Monday, November 5, 2012
Now Playing: The Silent Child
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Episode Twenty concluded with:
In a panic, Rupert turned and ran. His foot collided with the first step of the stairway. He began to scramble up the wooden planks. He heard a few quick steps behind him and then his neck was trapped in an iron vise. A tight grip wrapped around his gun hand.
“Give it up, Rupert!” Dehner ordered.
Rupert Bushrod was breathing in puffs. “Okay, okay, you got me. Guess Shakespeare was right. The race is to the swift.”
Clarence’s voice thundered from the floor of the basement. “That’s “The race is NOT to the swift.” And it’s from the Bible, not Shakespeare.”
Rupert sighed. Maybe my brother shoulda spent less time readin’ and more time tendin’ the store.”
“Yeah, Rance, you got it right,” Rupert Bushrod said from his jail cell. Clarence and I killed the Thompsons yesterday mornin’, but the kid got away. We looked ever where and couldn’t find her till we spotted her ridin’ with you. We took a couple of shots at you.”
“Yeah,” Clarence spoke from the same cell. “But did you hav’ ta shoot back so good? Made my brother and me run like rabbits.”
Rance and Clint Bolger were standing outside of the jail cell talking to the two prisoners. The detective and the sheriff shared the same thought: these two men are killers, we shouldn’t be having so much fun talking to them.
Dehner pushed his hat back an inch or two before speaking. "Right after the first time I came by the store asking about the Thompsons, you rode back there because Clarence discovered he had dropped his watch in the Thompson’s cabin.”
“How did you figure that out?” Clarence asked.
“Last night, I noticed that the glass on your timepiece was broken,” Rance explained. “The crack looked recent. And, after I spotted it, you were mighty quick about getting that timepiece back into your pocket.”
Rupert shook his head. “The book of Psalms is right: ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.’”
“Sir Walter Scott wrote that, you dummy!” Clarence shouted.
“Isn’t he the guy who wrote the Psalms?”
“If we could get back to the matter at hand,” Rance interrupted. “When you returned to the Thompson’s place, you stole some stuff, and then you set the place on fire in case one of you had dropped something else that could be incriminating.”
“We knew the sheriff would be ridin’ out there,” Rupert said. “When we saw the two of you approachin’, we delayed your journey with a few shots. Wanted to make sure the place burned good.”
“That story you handed me about taking valuable jewelry directly to Mrs. Candler was a big mistake, fellas.” Dehner smirked and then continued. “The Bushrod Brothers’ General Store never carried valuable jewelry. You stole that jewelry from the Thompson’s place, then sold it to Mrs. Candler along with a tale about how you got it. I talked to Mr. Candler, he verified that you never sold anything to his wife before.”
“That man never has been helpful,” Clarence sighed.
Sheriff Bolger scratched his forehead. “I still don’t understand how all this ties in with Emory Logan breaking into Harper’s Mercantile.”
“Well, you see, Sheriff, Clarence and I have never been paternal types, never cared much for kids.”
“And that Pixie girl did nothin’ to change our minds,” Clarence explained. “We was out and out relieved when Rance first walked into our store with her. The kid looked plum frozen. But we knowed that wouldn’t last. Sooner or later, she’d talk.”
“And we’d hang.” Rupert tilted his head toward his shoulder. “Of course, as things turned out, we’re gonna hang anyway…”
“Still, our plan weren’t bad,” Clarence cut in. “Enoch’s good with a gun. We needed to get him outta the way in order to kill the kid. We had stole that picture of Judy from the Thompson place, so we put it in Enoch’s saddle bag.”
Anger flared in the sheriff’s voice. “Then you informed Emory that Judy Thompson had told you guys that she had once sparked with Enoch and that he had a picture of her. You knew that the green kid would try to find the picture and be the big hero. The man who uncovered evidence proving Enoch was a killer.”
Clarence nodded his head. “If it helps any, we thought he’d check the stable first: the easiest place. With Enoch in jail, we could get rid of the kid. But things didn’t quite work out that ways and we was obliged to come up with a plan B, which Mr. Dehner stopped.”
“How’d you wise up to us, Rance?”
“After that story about the jewelry, I’ve been keeping an eye on you guys. I noticed that you were being very kind to Laszlo and spending some time with him. Fortunately, Laszlo was happy to share about the joke you were playing on the Harpers. Of course, you’d have had to kill Laszlo too.”
Rupert rolled his eyes upward. “But we never got that far. Guess the plan had a fatal flaw.”
Clarence sighed deeply. "'Fatal’ is a good way to put it. For once, brother, you called it right.”
Tomorrow: Episode Twenty-Two, the conclusion of The Silent Child