I wasn’t able to make down to the library for almost three and a half hours. With the lack of sleep and the excitement of the discovery, I was a clumsy mess, but I finally made my way over. It was still lightly drizzling as I waited for Mike to come to the door.
“Hey, I guess you’re the big news today,” he said as he let me in.
“Well, maybe not me, but what I discovered,” I said. “Is Sean still around?”
“No. He went over to visit Barbara and talk to her. I’m sure she’ll be steamed about it all. You may have lost a friend there.” He started up the steps to the historic society rooms.
“I’m not too worried. So, they know each other? I thought when I first met Barbara that she told me she didn’t know who owned the mansion.”
“She’s Sean’s aunt, so, yeah, they know each other well. I have no idea why she’d tell you she didn’t know who owned the Goode Mansion. She must have been pulling your leg.”
I thought about it. Did she actually ever say she didn’t know who owned it? I couldn’t remember, I just remember that she said she wanted to buy it but it wasn’t for sale. I Think her words were, “not for sale at any price.”
“Maybe she was pulling my leg or perhaps I just misheard her. I guess it doesn’t matter. So, Sean brought all the stuff? The diaries, the witness statements, the letters, everything?”
He sat down at his desk and laughed. “What, do you think, that he’d take some souvenirs?”
I laughed too. “No, no. I’m sorry, I know that sounded silly. I didn’t mean to accuse him of anything. Anyway, here is something else I’d like you to see.”
I handed him a folder with some papers. Luckily the pages didn’t get too wet on the walk over.
“That looks modern to me.”
“Yeah, I wrote this up last night and this morning. It’s my interpretation of what happened in the carriage house and ballroom.”
Mike took the pages from me and started to scan through them. As he was reading, I picked up some of the original documents, but my mind wasn’t really on reading them.
After a couple of minutes, Mike asked, “You didn’t see Martha’s or Margret’s diaries, did you? Didn’t read through the letters?”
“No. I mean, I glanced at them really quick to see what they were, but that’s about it. Why?”
He shook his head. “It is just amazing to how close you came to what they said. I mean, you used your own words, and modern interpretation’s and everything, but if Sean didn’t tell me that he saw you discover them with his own eyes, I would think you read everything and paraphrased it.”
“You didn’t have time to read everything, did you?”
“I’m a speed reader, which is great for going through the Martha Goode Collection. But you’re right, I mostly skimmed, reading important parts. With your notes, it was mostly skimming, but I could still pick out most of the story. Very intriguing. But if you got this part of the story, why was there a problem with the twins? And there are other mysteries. I’m assuming he killed Alexander earlier in the evening just because he had the opportunity, instead of doing it when he killed the rest. Hmm. Anyway, any ideas?”
“Not really. I might think about it and if I do come up with anything, I’ll let you know.”
“Thanks. And actually, a huge thank you for finding all of this. We now have proof for a lot that was conjecture. A missing part of the story has now been filled in.”
“You’re welcome. Hey, have you heard anything about the bodies under the carriage house?”
“Not much. Someone from the University is coming up later today. I’ll join them. There’s going to be a large party of us and it will be very well documented. But from the photos I’ve seen, it is an amazing find. Again, icing on the cake in the case against Thomas.”
We chatted for a few minutes, but that was really all I had. I wanted to give him my version of the story. And truthfully, I didn’t trust Sean 100%, particularly after he made the comment that it was his family that had skeletons in the closet. I wasn’t sure. But with all that Mike said and all that I saw leafing through them, he was good to his word and brought them all over.
Just after I left the library, it started to rain harder. I had my head down against the weather, when I heard my name.
“I need to talk to you.” It was Izle. “There’s something wrong. Very wrong. I thought it would be over, but there are dark clouds over town. And not the rain clouds. And Galvin. I haven’t talked to him face to face in months. Something is wrong there. And there’s more. We have to talk.”
I felt cold and wet to the bone as I listened to her. I didn’t know what to say.
A car pulled up. It was Sean.
“Hey Gill. You are soaked. Want a ride home?”
“Sure.” I walked to the passenger side.
“But Gill, this is life and death,” Izle said.
“I will talk to you tomorrow. Or how about Monday right after I get home from work? I always take a walk. You’ve seen me. How about then?”
“I don’t like this. I don’t trust delay. I don’t trust coincidence. But if you insist….”
“I do. See you then.”
I got in the car.
“I guess I saved you,” Sean said.
“Yeah. Izle isn’t too bad, but her timing is awful.”
Sean laughed. “Well, if you want to talk to her, I guess better you than me. Anyway, I just wanted to thank you one more time about all you found today. It’s just remarkable.”
‘No problem. It’s good to help.”
“I’ll admit a lot of it is very uncomfortable for me and my family, but I’m a firm believer that the truth must be known.”
“Oh, thinking of that, what did Barbara say?”
“She wasn’t too happy. She will most likely spend all evening at the historic society on Tuesday. I pity poor Mike. He doesn’t really like her much and the feeling is mutual.”
“Is he somehow related too?”
“Yes, he’s a second cousin. Not close, but he does love the family history. Anyway, this is your house, isn’t it?”
“Yes. Thanks for the ride and for rescuing me from Izle.”
“No problem. Thanks for everything. And the next time I’m in the neighborhood, would you mind if I dropped by?”
“No, not at all.”
“Thanks. See you later.”