My answer to this year's Bard's Hall Cop Shop Mystery
Cop Shop Mystery 2020: What the Time Capsule Holds!
The Time capsule which was stored in the basement of the library’s storage room, had caused quite a stir a year ago, when their was a hostage situation at the library involving the elderly librarian. However, that mystery was solved! *Ha*
Tonight is to be a major celebration in Bardstown as it is the 20th decade of the town’s founding! Founder’s Day has always been celebrated in a festive and unique way each year. This year, the historic Time Capsule will be opened, and the mayor will present each item which will be shown and or read depending on the item enclosed.
That evening, Mayor Writon got up to the podium and made his speech. He spoke of a couple hundred years of history since the town’s founding. He mentioned Sister Delores of Sweet Sorrows, or “Sister D” for short by her students and those who know and love her in the town. He said that she was given the precious honor of guarding the secrets delivered to her to be added to the time capsule over the past quarter century. The grand reveal would take place this night, the 20th decade of founding of Bardstown!
The mayor began by using his key along with Sister D who had the second key to open the time capsule in front of the enthusiastic towns people. There wasn’t even a peep from the children who had been enjoying the various carnival rides plus eating cotton candy, candy apples and if any room left, the corn dogs that were a locally made Bardstown hit.
“The moment we were waiting for, ladies and gentlemen! I give to you a history of the 200 years of Bardstown!”
Mayor Writon opened the first item he pulled out of the capsule. It was a small package and inside it was a locket. “To my beloved Hildegard on our 50th Wedding Anniversary, Love forever, K.W.D.C.B” The mayor’s eyes misted as he comprehended where the gift originated. “Folks, this is our town Founder, Kenneth Wyatt David Crane Bard! (He had many family names. His parents couldn’t decide which to settle on, so he got them all.) How wonderful that on this special occasion, the first item we open was from our Founder to his beloved wife!
The mayor proceeded to unveil the various trinkets and notes from school-aged children, and “modern” items from times past. The next item he took out was a sealed note. He gently broke the seal and prepared to read. The mayor turned a whiter shade of pale. Hot beads of sweat formed on his forehead. His mouth was agape, but no words came forth.
The crowd clamored. “What does it say, Mayor?!!”
Speechless, the mayor handed the unsealed note to Sister D. She read it to herself and passed out.
Back at the Cop Shop
Ringgggg!!!! Ring-ring! “Hello, Captain O’Leary, here. If that’s you, Mayor, I’m sorry I’m late but you insisted retired Former Deputy Fife be deputized by Sheriff Taylor before I leave him alone at the 20th Precinct, during the Bardstown Founder’s Day events. Sheriff Taylor is running late, so …”
“Stop your blabbering, O’Leary, this is Mrs. Writon! Get down to the town square immediately. My husband, your mayor, has gone mute and Sister D has fainted! The cause appears to be an unsealed note both of them looked at. I fear going up on stage to check them out in case the letter contained some hazardous materials that they touched causing their mysterious health problems!”
“Okay, Mrs Writon I’m on my way!” Now where are those hazard material handling suits we store here for emergencies?
Back in the town square.
Mrs. Writon greeted Captain O’Leary when he arrived with a curt remark. “You look like a deranged bunny in that suit O’Leary. Please take it off, get on stage, and do something!”
Captain O’Leary took it upon himself to get to the bottom of the mysterious letter that had caused the biggest talker in town, Mayor Writon, to be cast silent and the beloved Sister D, to faint on stage.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I will pick up where the mayor has left off. He needed a glass of water for his sudden onset of laryngitis.”
“Get him off the stage, Officer Smith. And, Officer Jones please let the medics know it’s safe to remove Sister D from the stage.”
With his new found importance, O’Leary began reading the letter.
“My fellow Bardstownians, I cannot keep silent any longer. A child in this town has been raised as another woman’s son. It saddens to me to admit this, but I have been complicit in keeping silent about the baby-switching all these years. I won’t continue to live with this lie or allow your life to be based on a lie.
There were two emergency C-Sections on that dark and stormy night. One was the woman who gave birth to one of you. She was a charity patient, very young no means of support. The other was the woman who raised you. She and her husband were thought better situated to raise a child. It was she whose baby was stillborn, while the young mother’s son was born alive.
The decision was made that night at Mercy Me Private Hospital, to switch the babies, thus making sure the live infant went to a good home, while the young, frightened birth mother would be given a better chance at having a fresh start, perhaps get an education and career one day. She was told her son was stillborn. Although devastated by the news, she seemed relieved. Perhaps that was just the shock of the situation along with heavy sedatives. *Think*
I will now reveal to you who your birth mother is … ”
Here’s the mystery YOU have to solve in only and exactly 20 sentences!
Who wrote the note found in the time-capsule?
Which Character in the town is the son, switched at birth?
Who is the birth mother?
…if the note-writer didn’t do this on his or her own, then... Who convinced the note-writer to help switch the babies that night at “Mercy Me Private Hospital? (Why, How?)
THE SOLUTION IN 20 SENTENCES:
Captain O’Leary blinked at the name revealed on the yellowed parchment.
“Well, Captain?” prompted Mrs. Mary Writeon. *
In answer, he pressed the letter into her hand. She read down to the birth mother's name and the following name of the new mother then trembled.
“In my opinion, the contents of this letter should not be made public,” said O’Leary.
“Y-yes, you’re right. Please, carry on here, and I shall speak with my…husband in private.”
Though she dreaded the coming conversation, Mary Writeon dragged herself into the small kitchen inside Bardstown Hall where Mayor Archibald Writeon sat clutching an untouched glass of water. She knelt in front of him, placed the letter on the floor, put aside the glass, and took his hands in hers. “Your mother — your birth mother — had a difficult start in life. With an alcoholic father and an abusive mother, she received no moral guidance. It’s no surprise that Bea Beaumont made mistakes in her youth.”
“Hush, dear. I fully understand what this shocking revelation means for us and for our children, but we cannot roll back twenty years of marriage. We both know how much your birth mother’s life improved after she met my father, got married, and then gave birth to me. I also understand why Old Lady Jane did what she did at Mercy Me Hospital all those years ago, but I wish she never wrote that letter.”
“Our love is immoral and our marriage illegal.”
Mary Writeon scanned the kitchen until her gaze landed on the gas hob. “People are cruel, and the law is blind, but a flame burns paper without prejudice.”
* In my opinion, “Well, Captain?” prompted Mrs. Mary Writeon. is one sentence.