.
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