All Things Mysterious Volume Twenty-Seven
Brand and the Costumed Corpses--The Exciting Conclusion!
Scroll down to All Things Mysterious Volumes Twenty-Five and Twenty-Six for the first parts of Brand and the Costumed Corpses!
Stunned by their arrest, Saskia and Brand were silent during the journey down the mountainside. They were led on a more southerly route down the ski slope into unfamiliar territory until they came to a barracks similar in appearance to the one they had previously found deserted.
‘Inside!’ barked the female officer, whose name was Gunnarrvvallddssonn and who was apparently Johannassonsonn’s superior. At length Brand found his voice. ‘Look, we were just in the hiking group that left from the waystation this morning!’ cried Brand. ‘Ask the lady in the kitchen, she made sandwiches!’ ‘No talking!’ was the only response.
Who knew the Swedish cops were so, well, brusque? Didn’t the country have a reputation for tolerance? Perhaps not where murder was concerned!
Once inside, the two tourists were roughly pushed against the far wall, opposite the door. To their astonishment, Gunnarrvvallddssonn aimed her gun at Johannassonsonn and shouted, ‘Get over there!’ Johannassonsonn stumbled as he moved across the cabin, which earned him a crack on the skull with the butt of Gunnarrvvallddssonn’s gun. ‘What’s going on here?’ yelled Saskia, which earned her a whack with the gun, this time on the shoulder. ‘Next time it will be across your mouth, so keep it shut!’ yelled the cop.
Suddenly there was a thunderous banging on the door. When neither of the officers moved to open it, it was kicked in with a tremendous crash--and there stood the sat-upon skiier from earlier in the day!
‘Everybody freeze!’ he yelled. Plucking the gun from Gunnarrvvallddssonn’s hand, he covered the two police, which was really only one police, as Johannassonsonn was cowering in a corner. ‘Jameson’s the name. Are you all right?’
Saskia croaked, ‘Yes.’ Brand croaked, ‘Sorry we sat on you.’
‘It’s all right,’ Jameson replied. ‘I’ve been sat on by heftier people than you!’
‘I doubt that! But can you tell us what is going on?’
‘This woman is an impostor! She was expelled from the police force two years ago for sitting on suspects who she didn’t like.’
‘I’ll bet that was most of them. But what is all this fuss about?’
‘There is a new law in Sweden that forbids exports of Swedish meatballs. Sweden for the Swedes and all that. There’s a demonstration backed by the industry which doesn’t want to see their overseas market disappear.’
‘So that’s it.’
‘Yes, and in response, the US sent some trade representatives and funded a party at the embassy that was supposed to promote expanding the trade, not restrict it.’
‘That’s why those poor people were in costumes!’ gushed Saskia.
‘That’s why,’ agreed Jameson.
‘But why would anyone want a law limiting sales to domestic markets? That doesn’t make sense,’ said Brand.
‘An ultra-nationalist group pushed the law through by disguising it as a pro-Swedish, patriotic thing, which is big nowadays.’
‘Ah, Swedish meatballs. Not exactly the kind of thing that you’d think would lead to this mess.’ said Saskia.
‘Traitors!’ cried Gunnarrvvallddssonn.’
‘And ‘Abe Lincoln’ and ‘Miss Liberty’ were just innocent attendees at the party promoting repeal and they paid the ultimate price.’
‘Exactly. ‘When the law was in danger of being overturned there was a pushback to keep it--with murder!’
‘AND WE WERE RIGHT! WHY SHOULD THE WORLD ENJOY OUR SWEDISH DELICACY?’ shouted Gunnarrvvallddssonn.
‘Why not? People enjoy gummi bears too, do you want to keep them all to yourself, with their chewy, filling-pulling goodness?’
‘YES! Sweden should be for the Swedish people only!’
‘I’ll just bet you are Swedish,’ commented Saskia dryly.
‘AND SO AM I!’ shouted Johannassonsonn. Springing up from the floor, he quickly disarmed Jameson and herded his prisoners over to the corner where he had been ‘cowering’ until a moment ago.
‘So it was you.’ Brand broke the thick silence. ‘You doused those people and dragged them outside to freeze to death!’
‘That’s right. And you’re next! No more outsiders will interfere in Swedish politics!’
‘But why? cried Saskia. This whole thing makes no sense! Why would you kill those people over some stupid meatballs?’
‘Because,’ replied the copper, ‘my wife has left me, my house burned down, my dog ran away, and alcohol is murderously expensive. What other reasons could there be?’
Note: your correspondent made up all the stuff about Sweden and its fine, professional police force. No actual people are in this story, nor should any be inferred.
Meanwhile, try some of THESE Scandinavian delicacies:
Has it been a ‘long, cold, lonely winter?’ If so, enjoy the spring with Mons Kallentoft:
And don’t forget, summer will be here soon:
And because why not?
And, just to prove that your correspondent does not have a monopoly on irascible, drunken detectives: