Murder at the Break
Copyright C. G. Prado, 2011
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The First Tuesday
People know what they do; they frequently know why they do what they do;
but what they don't know is what what they do does.
The break at Christmas was nearly three-weeks long. The second semester officially began on Tuesday, January third, but classes didn't start until the following Monday. Charlie Douglas arrived at the philosophy department of Meredith University that Tuesday at a little after nine in the morning. As he'd expected, the building was quiet, with only the secretarial staff in the various departments it housed. Few faculty members would be in till Monday, so he had his pick of parking places.
In the mid eighteen-hundreds, Avery Meredith made a disquieting amount of money manufacturing railway engines and founded a lavishly endowed, elite liberal arts college on a large tract of land in Kingsford, on the shore of Lake Ontario. Over the years, Meredith College acquired other faculties; first a law school, then a medical school. Next came a faculty of engineering, later one of education, and then the inevitable business school. Meredith was now a medium sized university offering undergraduate and graduate programs, but the university still took up only a third of the land it owned. The rest was upscale apartment houses and a shopping mall that added annually to Meredith's already fat coffers. That income, the well-invested endowment, and Meredith's stiff fees kept the university private, allowing it to spurn government funding with all its attached strings and problems. Meredith was able to maintain high admission requirements and demanding standards and its prestige meant that placing its graduates was seldom a problem.