Laurie woke up at the evening chorus and checked her phone immediately, but Wellsford hadn’t called her back. She wondered if she had set too hard a task for him; Wellsford wasn’t a remarkably good agent at the best of times and he must have been sleeping off the effects of his away mission with Tony when she had called him.
Laurie wondered if she should call Tony and ask him to help as well, but she decided against it; it had only been a few hours and Wellsford should really be given a chance.
She took a look around her. Derek was asleep in the bed next to her; he looked like he had just fallen on his bed and passed out, even his boots were still on. Laurie decided to leave him for a little longer, she would let him get a few hours sleep and then she would ask him about what the police had said.
Derek had passed out with his head facing the wall, so Laurie pulled herself out of bed and started to dress herself. I think I’ll have a look around the town, she decided; she wasn’t really expecting to find anything, but it would be good to have a look anyway.
She opened the door quietly and snuck out of the room, and then down the hallway and outside.
The sun had sunk below the horizon and the colour was leaching out of the sky. Laurie breathed in the first wash of the night’s cold air and smiled. The evening chorus was dying down and there wasn’t much sound apart from the chirp of insects.
The effect was all very peaceful and pleasant to listen to.
Then the church bell started tolling.
In the fading light the one surviving church bell was being enthusiastically rung by Reverend Sammy, and the people of the village were making their solemn way across the fields.
Laurie had excellent night vision and in the gloom of night she could make out the shape of three dozen coffins arranged on the grass. The people were all lining up in front of them and sitting on whatever they had managed to bring together.
Laurie could feel the air of sadness and loss, and felt like she was intruding on something important, particularly because she suspected that she might be a cause of it, she was glad when her cell phone buzzed and gave her an excuse to duck back inside the house.
When she read the message she was glad; Wellsford had come through after all. She walked back to the bed room; not bothering to keep quiet this time; this was too important to waste.
It was time to blow the case wide open