The Case of the Drowning Duck Author:Erle Stanley Gardner Perry Mason and Officer Haggerty entered the apartment. — Across the room was a big goldfish bowl with a miniature castle and some sort of green grass and some colored shells strewn along the bottom. A couple of goldfish swam lazily. In the tank, so far submerged that only the top of its head and part of its beak were protuding, a little duck was... more » feebly struggling.
"What's wrong with that duck?" the officer said.
Mason glanced quickly. "What's behind that door?"
THe officer opened the door. A peculiar, acrid odor seeped by them. Mason flung open a window while the officer opened another door that led to the kitchen, then came staggering out.
"Kitchen...dead man...gas..." he said and collapsed into a chair.
Mason scooped up the drowning duck, squeezed the water out of its feathers and wiped it dry with his handkerchief. Then he picked up the goldfish bowl, darted into the bathroom, dumped out the water and refilled the bowl. He put back the goldfish and returned the bowl to its stand.
Then he out the little duck back in the water and went over to Haggerty. "How's it coming?"
"All in - got a big whif of that gas. Say, what the devil was wrong with that duck?"
"You mean the one that was diving?" Mason asked. "The one over there in the goldfish bowl?"
"He looked damn funny," Haggerty said, looking over to where the little duck was sitting on the surface of the water, preening his feathers."I guess the fresh air revived him," said Mason.
And through all the incredible turns and twists of this bizzare murder case, no one, fortunately, ever asked Perry Mason why that little duck didn't drown.« less