A Slaying in Savannah

A Slaying in Savannah by Jessica Fletcher Read Free Book Online

Book: A Slaying in Savannah by Jessica Fletcher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica Fletcher
confirmation. “Miss Tillie had told us we could stay as long as we needed to conduct our research. We’ve been making great progress, but her untimely demise has put us all in jeopardy.”
    “That’s right,” Samantha added. “Now that the poor soul is no longer here to defend us, her lawyer wants to kick us out.” She sighed and slowly shook her head. “And after all we’ve done for Miss Tillie. It’s so unfair. She would be so upset. I’m sure she’s rolling in her grave this very minute.”
    The image that came to mind was disconcerting.
    “I don’t mean to sound rude,” I said, “but what exactly have you been doing for Tillie?”
    “We’re cataloging her spirit complement,” Artie said.
    “Researching the paranormal phenomena in Mortelaine House,” Samantha clarified.
    “Houses of this generation often show evidence of supernatural presence,” Artie continued. “It’s important to know who you’re dealing with and why they haven’t passed into the next world. We research their history, communicate with them, and discover the reasons why their spirits are so unsettled. It’s essential to know why they’re still here in order to help them gain their heavenly reward and rest in peace. Right now, the spectral beings in Mortelaine House are not resting.”
    “Nor are they at peace,” his wife added.
    “How many beings are we talking about?” I asked.
    “At least two,” Artie said.
    “Maybe more,” Samantha put in.
    “We believe—and Miss Tillie agreed, I might add—that her great-great-grandfather is still here in the house that his son built. Miss Tillie thinks—or rather thought , I suppose is more appropriate at this juncture—that the renovations made to the building when the plumbing was brought indoors may have disturbed his spirit. Our equipment has registered quite a number of psychic manifestations around the bathrooms.”
    “I see,” I said. I did not see at all, and wanted to know more. “What would these manifestations consist of?” I asked.
    “Cold spots, orbs of light, disturbances of the physical plane, things of that sort.”
    “I have felt a hand on my cheek,” Samantha said, smiling at the memory. “Great-great-grandfather Mortelaine was apparently quite the ladies’ man.”
    “And the others?” I asked.
    “One would be Mr. Wanamaker Jones, who was killed in the hall above this very room,” Artie said, lowering his voice. He looked around as if to see where Jones was. “His killer has never been caught. The police never even found the murder weapon. Miss Tillie thinks that’s why he’s still here. His spirit is very disruptive.”
    “In what way?”
    “Oh, the usual, locking and unlocking doors, stomping in the halls, banging on the pipes, flinging the occasional item across the room. Miss Tillie wanted us to help the soul of Mr. Jones attain his rightful heavenly rest.”
    “I can see why,” I said.
    “We heard that you’re being brought in to do the same thing,” Samantha said, “although I don’t see how you can be successful with no prior experience with the spirit world.”
    “Nor do I,” I said, “although that wasn’t exactly my understanding of why I was asked to come.” I turned to the man Samantha had called “the general.” “And you, General Pettigrew, are you part of this research as well?”
    “Oh no, no, no. I leave that to my esteemed colleagues over there. No, I have no talent in ferreting out leftover souls who haven’t figured out how to make it into heaven. While I’m a firm believer that the present is informed by the past, if you will, Miss Tillie and I had a different relationship.”
    “And what relationship was that?” I nodded at Pettigrew, encouraging him to continue, and took a sip of the drink I’d been holding all this time.
    “I believe we were fulfilling our destiny. I had asked Miss Tillie to be my wife and she had consented.”
    That took me by surprise. Plus, the drink was very strong. I

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