Lieutenant Caruso: Mr. Johannson? You’re the male librarian around here, is that right? 


Oskaar Johannson: That’s me. Door opens.


Lieutenant Caruso: Good afternoon, sir. I’m Lieutenant Caruso, from the police. Do you have a few minutes? I think I’m close to wrapping this case up, but there are just a few things left I don’t quite understand yet. 


Oskaar Johannson: Yes, um, of course! From the police. Why don’t you step inside. Footsteps. Chairs squeak. Could I get you, would you like a drink? It’s a bar and grill too, you see, the Rafferty Falls Library and Swedish Cultural Center is.


Lieutenant Caruso: No, thank you very much, sir, I really won’t be long. Let me see here… would you say, sir, that you and your wife knew Mayor O’Connor pretty well?


Oskaar Johannson: Yeah, yeah, we knew him for a long time, everyone here did, really. I certainly didn’t have anything against him, if that’s what you’re asking – ha!


Lieutenant Caruso: Oh, no, sir, certainly no one is accusing you of anything. Say, what’s this, ah, fire pit here for exactly, if you don’t mind my asking? I just don’t know a thing about libraries. 


Oskaar Johannson: That’s the book-return system. It’s much more efficient than conventional systems, hardly any processing to do at all. Just sweep out the ashes every few days. But anyway, you wanted to ask me about the pois—I mean, about the mayor?


Lieutenant Caruso: Yessir, that’s exactly right. You know, I really don’t mean to imply anything here, sir, but it sure sounds like Mrs. Johannson was spending an awful lot of time with him. 


Oskaar Johannson: Well, not to be coarse, Lieutenant, but we have what you might call sort of an open marriage arrangement between us, Ingrid and I do.


Lieutenant Caruso: Is that right? Jeez, do you know what, that just about explains everything. I’m awfully sorry to have bothered you. I’ll go ahead and get out of your hair now.


Oskaar Johannson: Oh, it’s no trouble at all, Lieutenant. I’m happy to have helped.


Lieutenant Caruso: Thanks very much, Mr. Johannson. Chairs squeak. Footsteps. Door opens. Actually, sir, there’s still just one thing I don’t have quite straight. I’m sure it’s nothing, it’s just that your barkeep was telling me yesterday that you were the most faithful man there was. And what’s more sir, he said you had a few drinks here and suggested that you thought that maybe your wife had been unfaithful to you.


Oskaar Johannson: Is that so.


Lieutenant Caruso: That you thought she had been unfaithful to you, sir, with Mayor O’Connor. And that you seemed pretty angry about it. Does that sound accurate to you, sir?


Oskaar Johannson: I guess I was a little angry then. Yeah, I was. Angry with that man who thought he could get away with anything, touch anyone’s woman, over and over again, like God never gave us rules in the first place… But like I said, we had an open relationship. That’s what we agreed to before we got married, so I couldn’t really have anything against him, even after I found out. I mean, that just wouldn’t make any sense.


Lieutenant Caruso: Sir, that’s absolutely all I needed to hear. Boy, do I feel silly now. It sounds to me like I shouldn’t need to bother you again, sir. Have a good day. And I’m sorry to have taken so much of your time.


— L. Burch