Officer Dewey Parker arrived at the Jackson house just as Fawn and Nana were finishing their breakfast. He introduced himself and asked if he could come in.
“I should have been here day before yesterday, but things have been pretty busy lately between Hinton and Sun Valley. Heard you had some trouble here the other day.” He sat in a kitchen chair without waiting to be asked.
Nana told about the break-in since she was the one at home when it happened.
Dewey nodded his head in understanding. “Been a lot of that goin’ around lately. Did y’all read the paper about the county records office? Still haven’t caught the culprit, or culprits. Nobody saw anything. Don’t have much to go on. But we’re investigatin’. Can I get a cup of coffee? Don’t mean to be no trouble but I ain’t had much sleep lately.”
Fawn made his coffee. It had been perked on the stove earlier and kept warm by the low fire in the cook stove. “Do you take cream or sugar?” she asked.
“Black is fine. Thanks.” He took a sip. “Mighty fine coffee. What else can you tell me?”
Fawn looked at Nana. “Go on, Fawn. You was the one found me and the mess upstairs.”
Fawn told Dewey about the wreckage and destruction. “But, that was after my mother was killed.” Tears sprang to her eyes. She clamped her jaws shut. Her eyes narrowed. She balled her hands into fists. “I found evidence of a trap set. Someone strung fishing line from a hornets nest in the tree by the creek to a sapling across the road. My guess is the killer was watching our place and waited for the opportunity to pull the string taught, knocking the nest out of the tree and causing the bees to swarm. The horse bolted and ran down the embankment.”
“You got any proof of that?” Dewey was rubbing his two-day stubble in thought. “You hear of anybody else in the holler being attacked or set up like that?”
“No, sir.” Fawn swallowed and choked back the tears. “We seem to be the primary target.”
“So who would want to hurt you or your family?” Dewey took another draw of his coffee.
Fawn’s eyes glittered. “I wish on my ancestor’s graves that I knew. I’m a pretty good...