A True Detective Story

“Thing I object to in detective stories,” said Mr. Piggott, “is the way fellows remember every bloomin’ thing that’s happened to ’em within the last six months. They’re always ready with their time of day and was it rainin’ or not, and what were they doin’ on such an’ such a day. Reel it all off like a page of poetry. But one ain’t like that in real life, d’you think so, Lord Peter?” Lord Peter smiled, and young Piggott, instantly embarrassed, appealed to his earlier acquaintance. “You know what I mean, Parker. Come now. One day’s so like another, I’m sure I couldn’t remember—well, I might remember yesterday, p’r’aps, but I couldn’t be certain about what I was doin’ last week if I was to be shot for it.”

“No,” said Parker, “and evidence given in police statements sounds just as impossible. But they don’t really get it like that, you know. I mean, a man doesn’t just say, ‘Last Friday I went out at ten o’clock a. m. to buy a mutton chop. As I was turning into Mortimer Street I noticed a girl of about twenty-two with black hair and brown eyes, wearing a green jumper, check skirt, Panama hat and black shoes riding a Royal Sunbeam Cycle at about ten miles an hour turning the corner by the Church of St. Simon and St. Jude on the wrong side of the road riding towards the market place!’ It amounts to that, of course, but it’s really wormed out of him by a series of questions.”

Sayers, Whose Body?

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