Deanna froze as she thought over the facts. Harriet had grieved, right?
She thought back to the moment when she first met her, and how she'd had tears in her eyes, and how she was trying to be brave. Was she really? Or was it a front?
What could she have to gain from killing her own father? It made no sense, but Harriet had to be questioned. There was no going around it.
Deanna dreaded that simply because of how she acted when Deanna suspected that her mother's knife was the murder weapon.
She walked into the kitchen, throwing a glance out the window at the starless night. This was not going to be fun.
* * *
Herndon was sitting at one of the tables, playing with the glass in his hand, lost in thought, when the man found him. He was out of breath, and waited until he was acknowledged before sitting down.
"They bought it." He said, still trying to regain his breath.
Herndon smiled. "Good." Was his only response.
* * *
Deanna sat at a table, discreetly watching Harriet for any sign of regret or remorse, but she was quite the actress.
She watched her wherever she went, carefully examining her features and her posture for some sign of guilt, but she was looking in vain.
Eventually, she cornered Harriet in the kitchen when she went to fix a meal for her mother.
"Why did you kill him?" She asked bluntly. Harriet stared at her in shock for a moment, before recovering and anger quickly took over her shock.
"Excuse me?! I know you did not just accuse me of murdering my own father." She said, her voice like ice.
"You heard me." Deanna said. "Now drop this charade, it's just you and me in here; now tell me why you did it."
"Listen here you interloping, nosy, little wench," Harriet said, every word dripping with venom. "For the last time, I did not kill my father."
She barged past her and back into the dining room.
With the contempt that Harriet had delivered that final statement, Deanna admitted to herself that Harriet wasn't the killer. She may not have been crying like her mother, but she was still grieving.
"Well damn, so much for that lead." She muttered before walking back out into the dining room.
* * *
"She's going to have moved on by the time we get these two so-called 'wagons' over to the town." Cadman complained for the third time in the last ten minutes.
"If you've got any other ideas, I'm all ears." Cayle told him from where he sat in the back of the wagon they shared going over maps of the area.
The other wagon pulled up along side and Alroy jumped down and moved to the back of it.
"What's wrong? Why have you stopped?" Cadman said, his tone suggesting that he was horrified at the thought of stopping, now that they were so close to their goal.
"We've got a loose wheel." Alroy told him from where he was examining it.
"What?!" Cadman practically screamed.
"You heard me." Alroy said. Cadman started cursing, his words getting more and more creative as he went.
"I didn't know that a porcupine's home could be described like that." Finn commented from where he sat on the other wagon, watching Cadman curiously as he cursed.
"Finn, don't listen to him." Cayle said as he climbed out of the back. "Cadman, will you stop already, it's not that big of a deal, it's just a loose wheel, we can tighten it again and then be on our way, no need to get that, uh, creative."
Cadman threw out a few more colorful phrases then fell silent.
"Thank you," Cayle said.
Alroy walked up from checking the wheel, and glanced at Cadman. "I see you finally shut up."
Cadman glared at him but said nothing.
"It's about time too, we do have an impressionable youth with us, and best not to taint him too much." He said it with a smile to try and take any sting out of his words, though his attempt fell upon deaf ears. Cadman glared at him before climbing into the back of the wagon.
"Was it something I said?" Alroy called after him.
Silence was his reply.
* * *
Deanna paced around the barn, her mind thinking quickly through the problem as she anxiously watched the sun rise. Every moment that passed brought her pursuers that much closer to her location.
Krennan snorted loudly, startling Deanna back to reality and away from her thoughts.
She smiled at him and handed him an apple from the bin; she patted his neck as he ate.
"What should I do?" She asked him. "I already messed up thinking that Harriet was the killer. Who else could stand to benefit from the Inn Keeper's de- Oh!" She said. "Of course!"
She kissed his forehead and ran into the Inn, forcing herself to walk before entering. It took all of her will-power to not smile in victory.
Harriet was sitting at the table with her mother, comforting her, when Deanna walked in.
"Now what do you want?" She demanded.
"I know who the killer is." Deanna answered watching them carefully for their reactions.
* * *
"Have you calmed down yet?" Cayle asked; he got a glare in response. "You know, you are taking this way too personal. He didn't mean anything by it, it was just banter; harmless banter."
"I don't like him." Cadman said.
"Just because he made a comment? Geez, aren't you touchy today." Cayle responded.
"No." Cadman said. "I don't like him, not because of what he said. And beside's it wasn't what he said, it was how he said it." The moment the words left his mouth he regretted them.
"Well, well." Cayle said, taking the opening. "Aren't you Mr. Sensitive; I'm sure back home you drive the ladies wild with your sensitivity. Do you cry too?"
"Shut up, Cayle." Was the response, and then, after a moment. "You couldn't have let just one slip by?"
"Would you have let that one slip by had it been me?" Cayle countered.
"No, probably not." Cadman said with a chuckle. "But really, I don't trust him."
"Now it's 'I don't trust him'? What happened to 'I don't like him'?"
"You know what I mean."
"Hey, are you two done yet?" Alroy called.
Cayle turned to talk to him, only to see the wagon carrying Alroy and Finn was stopped some feet behind his own.
"How did you get back there?" He asked.
"The wheel fell off." Finn said. "Some time ago, actually."
"But you two were too busy bantering to notice." Alroy said. "So do you think you could give us a hand?"
Cadman started clapping, getting a glare in return, while Cayle just started chuckling as he turned his own wagon around, heading back towards them.