Cemetery Silk

Cemetery Silk by E. Joan Sims Read Free Book Online

Book: Cemetery Silk by E. Joan Sims Read Free Book Online
Authors: E. Joan Sims
Tags: detective, Mystery, cozy, Murder, sleuth
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    The room was warm and cozy, the low flames of the gas logs the only source of light, giving the room a soft rosy glow. I pulled a pillow off the bed and Cassie lay her head down on it in my lap. I stroked her dark hair gently back from her pale forehead and let my mind wander.
    â€œYou don’t think Gran really believes William was murdered, do you?” she asked echoing my thoughts as she often did. “I mean, I hate that creep Dibber, but that would be just too awful.”
    I thought for a moment of what I could say to put her mind at rest. It was instinct, a mother’s desire to make the nightmares go away. The truth was I could not believe it myself. I knew Mother didn’t really believe it either, or she would insist that we go to the police.
    â€œOf course not, sweetie. Nobody has killed anybody. It’s just too bad that we didn’t realize what was happening to William. He seemed normal over the phone, but he must have been going downhill really fast. His so-called ‘dear friend and neighbor’ just took advantage of a sick old man whose family was too busy to visit him often enough. We have some blame in this, too, you know.”
    She sighed, “I know. I could have written more often. And I only called him once last semester. He seemed so grateful. Poor old thing, he must have been so lonely after Abigail’s death.”
    She sniffed and wiped her nose on her pajama sleeve. I kept my mouth shut, unlike my mother. Besides, that is what washing machines were for.
    â€œDo you think he knew how much we loved him? He didn’t mention us in the will at all. Don’t you think that was odd? I mean you and Auntie Vel were like their own children to them, at least I always thought so.”
    â€œI thought so too, Munchkin.”
    It was now time for my waterworks to begin. Oh what the hell, what was good for her nose was good for mine, too. I wiped.
    There were just too many sad imponderables about this whole situation. I held her for a long moment and vowed not to ever again leave love undeclared. Might as well start now.
    â€œI love you, Cass. You are the most wonderful daughter in the world.”
    She laughed softly in my hair.
    â€œI love you, too, Mommy.”
    It had been a long time since I had heard that. I went to bed happy that night in spite of everything. Ain’t love grand?
    The next morning I was up at six o’clock and raring to go despite the fact that I had gotten up twice during the night to check on Mother. This farm life was agreeing with me. I had twice the energy and stamina I had a month ago, and I had actually lost seven pounds! I could stand a few more months of this life. Too bad I had to return to New York so soon.
    I vowed to make the most of the next two days. I would see that the house was in good shape, and try to help Mother line up someone to help outside until Billy was back on his feet. More importantly, I would make Mother divulge her financial situation to me and arrange to help her.
    Cassie was still asleep when I tapped on her door, but she mumbled in agreement when I whispered that breakfast would be ready in fifteen minutes.
    Mother was still not stirring so I let her sleep on while I put the kettle on for tea. I searched the pantry for something yummy and easy to prepare. I finally decided that pancakes would be perfect, and blueberry pancakes would be even better. I blessed those wonderful little people who create mixes. In ten minutes the pancakes were coming off the griddle, and the tea was brewing in Mother’s squat and ugly little Brown Betty. Mother always says it’s the only teapot one can truly count on.
    I arranged a cup of hot tea and a plate of pancakes with just a tad of syrup on a breakfast tray. I had the Wedgwood china, a linen napkin, and a sterling silver spoon. There was also a slice of lemon and a small bowl of raw sugar crystals. What could be missing, I thought as I placed

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