The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby
A short story I recently read in class was "The Orderly World of Mr. Appleby" written by Stanley Ellin.
The story tells us of a fastidious man named Mr. Appleby. Who owned a Shop called "Appleby: Antiques and Curious." At the beginning of the story we are told he had come to investigate "the most efficient methods for disposing of wife" so that he can come into immediate possession of her financial estate. He then finds an appropriate case of what seems to him the most perfect murder in a text on forensic medicine which told of a Mrs. X who was killed by her husband by her falling on an aptly placed scatter rug while handing over a glass of water to her husband which was requested by him as part of his plan. He then placed his one hand behind Mrs.
X's shoulder and then the other across her jaw and with a sudden thrust produced the same horrific results as the fall on the rug. Mr. Appleby used this method on 6 of his wife's. Last in line was Martha Sturgis who "broke the pattern" his previous wives had created, not only in appearance but also attitude. Mr. Appleby did not know that Martha knew about his past and had his details past onto her Lawyers "Gainsborough Gainsborough and Golding" who she reports to every night to ensure them she is still alive. Just as Mr. Appleby is about to perform his murderous deed Martha asks "Is this what happened to all the others?" At this point the Gainsborough calls, and as Martha turns to place the glass on a near by table, she accidentally slips and dies. This puts Gainsborough in the position to prosecute Mr. Appleby for murder.