Mrs. Little was in a sour mood.
“I’m sorry about that. He’s been under a lot of pressure lately.”
I put on my “friendly” hat.
“That’s ok, Mrs. Little. Things are tough at the church?”
“So many parishioners are old and infirmed. He spends a lot of time ministering to shut ins. It leaves him very little time for organizing Church services.”
“Or time for family I imagine.”
Yes, I was fishing.
She just sighed and exasperated sigh.
I tried again.
“I’m sure William misses his father.”
“Billy? Oh, I don’t know. It’s hard to tell with him.”
The Detective cast a line.
“Where does Billy go? Does he have any friends?”
She seemed a little embarrassed by that.
“You must think I’m a terrible mother. I really don’t know if he has any friends. Things are so busy, he doesn’t talk, we just let him do whatever he does. He really doesn’t cause any trouble.”
She was wringing her hands. The detective noticed as well.
“Oh, I’m sure you are doing your best, Mrs. Little.”
Then she decided to turn on the waterworks.
“It’s just so hard. . .. he never talks. . .and his father is never home. . .I…”
“He must have some acquaintances or even a daily routine?”
She brightened a little.
“He likes to walk into town and visit the shops. Especially the bakery. I think he sweeps their floor and gets a treat.”
Well, jeez. She couldn’t have opened with that?
The Detective got up to leave.
“It’s a start. Thank you, Greta.”
. . . . . . .
We headed for the car.
“I’m going to drop you off at the hatchery. I’m sure that Sherriff Johns is not happy with you right now.”
“Yeahbut. . .”
“Then I will check out the Bakery. Cheryl is a nice woman. I’m sure she knows something.”
“Ok, let me know what you find out.”
Next – An Impatient Sheriff.