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I, Philibert Q. Winslow

Michael W. Paulson

Published by at Smashwords

Copyright Michael W. Paulson, 2006-2012

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Chapter 1

Austin's newspapers reported rain and murder, that Sunday morning.

Throughout the heavens, clouds rumbled with black bereavement. Across the treetops, birds hung their heads in desolation. And in the gardens, flowers remained furled with forlorn. Even the newspaper in my hand sagged with sorrow. It was as if each and every thing mourned the unexpected passing of Gila Parker.

"My sweet Gila," I murmured, staring at her front-page smile. "No one loved you as I. No one understood you, as I. Least of all these parasitic panhandlers parading as the press. How dare the fourth estate let sexual innuendo play as truth upon the printed page? Sex-orgy precipitated event, indeed! I could understand such a claim if the victim had been that bigoted Texas bastard in the Whitehouse! But not Gila. She epitomized all that was grace and beauty."

A feeble tap upon my study door was followed by Bernard's quivering entrance. As rotund manservants went, he was unmatched in culinary cleverness and the innate ability to cower in complete submission: something I have always insisted upon in minions. As for his choice in wearing apparel, it was invariably within reproach: a black, swallow-tailed tuxedo complimented by an orange tie and green shirt, this accented with an ever-so-creaking pair of red patent-leather shoes. Despite his semi-sterling attributes, Bernard had a seepingly negative trait: the not-so-small-matter of unbridled perspiration--one not unlike the constant mucous ooze of a terrified salamander. Still, I would be at a loss without him.

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