Constable Crane's Testimony
This is for those of you who, like me, have wondered what the hell Ichabod told his superiors when he got back to New York.
BURGOMASTER: So, Constable Crane, you are back from Sleepy Hollow. For years you have been telling us about your up-to-date scientific techniques of crime detection, and now they have been put to the test. Did you succeed in "detecting" the murderer?
ICHABOD: I did.
BURGOMASTER: Who was he?
ICHABOD: The Lady Mary Van Tassel.
BURGOMASTER: A woman committed these grotesque crimes?
ICHABOD: Well, not exactly. She raised a Headless Horseman from the grave to commit them for her.
BURGOMASTER: A Headless what?
ICHABOD: A Hessian mercenary was beheaded about twenty years ago. The Lady Van Tassel offered her soul to Satan in exchange for the power to raise the Horseman from the grave to kill those who stood between her and a huge inheritance.
BURGOMASTER: [looks at him for a moment] All right, Crane. I know you have your grudges against us all for not listening to you for all these years, so have your joke. Now really, what did you detect with all those experimentations of yours?
ICHABOD: Well, I detected that the wounds were cauterized instantaneously, though without scorching or blistering the flesh.
BURGOMASTER: Interesting. So the weapon was red hot?
ICHABOD: Yes, which is hardly surprising, considering that the Horseman came from Hell to chop heads.
BURGOMASTER: Yes, yes, Crane. What else? Go on about your techniques.
ICHABOD: Well, the culprit, the Lady Van Tassel, decapitated her servant girl and dressed the girl in her own clothes so that we would believe that she was dead. I was able to tell that the headless corpse was not the Lady Van Tassel, first because of a cut on her hand. The Lady Van Tassel had cut her hand the night before her supposed death while fornicating with the local pastor. The cut on the corpse's hand, however, had not clotted or healed at all. Obviously the cut had been made after death, and thus the corpse could not be the Lady Van Tassel. Also, the neck wound was not cauterized. Therefore, the Horseman was not the murderer.
BURGOMASTER: [getting perplexed] Then who was?
ICHABOD: The Lady Van Tassel. Well, actually, she committed all the murders, but that one she committed with her own hands.
BURGOMASTER: So this Lady Van Tassel was the murderer?
ICHABOD: That's what I said.
BURGOMASTER: Then you took her into custody?
ICHABOD: Well, no.
BURGOMASTER: Why not? Where is she?
ICHABOD: Um... the Headless Horseman took her back to Hell with him.
BURGOMASTER: [looks at him for a minute] I see. So tell me again what your scientific instruments learned about this Horseman? Besides that his sword was hot from being in Hell?
ICHABOD: Well, I used one of my instruments... well, okay, actually I used a shovel, to dig his grave up, and discovered that someone, that is, the Lady Van Tassel, had taken his skull. I was able to stop him by returning it.
BURGOMASTER: So after the... Headless Horseman... got his skull back, then he...?
ICHABOD: Returned to Hell. With the Lady Van Tassel.
BURGOMASTER: Of course. With the Lady Van Tassel. Who also dug his grave up.
BURGOMASTER: Didn't the church or the law object to everybody disturbing the dead like that?
ICHABOD: The Horseman was not buried in hallowed ground. He was buried under the Tree of the Dead, way out in the woods.
BURGOMASTER: The Tree of the Dead?
ICHABOD: Yes, it was a gateway between two worlds. The Horseman tried to take the heads of those he killed with him back to Hell, but they would not pass. I found them inside the tree.
BURGOMASTER: The Tree of the Dead?
ICHABOD: That is correct.
BURGOMASTER: If his grave was way out in the woods, how did you find it?
ICHABOD: Oh, the witch of the western woods gave me directions.
BURGOMASTER: The witch of...?
ICHABOD: Yes, she killed a bat and used its blood in a potion, and a spirit she called "The Other" possessed her and told me how to find the grave while trying to strangle me.
BURGOMASTER: Let me see if I have this straight. A witch possessed by a demon told you how to find the grave of the headless ghost that was committing murder at the bidding of a woman who sold her soul to Satan?
ICHABOD: Yes, sir.
BURGOMASTER: And you detected this with your scientific methods?
ICHABOD: Um, yes.
BURGOMASTER: So after you've been pestering us for years to let us try your scientific techniques and investigate crimes like a Rational Man, we give you a chance, and you detect a ghost summoned by a witch?
ICHABOD: Well, it was my methods that allowed me to find out who had raised the Horseman from the grave, and why. I simply decided to proceed by a process of elimination, to make a list of every man and woman in Sleepy Hollow and determine which of them had motives.
BURGOMASTER: So you made this list?
ICHABOD: Um, I started it.
BURGOMASTER: But didn't finish it, I take it. How many citizens did you list before deciding on your suspect?
BURGOMASTER: One. I see. So. Why did, ah, the Lady Van Tassel summon the dead Hessian from the grave?
ICHABOD: So that she would inherit everything.
BURGOMASTER: Money? Why didn't she just marry it?
ICHABOD: Well, she did. But then she killed everyone so that she would have the whole town instead of just half of it.
BURGOMASTER: Wouldn't it have been sufficient to kill only the large landowners themselves?
ICHABOD: Well, I found out - using my scientific methods of detecting, you understand - that Peter Van Garrett was secretly married to Emily Winship and had made a new will that made her his heiress. The widow Winship stood between the Lady Van Tassel and the inheritance. Also, everyone who knew about the secret marriage had to die.
BURGOMASTER: Why was the marriage secret?
BURGOMASTER: This Van Garrett owned the whole town. Why did he have to sneak around to do anything?
ICHABOD: I... have no idea. I just know that he did. And that the Lady Van Tassel had to kill everyone to keep it secret.
BURGOMASTER: Kill everyone by raising the Headless Horseman?
ICHABOD: Yes, sir.
BURGOMASTER: Wasn't that an awful lot of trouble to go to? Especially for a woman who was already rich?
ICHABOD: I... I suppose so. But she also wanted revenge. Peter Van Garrett was her parents' landlord, and evicted them when the Lady was a child.
ICHABOD: Because her mother was suspected of, um, witchcraft.
BURGOMASTER: Constable Crane, I get the distinct impression that you actually believe all of this.
ICHABOD: Seeing is believing, sir.
BURGOMASTER: So you kept telling us, when you were trying to get us to stop torturing suspects and figure out who is guilty the boring way. And now Constable Crane, Mr. Skeptic of the Year, believes in ghosts and witches and who knows what else.
ICHABOD: Yes, my rational mind was very controverted by the spirit world in Sleepy Hollow. I got bewitched.
BURGOMASTER: Generally when a policeman gets bewitched, a blonde is involved.
ICHABOD: You bet!
BURGOMASTER: So it was a blonde. What happened to her big burly fiancÈ?
ICHABOD: How did you know she had-
BURGOMASTER: Bewitching blondes always have big burly fiancÈs. I suppose you got the Horseless Headman to execute him for you.
ICHABOD: Um, as a matter of fact....
BURGOMASTER: Well, never mind about that. What I want to know is, have you abandoned your skepticism and decided to believe in the "spirit world"?
ICHABOD: I have.
BURGOMASTER: Crane, you have been a thorn in my side ever since you joined the constabulary. Always pestering us to give up torture, nagging us to use reason, and now you've admitted that ghosts exist. From there it's only a short step to vampires.
ICHABOD: Well, after my sojourn in Sleepy Hollow, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if there were vampires.
BURGOMASTER: I can't have any detective with a history of disturbing graves running around believing in vampires. You leave me no choice. [The BURGOMASTER sprouts a pair of fangs and jumps on ICHABOD's neck.]
ICHABOD: Yag! Let me get my smelling salts!
[The BURGOMASTER throws the smelling salts out of reach. ICHABOD stares at them for a second before passing out. The BURGOMASTER is about to chomp ICHABOD's neck when he suddenly disintegrates. YOUNG MASBATH enters to find his employer unconscious under a pile of dust.]
YOUNG MASBATH: Sir, Miss Katrina will be terribly angry. You know she hates it when you get unearthly substances on your uniform.
ICHABOD: [coming to] What on earth? The Burgomaster was a vampire?
YOUNG MASBATH: Why, yes. Everyone else knew about it. Where were you?
ICHABOD: Well, you know, we geeks never know what's going on because we're always reading and tinkering.
YOUNG MASBATH: How did you stop the vampire?
ICHABOD: Hmm. [Starts searching his coat pockets, pulls out a charm] Aha. Katrina must have left this charm in my coat. She's always doing that, and she always seems to know whether I need protection from ghosts, vampires or what. I don't know how she does it. Good thing I married a witch.