Patrick is consumed with his work. He is always tired because of his work as a detective, he values his job more than he does his wife. After Patrick’s death, this consumption becomes literal and possibly cannibalistic for the detectives, who eat the murder weapon. As the detectives’ “thick and sloppy” mouths wolf down the leg of lamb, the men fail to realize that it had been bashed into Patrick’s skull and may even contain his blood. Whereas Patrick Maloney was once consumed with his work, now he is consumed by his work. The men’s suspicion that the weapon is “right under our very noses,” is another example of the story's ironic black humor.