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The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But . . . 
by Howard Nissen

When I web-published my last piece concerning "truth", Howard reminded him that he too once wrote a story, with an interesting conclusion, on the topic of truth. That was back in 1968, when we were in fourth form [read 10th grade in today's parlance] at Randwick Boys' High School. And unlike my work, which has yet to appear in hardcopy print, Howard's essay was published in Pegasus, the school annual. Howard's work also appears on this site.

Please enjoy his piece below.
Reproduced here with permission.

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Mr I. Legne sat on the veranda of his house, shielded from the view of passers-by by the high and dense row of bushes which surrounded his home.

Suddenly a seven-foot man came around the corner of the house, wearing a swimming costume and on his head a gold-fish bowl. He was leading a small pink elephant with a large balloon tied to his tail. As the seven-foot man passed around the other side of the house, a green lizard, of approximately four feet in length crawled out into the garden, and glancing at Mr Legne, went scuttling after the unicorn which had meanwhile trotted by.

In the interviewing room at the State Prison, Abdul Brown, charged with the murder of Steven Poliak, underworld boss, was facing his lawyer across the table.

"Listen, Rick," he said, in a half whine, half whisper, "You've got to get me off. You said I'd go free!"

The lawyer smiled, and leaning closer began to talk.

"Abdul, I meant every word. The whole organisation is behind you. It's going to be easy. You see, when you killed Steven Poliak in Legnes' garden there were no other witnesses but Legne."

"You mean you're going to get rid of Legne?" interrupted Abdul.

"No! That would be too obvious because you were picked up on Legnes' description and the jury not being blind, would convict you on the available evidence. We're not going to give you an alibi, either. What we've been trying to do since the killing is to make Legne seem some sort of a crackpot. I have a friend of mine on the job. He owns a circus and he managed to rent the house next to Legne."

Mr Legne, standing in the witness box, defiantly faced the defence attorney.

"You say that you actually saw the defendant kill the victim right before you in the garden?" asked the lawyer.

"Yes, " replied Mr Legne.

"Hm!" said the attorney. "You seem to be able to describe the happenings in great detail. Tell me, Mr Legne, as a test of your descriptive powers, can you describe, say, the first person you saw this morning?"

"Yes," said Mr Legne.

"Go on."

"Well, at exactly eight o'clock this morning, I happened to look out of my window, and I saw this chap that's been in my garden quite a few times daily, always wearing swimming trunks, and a gold-fish bowl on his head. The funny part is though that he's always leading this pink elephant about . . .  he's seven-feet tall . . .  and . . . "

Mr Legnes' voice trailed away, then in a fresh burst - "I know it sounds funny but well, when I tried to speak to him, this unicorn and a green lizard that always follows him about, well . . .  they . . ."

At this juncture, the prosecuting attorney arose, and announced that the Sate was withdrawing its charges against Abdul Brown.

Menachem Kuchar and Howard Nissen, 8th March, 2011    

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