Hip-Deep in Alligators
Robert Campbell

Coyright 1987 by R. Wright Campbell

Begorrah! Jimmy Flannery, Chicago sewer inspector, detective, and full-time Irishman, has discovered a two-piece corpse in the sewers. He discusses the case with Medical Examiner Hackman and homicide detective Francis O'Shea.

From Chapter 4

"The man wore an earring in his right ear. Somebody tore it out. Or it might have happened in the struggle with the alligator."

"Don't tell me," I says.

"The man died of wounds inflicted by an alligator's teeth."

"Now, how could you tell that?" O'Shea says, not wanting to believe it.

Hackman looks at him patiently. "Because I found this in the victim's belly." He holds up a tooth about three inches long. "If that isn't an alligator's tooth, I've never seen one."

"Well, that's the next question," O'Shea says. "Have you ever seen one?"

"I've been going to Florida for a week in the winter for twenty years," Hackman says.

Which seems to satisfy O'Shea that Hackman's an expert.

"I can hardly believe it," I says. "I always thought those stories about kids dumping their little pets down the toilet into the sewers, where they grew up to be pretty big, was just a lot of malarkey, except I myself have seen one or two alligators. Small ones and very dead."

"I thought they were urban-horrors tales myself," Hackman says. It looks like we were both wrong. That gentleman there was chewed in half by an alligator."