Dewey arrived back at the sheriff’s office, jerked on the reins to bring the horse to an abrupt halt. He jumped from the wagon and ran into the office. The sheriff wasn’t there. Great. What was he supposed to do with the body? He took off his hat and scratched his head as he looked around. No solution came to mind. Molly was expecting him within the hour. This just could not be happening again.
He stepped outside and stood on the boardwalk. The undertaker’s shop was four blocks down the street. Would it be quicker to walk or unhitch the horse and ride? Walking, he decided, a brisk walk.
Where in the world was everybody today? Toby wasn’t there. He walked around back. “Toby, you here? Come on; I need to talk to you.”
“Hang on, I’m comin’.”
Dewey paced. “I got a date, Toby, and a dead body. Don’t know who it is and don’t know what to do with it.”
Toby came around the corner of the building, wiping his hands on a rag that looked as if it needed cleaning before his hands ever got to it.
“Where’s the body?”
“In the wagon in front of the office.” Dewey started to walk off, expecting Toby to follow.
“Hold on a minute,” Toby said, still rooted to the spot. “How big is it?”
“How big is what? Oh, the body. Well, come on and look at it. I didn’t measure it.”
Toby sprinted to catch up, wheezing and sneezing as he came. “Give an old man a break, will ya?”
Dewey looked at him. “You ain’t that old; ye’re what? Forty?”
Toby nodded his head, his short but pointy gray beard touching his shirt front. “Pert near.”
They arrived at the wagon and Dewey unhooked the gate.
Toby peered in. “How’m I s’posed ta see if’n it’s all wrapped in burlap?”
Dewey reached in, grabbed the burlap and yanked the bundle until its end hung over the edge of the wagon. Both men started gagging and coughing. Dewey backed up.
“Good night. What’d you do? Dig it up out of a swamp or somethin’?”
Dewey grunted. “What am I supposed to do with it?”
“Drive it on down to my place. Can’t bury it ‘til we identify it, though. Reckon somebody be lookin’ for ‘im.”
“Hop on. I’ll give you a ride back.” Dewey shoved the bundle back in, hooked the gate back and jumped into the driver seat. Molly was not going to be happy.
Dewey leapt off the driver seat, ran to the back of th...