Zeng Shen once said, “Before a Man Dies, His Words are Kind”. In the decades of life, been sucked, into endless moments of guilt, of dirt, and, only in the moment when one is about to pass, one can finally, let it all go, and can finally, say the words of kindness that came from the heart, leaving behind, the last scent of beauty for this world.
And still, it isn’t so in the real world. The elders wanted their offspring to inherit their “last wills”, and the children always wanted the inheritances instead, and so, the last will will always be debated on. The children from the rich families would fight each other in court for the inheritances, get the paternity tests, that’s nothing new already. Emperor Yong-Zhen from the Ching Dynasty, is still being debated on, with NO end to it.
In the detective novels, after the last wills are left, the cases start. The assortment of the last wills, not only are they filled with mysteries, they’d also make people feel that strong “scent” of death. The historic “Island to the Gates of Hell”, is probably the weirdest case of all: a soldier who’d returned home after the war, had gotten infected with something serious on his trip back, right before he’d passed, he’d told his comrade, Inugami, “if I couldn’t arrive home, to inherit my great inheritance, all three of my sisters will be murdered.”
But, this was still, a spoken well final words. More than common were, the deceased was murdered out of the blue, and, before they’d died, they couldn’t mumble their words out, all they could do was, use their final strengths, grabbed onto something, even, using her/his blood, and wrote the illegible writings, to leave the hints as to who’d killed them. Naturally, under these circumstances, there’s NO way that the person about to die can write legibly, “Mr. Police Man, my husband murdered me!”, and, even IF the deceased was able to write legibly, the handwritten words would have gotten destroyed by the murderer just the same.
“The Words Before Dying”, was like a signal that came out of the blue, the deceased couldn’t use the elaborate schemes to write out the final messages, nor could the person write for that long, the person can only use hints, to try to tell others about her/his murderer’s identity. By the same token, the detectives must also have an active imagination, to piece together the crime scenes, and, to understand what the deceased was hinting at.
The British master, Charles Dickens also wrote a couple of detective stories, his final work, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, was only half way written, then, he’d died, of a stroke, in the end, nobody knows who the killer is (or rather, why the victim had gone missing). In the end, a lot of writers, critics critiqued this halfway finished work, found an assortment of explanations, of them all, the British writer, Peter Rollins’s “The Case of the Missing Edwin Drood”, even had Sherlock Holmes, to sort out the case.
Every once in awhile, the Japanese writer, Yoshimura Tatsuya, died of stomach cancer in 2012. The year before, he’d just planned to finish a series of a hundred volumes of “The Mysterious Creatures”, in the end, he was only able to complete three volumes before his death. On the day he’d died, there was an obituary written by himself on his official website: “Hi everybody, thank you for supporting my work. It’s really suddenly, that I actually died this time. And, the identity of QAZ, and the truth of “The Mysterious Creatures”, after I’d had my funeral, there would be a more detailed notice later on.”
Yes, I must remember, that as a detective story writer, telling my readers who the killer is in my final work, is the most important part of my last will. And, if the onset of death is sudden, then, you MUST “leave a final message before your time”.
And so, this, is the matter of life and death, the last wills, the final words, from a detective novelists’ perspective, and, you don’t know when your time is up, and, there’s NO way of preparing for it before hand, all you can do, is to make sure, that you do everything you’re supposed to every single day, and the rest, there’s NO way you can make sure!