Are You Loveable (part five)
“Take Mr. Hernshaw around the yard, why don’t ya, show him how we keep track of materials we charge to the client…and don’t stand there in the doorway letting the flies in.”
Pete’s chuckling took a while to subside. “Mr. Hernshaw, I hope you’re not in a hurry.”
“Henry,” Dot said, “a minute ago, you started to say something.”
“Um…hon…not sure I did. Say…George has probably seen enough of us for one day.”
“Henry,” Dot said, “you were saying you always wondered something. Then you stopped talking.”
He allowed an oath to cross his mind. Of course Hernshaw got it, how a man on a small margin had to do business. It was the formalities, that was all…everyone, Stonemartens and Hernshaws alike, minded their p’s and q’s where it showed…just like being married…
Hmm. Maybe it was…
He scratched an eyebrow. Maybe it wasn’t.
All at once, he saw the clear path.
“When I said ‘always’, hon, that was a just figure of speech. What I meant was, just now. Just now…well, I mean, just then…I was wondering. I was wondering what George was wanting to stand up there on the edge of the dam for. Think you can recall what you had in mind, George? Might be a clue.”
George took this word from his brother-in-law as a sign-post, seeing his own mists part before his own respective path. It was crimes had clues, come down to it. They were all pretending to one another…Dot and Henry protecting him, thinking his head still addled.
Plastered like a mummy, he’d lain these many hours, and had half formed a chivalrous notion of letting Daisy go. The sensation of hands on his back, planting—at about kidney height—a victory shove, had been unmistakable, and George wasn’t going to argue the point. Oland, he was aware, had been trailing along behind. Oland was a notable mouth-breather; unavoidably, George had been able to track his progress up the hill. He tried picturing Oland sneaking up on anyone…
He found the idea implausible.
Still, George could see social advantage in keeping Daisy’s lapse on the QT. Unfair as it is, a guy someone wants to murder is bound to carry a little taint…doesn’t look as sympathetic as an accident.
His dilemma, which he hadn’t fully worked out, was how he might in charity pay Daisy a couple hundred bucks…call it settlement money…or…
Are You Loveable
(2015, 2018, Stephanie Foster)