The Walls Come Crumbling Down
Jason went to the jail to talk to Joel. His confession had made headlines in the newspaper. Jason had some questions and was sure Joel had the answers.
Clyde looked up when Jason walked in and moved the ever-present toothpick to the other side of his mouth, as he sat his chair back on all four legs.
“Jason, what brings you here?”
“I came to talk to your prisoner.”
“That so?” The toothpick moved again. “You a friend of his?”
“I wouldn’t say that. I’m a friend of the Jacksons.”
“And what would you be wantin’ with this fellow?”
Jason considered his words carefully. He didn’t want to sound like a jealous beau. He had no claim on Fawn yet. It only took a few seconds for him to answer.
“He had been going to see Miss Fawn rather frequently, but never until after he had been seen with Miss Browning a number of times. I’d like to know if he’s the one that set the trap for Mrs. Jackson’s accident, and then tried to frame me.”
“Jason, that’s our job. You need to let it be and let me and Dewey do our jobs.”
Jason swallowed to hide his smirk. “Well, Sheriff, I’ll be happy to let it be as soon as I can make sure we all have the same information.” Jason’s jaw muscle was working. This has been going on too long. Something’s got to be done.
“What’ve you got that you think we don’t?” Clyde looked like he wanted to punch Jason in the nose. “You think you could handle this better than me and Dewey?”
Jason’s eyes smoldered but his tone was respectful. “No, sir. I’m saying that I’ve seen and noticed things that you all may have missed. The Gardner family and the Jacksons have been close friends and neighbors since before I was born. When Miss Fawn was at the finishing school with Miss Browning my family and I went to visit Mrs. Jackson and Nana every day to check on them and visit. I’ve seen people come and go over the last year or so. So an extra pair of eyes and ears might be helpful.”
Clyde removed his toothpick and leaned his chair back on its hind legs again. “So tell me, young Jason, what can you add to the information we have?”
Hold your temper, Jason. Don’t take the bait to get offended. He let out a breath and sat in the other chair. “I can tell you that Miss Browning brought Joel to the Jackson place several times, and when their house burnt down he showed up our place because Miss Browning had told him Nana and Miss Fawn were staying with us.” Jason leaned forward, his eyes determined as he looked directly into the eyes of the sheriff. “I also know, because Nana told me, that a man named Chester sneaked up on Miss Fawn the day after her mother’s funeral. Miss Fawn had been at the creek trying to figure out what would have made the horse bolt into the creek instead of going across the bridge. She apparently whirled on him like a tiger, putting him on the ground, then ran into the house. Doc was there and he went out to see if the fellow needed help but he was gone. There were no buggy tracks or fresh horse tracks by the creek or leading up to the house, except those of the doc. Nobody could figure out how the fellow got there, or where he went. He came back the next day to buy the carriage the senator had just gifted to Nana and Miss Fawn to replace the buckboard that was destroyed. The fellow id...