74. Windfall from the dead.

The dead don’t need money. That’s how I justify it – it’s a means to an end.

I’ve just returned to my cabin. It’s the early hours of the morning and the ship is as quiet as— why, as quiet as the grave.

Not long ago, the thought of walking the decks at this time would have terrified me, but I have purpose, and I need to find the dead.

I searched the corpses I came across – picking under stiff limbs, rummaging through cold pockets and bags. Dollars were in abundance, sometimes sticky, sometimes crisp – so few murderers check the possessions of their kills, it seems.

Now there’s a stack of wrinkled bills on my bed, and, on a quick count, it’s $2850 lovely dollars!

But money wasn’t the only thing I was looking for. Oh yes, a good part of my search was to recover my most beautiful Bat, who had been taken from me by that beastly judge! Where else would he be, but amongst the fallen?

But if he was to be lost for good, then I would need other help…

As I searched for the money, I found weapons concealed in suits and dresses, or clattered nearby, but compared to Bat, these striplings brought other challenges.  How does one weigh the relative benefits of murder with everyday objects?  The pool cue is long and whippy – has reach, I suppose, and one can chalk it for accuracy (ha, ha) – but the frying pan is a sturdy old whang! of iron, and could potentially be used to deflect an attack, or bludgeon it down.  But do I really want to enter a fight-to-the-death with a cooking implement?  Personally, no. So that also rules out the pot, the rolling pin and the barbeque fork (although my fondness for pointy things did afford the latter some serious consideration).Weapons

Of course, rules are made to be broken, so while passing through the dining room, I did, reluctantly, pick up a kitchen knife. I found it in the breast pocket of my erstwhile, Bellboy – pierced through, rather than tucked in –who was lying in a flurry of his own baseball cards – a little study of Autumn. The wicked knife came free with a rather squeaky, chicken-carcass, sort of noise, and it is not my preferred choice, but it will do the job. Haft, stabby – all fine.

Searching the leisure facilities didn’t offer any better options, either – the croquet mallet seemed impressive, like a ludicrous clown-hammer, but didn’t feel quite right, and the tennis racquet really wasn’t a serious option – it was redolent of Pimm’s and summer evenings, tennis whites and gentle applause.

In one of the lockers, there was an unfamiliar baseball bat. It was odd – all shiny and new.  Didn’t feel right to cheat on my absent Bat.  But perhaps I was being too picky?  It’s not as if there’s a plethora of guns and swords just lying around for anyone to pick up…

Still, it wasn’t right – I’ll stick with the knife.

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