The police never do anything like they do on television. At least not with average citizens in small towns. Sure, murders do not happen here every day. They
special attention. Please pardon the pun. The police did when they came to serve the library one today.
All in all, Parker was down right nice about it. He was smug and all, but that’s just his way. Maybe it was the overkill that was making him giddy. I mean, you don’t need a search warrant to look in a public building that was also a crime scene, but they went ahead and got one with all the i’s and t’s and all that. Kinda wish I had been there to see Judge Oldman look over those bifocals at them and raise one fuzzy eyebrow.
So they came in at noon, just as everyone but Mom and I had gone to lunch.
“If you have any questions, I’m sure you have a book or something in here to look up the answer,” Parker said.
I handed the warrant to Mom. She walked away to phone the library’s and my family’s lawyer, Trent Darby. I turned back to Parker.
“So why now?” I asked.
“Seemed like a good day. Rain and all,” he said, “Sets the mood.”
“No, I mean why not two weeks ago when all this was fresh? What are you looking for, Parker?”
Parker snorted and scratched his nose. He gestured to two other officers. The three of them split; one went to the circulation desk, one went into the circulation workroom, and Parker went into the director’s office. Mom was on the phone and I saw her wave him off. He scowled and walked back out to me.
“Really, what are you looking for?” I asked.
Parker said, “Well, no reason to hide it. Your lawyer’s probably telling your ma about it right now. We’re looking for a murder weapon.”
I have to admit I was a little taken back by that.
“I thought she was stabbed,” I said.
“Well, that’s the thing. She was. But not by that knife we found in her,” Parker said, “They did an autopsy by request of the family. The captain okay’d it. Report was released last night. Seems she was carved up with some weird symbols in a circle on her chest. Then somebody planted a dart in that bullseye right in her heart.”
He shrugged, “Something like it. Sharp and smooth puncture. Squick.”
“That’s professional,” I said, “What were the symbols?”
“Doc said he didn’t know.”
“Maybe we have a book that can help you out.”
Parker smiled, “That’s the second thing we’re looking for. And records of anyone who checked it out.”
I nodded, “Anything we can do to help.”
“Not you. You’re still a suspect. Unless you can give a witness as to where you were that night?”
I pulled out a chair and sat down at one of the reading tables. Mom came out and Parker went through it all with her again. She nodded, confirmed that Darby had also let her know. Then she lead Parker to where we keep the books on symbols.
I sat back and watched the officers go over every inch of the circulation area, then move out into other parts of the library. As I watched, they bagged and tagged Betty's knitting needles, an arrow from a display of artifacts, a sign for a past mayoral election and several dowels from the children's department used in crafts. They even cut off the end of the broken sprinkler head outside that was never fixed.
I helped out several people while I waited. When they were done, Mom gave me a hug. Then she gave me a cart of books to shelve. Every family has their ways of dealing.
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