Rowan slid the paper across the desk, slowly shaking his head. “How extraordinary. A monkey attack.”
Walter corrected him. “Macaque attack.”
“Yes, macaque attack.”
“What is a macaque.”
“It is a monkey.”
Walter furrowed his brow. “I’m confused.”
Rowan examined the paper. “This issue is three months old. Why have you kept it all this time?”
“I still haven’t finished the crossword in the back.”
“I see.” He took a long, thoughtful drag. “If I had to guess, I’d say that Tom Rinehardt was sent to Chicago for the purpose of overseeing construction of the new factories. His brother has to stay behind in Malaysia to recover.”
“Any guess as to the identity of the woman he wants us to locate?”
“For that information, we must wait.”
“Do you think it’s the attractive blonde the article mentions?”
“Possibly,” said Rowan.
“If it is, do you mind if I take over the case?”
“Make some coffee.”
“Sure thing.” He began to leave, but stopped, turning to the back page of The Tattler. “Ten down is a grammatical term, six letters. When a verb or adjective modifies two or more words in completely different ways. The fourth letter is g and the last letter is—”
“Zeugma,” answered Rowan.
“Zeugma.” Rowan spelled it.
Walter licked the tip of his pencil and filled in the blanks. He stared uneasily at the puzzle.
“What is troubling you, Williams?”
“Well, old boy, I’m looking at the word and the definition, but I’ll be damned if I’m any closer to understanding what a zeugma is.”
“Zeugmas often consist of a literal and a figurative usage within the same sentence. Consider the following statement: One who carries a gun also carries a great burden. In this example, the first object, a gun, involves a literal use of the word carry whereas the burden is figuratively carried. And yet, both entirely disparate uses reside within the same sentence.”
Walter thought for a moment. “She lowered her neckline and her standards. Is that a zeugma?”
“You want coffee.”
Rowan tapped his nose.
Walter turned, looking down at his puzzle and smiling. “ZOOG-MAH. It’s a fun word to say.”