The first respondents were a pair of seemingly harmless uniformed police officers, who quickly sequestered Maggie and I to the living room while they cordoned off the scene for the yet to arrive detectives.
Maggie peered nervously down the length of the hall pulling taut the length of bathrobe sash I had tied to her collar in place of a lead, as the officers seemingly more concerned with getting their feet wet than disturbing the crime scene, stood in the hall just outside the bathroom door batting obvious observations back and forth between them.
Originally I had thought it better to wait until the real detectives arrived before revealing any of the clues I had already uncovered, as there was always the ‘telephone’ effect to worry about when the information passed from one set of lips to another- however, when the uniforms slogged over the wet carpet between the tile bath and the hardwood floor of the bedroom, Maggie suddenly snarled and began to bark uproariously, reminding me of the rugged boot soles imprinted in the same carpet they were currently trudging over, none the wiser.
“NO! Stop! The foot prints!” I called out at the top of my voice, as Maggie and I darted into the hall, too late to salvage the only piece of solid evidence that there had in fact been someone wearing ruggedly soled work boots on the scene sometime after the bathtub had begun to overflow.
“Ma’am. I’m gonna have to ask you to control that dog and move back into the living room, you are disturbing what could be a crime scene here.” One of the nondescript uniforms said as if reading an exact line of dialogue from any one of the many crime scene investigation shows I had watched so vigilantly.
“This is most definitely a crime scene, and the two of you have just obliterated the only concrete clue! Footprints that clearly belonged to Mabel’s murderer imprinted in the wet carpet between the bath and the bedroom!” I cried exasperatedly as Maggie barked and lunged at the end of the pink fleece sash that was quickly becoming ineffective at stopping her from knocking some sense into the clueless officers who now stood sole deep in bathwater atop the thick pile of Mabel’s plush hall carpet, staring at their respective feet.
“I’ll take over from here, boys.” A calm voice chimed in from behind us, well out of Maggie’s restricted reach.
“Detective Mathers, Ma’am. What was that you said about a murder?”