It was growing dark outside. The howling wind blew through the trees, scattering leaves everywhere. A dull light flickered from inside the Hubbard House.
In the living room, Charles continued packing up his belongings. It took him the entire day just to wrap all of Clara’s breakables. As he crinkled up the left over newspapers he thought he heard the front door close. He brushed it off and continued packing. But the noises kept coming. Suddenly he heard the faint sound of shoes scraping across the wooden floors in the foyer. He set down the newspapers and went to investigate the mysterious noises.
Charles poked his head out of the doorway. “Hello, is someone there?” His voice echoed through the empty hall. No reply. He stepped out into the hallway cautiously. “Who’s there?” Charles said with his voice raised. Once again there was no answer. He sighed out of frustration. “Forget it! There’s no one there.” Without bothering to look behind him, Charles backed into the parlor. He quickly turned around. Charles came face to face with his prowler. His heart jumped out of his chest until he recognized the face of his visitor. “Connie, what are you doing sneaking up on me like that!” Charles shouted.
“And why are you so jumpy? You knew I was coming.” Connie replied. “It’s this town. I can’t wait to get out of it.” Charles muttered. “Charlie, do you really think leaving town is a good idea? I think you should reconsider your plans.”
“Why? Everyone knows it was an accident?”
“I’m not so sure about that anymore.”
“You’ve been speaking to Emeline and Iris haven’t you?” Charles speculated. “No, but it does have something to do with them. I believe they have hired a private detective from Westerbury. I’m not sure why, but I think it has to do with your wife’s death.”
“So that’s why they’ve been sneaking around my house.” Connie was bewildered. “I’m not following.”
“Before they found Clara in the thicket I came home from brunch to find Emeline standing in my living room. It wasn’t until I went upstairs to check on Clara that I found Iris sneaking out of the front yard. She was upstairs snooping through my wife’s things.” Charles shouted. “It’s funny you should say that. Clara’s autopsy showed that she died last Saturday. I find it hard to believe that she was alive that Sunday.” Charles was then struck silent. He began pacing the floor. “I can see this is very hard for you.” Connie sympathized. “You don’t understand. I haven’t exactly been honest with you, Connie. Clara was dead already when the girls came into my house. The truth is when those two boys found Clara that had been the first time in some days that I saw her.” Charles paused. “The night she died I came home and discovered this extravagant vase sitting on the table. I knew someone had been there before I came home. Someone with great sums of money only could have given it to her. That’s when I confronted her. My suspicions got the best of me and I accused of her of having an affair.” Charles explained.
“Then what happened?” Connie asked with wide eyes. “She stormed out of here, and I never saw her again.” Charles replied nearly breaking down. “I’m sorry, I had no idea.” Connie apologized. “So, you understand I had to lie. My pride was on the line. I couldn’t have those two telling everyone of my broken marriage. The only thing I could think of doing was to say that Clara was ill. I’m sorry you had to hear the truth.”
“Like I said I am sorry.”
“That isn’t all. There is another reason why I invited you here.”
“What are you saying, Charlie?”
“I think my wife was murdered, Connie.” Fear set in Charles’ voice as he conveyed his suspicions to the stoutly Constable. “Can you prove this?” Connie asked. “Yes, because I have the murder weapon.”