Tainted Victory – Chapter 10, Part 3 (Page-a-Day)

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Evelyn was the first to turn her head to Hugh. Claudia, and Goblet soon followed suit. There was a beat while the cool storm air floated into the room. Hugh returned their look and straightened himself up the best he could. “What?” he asked.

“Why did you let him walk away?” Evelyn asked. “He is incredibly suspicious!”

“I agree,” Hugh said. He turned his gaze back to the ground.

“I assume you saw the bow string marks on his fingers, and how he tried to cover them up by constantly making his hands into fists. On top of that is the fact that he just walked out. Only someone who was sure there was no threat would do that!”

“I agree with you,” Hugh repeated. 

“I didn’t see any of that,” Goblet said. He continued to pet Hounder’s head and rub his nose. “Did you, buddy?”

“That’s a dog, Goblet,” Claudia said.

“I’m aware it is a dog, but dogs are smart animals.”

Evelyn snapped her fingers at the two. “If anyone is dancing around their emotions it is the two of you.” She wagged her finger at both of them before landing it on Claudia. “Also, none of that is pertinent to what is going on now.” She looked back to Hugh. “If you agree then why did you let him leave?”

“Simple,” Hugh said. He rested his hands on his hips and looked at the trio. “First, if he is in the room with us then we cannot talk about the case against him without him getting wind of it, being defensive, or trying to assault us. None of which what we want. Second, being suspicious does not mean he did it. He could have done it, but until we get solid proof it is just a feeling. We need something that ties him to killing both Raisor and Siguard. Third, I know what the thing I felt we were missing was, and I found it.”

“Well what is it?” Claudia asked. “Do not leave us here sitting in our jimmies.”

Hugh began to form a question, but pushed it out of his mind and walked over to the window. A gust of cold wind whipped him across the face. He shook his head and looked down over the sill and down the side of the wall. His eyes grew big. He saw what he was looking for. There was a shattered glass along the grass and mud below. In the grass and mud sat a dark green cloak. He smiled. He pulled back and saw a small scrap of the same forest green material around the glass of the sill. He picked it up. It was rough and damp. He held it up like the trophy it was. “If the killer wore a cloak in here. It does two things…”

“Hide his identity, but gives him more he has to consider when making an exit,” Evelyn said, cutting him off.

“Yes. So, Claudia mentioning he wore a cloak to us gave me the thing I was missing.”

“That does not answer the question about the arrow and circle and magic circle I found,” Evelyn said. 

“That can be figured out in time,” Hugh said. “The most pertinent question is what are we going to do about Colt and the army outside?”

“They are still the biggest threats,” Goblet said. 

“If we deal with Colt, maybe he was also the spy for them and we’ll exchange him for our passage out of here,” Claudia said.

“I doubt that will work. They seemed dead set on getting this.” Evelyn pointed to the glimmering egg in front of them.

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