The Tragic Tale of Jacob the Inventor and Private Detective Fred Mandible

I must tell you about Jacob the Inventor. He was a transcendent genius; no other inventor came close to matching his fertile powers of creation.

Peering through the lens of his telescope, Jacob the Inventor watched as the lightning-quick meteors flashed through the sky, darting quickly against the eternal tapestry of the fixed stars. “That is the nature of genius,” he mused slyly, “to cut across the grain of conventional thinking, blazing new trails, cutting new paths through the tangle of ideas and homilies that is the ordered fabric of our collective intellect. We are the trailblazers.”

If Jacob the Inventor appeared immodest, well, it is true that he was. For such genius cannot help but acknowledge itself to itself, and to others.

And yet, like many great geniuses, Jacob the Inventor was prone to dark moods, even skirting the edges of insanity. During such spells, he was apt to perform irrational acts of violence against random victims.

Cut to the office of Fred Mandible, Private Eye. “I must detect today,” reflected the detective. “But only if somebody pays me to do it.” As if on cue, there was a knock at the door. “Who’s there?” asked Fred. “A client,” said a muffled voice from the other side of the door. “A client who?” was the succinct query from Fred. “A client of your worst enemy!” was the tart reply.

Diving behind his desk as the door burst open and a gun fired, Fred dodged the revolver’s bullet. “Good for me!” thought Fred as he drew his own gun and easily plugged his assailant. “Score one for the good guys.” But when the smoke cleared, Fred was horrified to see that he had killed that great genius, so revered by the world, known as Jacob the Inventor. Overcome with remorse, Fred had a heart attack and died, reflecting my view that, at the end of a story, all the characters should be dead.

Copyright © by John Remmers.