Who’s On the Shelf?

Chapter 16

 It wasn’t until the next day that Miss Georgia learned the whole story. Monroe, Abigail, and she sat in Miss Georgia’s kitchen with cups of hot tea on the table. Elmira snoozed in Miss Georgia’s lap.

     “So, did Smudge actually shoot poor Thurston?” Miss Georgia asked. “And, who was the other man, the one suffering with a concussion from Abigail’s rock?”

     “He’s Smudge’s cousin,” Monroe said. “It seems that Smudge had been embezzling money from the bank and Thurston had suspected it. He shot Thurston to keep him from making his suspicions public. Then, robbing him was too good a chance to pass up.”

     “But, why would he take that money to the cemetery and hide it there?” Abigail asked.

     Lathe grinned. “I’d been searching everybody connected with the bank in any way. And Smudge didn’t want to be caught with it. He hid it before Thurston’s funeral then waited for things to kind of cool down before going back to find it so his cousin could take it out of town.”

     “His cousin with the car,” Miss Georgia said.

     Monroe nodded. “The one who nearly ran you down.”

     “Duty calls,” Lathe said. “As soon as my two suspects recover from their considerable headaches, we’re going to have a little discussion. You want to come, Monroe? I could use a good deputy.”

     Monroe laughed. “No, thanks, Lathe. I had enough fussing and fighting during the war. Come to think of it, those years of pastoring different flocks wasn’t always peaceful either. I’ll just sit here and finish my tea and enjoy being an old relic.”

     “Three old relics,” Abigail said, smiling.

     “Careful who you’re calling a relic,” Miss Georgia said. “A relic is rather useless, something that sits on the shelf and gathers dust. I don’t believe that’s us at all, and, you know what? I like it that way.”


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