A Whiff of Death by Isaac Asimov

By Isaac Asimov

Every body knew that Ralph Neufeld was once a cautious younger chemist, particularly his professor, Lou Brade. that is why Ralph's unintentional dying as a result of a confusion of chemical substances struck Brade as hugely not going. The police agreed.

Someone on campus had switched bottles on terrible Ralph and the outcome used to be as lethal as have been deliberate. the difficulty used to be all of the correct suspects have been within the mistaken locations whilst it happened...all the incorrect suspects had the fitting motives...and the only individual so much certified to resolve the crime used to be already being known as the killer!

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Professor Anson, who in living memory seemed never to have been called anything but Cap for no reason that anyone could put their finger on (Brade seemed to recall a baseball player by the name of Cap Anson once; perhaps it was that), had thought any minute out of his lab a precious minute irretrievably lost; any conversation not dealing with some matter of research a mere thing of triviality and small talk. He knew his students only as extensions of himself. Added arms, subsidiary minds. " "Right now," said Doris, "1 wish you'd be more like him.

I'm not going to have a psychotic disrupt my group. " But Brade had ignored that. He had put the boy into a laboratory by himself for a while, dealt with him gently and distantly, and hung on. He was aware of the reputation he had for picking up the personality-problem student that the other professors tried to avoid, and he even felt a sneaking pride in the reputation. At times he almost honestly forgot that his own lack of grants brought him only the odd ones in the first place. And at that, some of his specimens turned out first- class researchers who proved well worth any difficulties they might have caused.

Why Ralph? " She did that herself, with an impatient snap of the wrist. "You are the most exasperating person. What murder? Your idiot student did take the cy- anide and didn't notice. That's the fact, and you can't make the fact disappear by talk. He was distracted and didn't notice. It's easy to say that no chemist would mistake cyanide for acetate, but that assumes a chemist is a perfect machine. A chemist can be thoughtless, distracted, sleepy, angry, anxious. He can make any number of mistakes, even ridiculous ones.

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