Short Story: "Incident at the Bridge" by Nan Hamilton
a short story
from MIKE SHAYNE MYSTERY MAGAZINE, July, 1977, pg 84
First Sentence: "The knuckles of his big bony hands whitened with effort as Ray Ascher carefully pulled himself up the iron ladder, favoring his bad leg."
Last Sentence: "He saluted."
Author: I'm having a hard time finding much about the authors from this selection. There is one author by the name of Nan Hamilton that I have been able to find. She wrote two mystery books which featured Japanese-American characters, in the early/mid eighties. This short story is not Japanese themed but the time-frame fits, so we may be looking at the same author.
This was a good story. A man working the bridge house for a busy bridge in a large city suddenly seems to go round the bend. He puts up the bridge for no apparent reason, causes a major traffic jam, locks himself into his tower office and won't have contact with anyone. Until, once enough havoc has been caused he requests to speak to the Chief of Police only. Upon the Chief's arrival and climb into the man's tower he proceeds to tell the Chief a story that not only amazes but impresses him. An amateur sleuth tale well told.