The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" is a short story by Ray Bradbury. It was first published in Detective Book Magazine in November 1948 (cover date: Winter) as "Touch and Go". The story was re-titled and published as "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" in EQMM in January 1953. (Cover image: "Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine January 1953" (jpg). American Mercury. Retrieved 18 October 2012.)

"The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl"
Detective book 1948win.jpg
AuthorRay Bradbury
CountryUnited States
Genre(s)crime short story
Published inDetective Book Magazine
Publication typemagazine
Media typePrint
Publication dateNovember 1948

Plot summaryEdit

Mr. Acton begins the story standing over the body of Mr. Huxley, whom he has just killed. While attempting to cover up his tracks, he has flashbacks of his encounters with Mr. Huxley, with whom he is having an altercation over a woman. These flashbacks reveal to the murderer that there are more and more of his fingerprints all over the man's house, because he thought that he had touched so many different objects. His frenzy to remove all of the evidence distracts him from his actual objective, to get away with the crime. He is eventually caught, after polishing the entire house, while polishing and re-polishing the glass fruit at the bottom of a bowl.


Publication historyEdit

The story was included in several of Bradbury's short story collections:

Adaptations in other mediaEdit

This story was adapted to the EC comic book Crime SuspenStories #17 (April–May 1953) as "Touch and Go" by Johnny Craig. ("". Retrieved 18 February 2013.) It was adapted as an episode of the television series Ray Bradbury Theater (January 23, 1988) as "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl" with Michael Ironside and Robert Vaughn.

External linksEdit