Chapter 7

The Hangman’s Daughter- Chapter 7

CHAPTER 7: Cain the Farmer

“Bernadette, can I tell you a secret?”

“A good secret?”

“No.”

The two were sitting alone on the wall where the thief had passed by four years ago on his way to his appointment with Marie’s father.

They were sitting shoulder to shoulder, Marie’s red hair mingling with Bernadette’s blonde, something now possible since Bernadette and her odour had parted company some years back.

“So what’s the secret?” said Bernadette.

“I think I’m evil.” said Marie quietly.

“Really.” said Bernadette “What’d you do?”

“Do you remember when they told us that Monsieur Nogaret was dead?”

“Yes.”

“When I found out, I was glad. I was happy he was dead.”

“Were you happy he was stabbed?”

“What?” said Marie, surprised by the question.

“Well, I just want to know how bad it was. I mean, being happy someone is dead is one thing. Being happy that someone broke into their house and cut them up and turned all the walls red and made it so they still haven’t cleaned it up and it’s probably going to be haunted forever

“That’s what happened?”

“You didn’t know?”

“No, I just heard he died!”

“So, how do you feel now that you know how he died?”

“I dunno. Kind of bad, I suppose.”

“Well, there you go. Not so evil.”

There was a brief pause. Bernadette kicked air.

“So why were you happy when you heard?”

“I hated him.”

“Why?”

Marie kicked herself mentally and realised that she had talked herself into a corner. To tell Bernadette about her encounter with Nogaret all those years ago she would have to explain why Nogaret had visited her father’s house. Then she would have to explain why her father was in Nogaret’s employment and not only would her father’s identity be exposed and his life at risk, but she would be exhausted from more explaining than any human being should have to endure. This would take some brilliant excuse, something to completely throw Bernadette off the scent.

“Just did.”

“Okay.”

Disaster narrowly averted.

(more…)