Chief Wells had a surprise visitor this morning. The Smith’s youngest boy, the kid everybody calls Gabi, was on her front porch with an invitation from The Jackdaw. Something important she needed to see. Gabi lead Wells out into the woods where The Jackdaw lead her to a body he had found. The victim’s head had been crushed by a fallen limb. This in itself might be a tragic accident, were it not for the details the Jackdaw revealed.
-Under the crushed body was a partially eaten jar of peanut butter.
-The body was crushed between the log and the rather strategically positioned large rock.
-Both ends of the log had vines tied to it.
Not only was this a deliberate deadfall trap, but there was no trigger, which meant that someone was waiting patiently for their specific prey to show up before they tripped the trap manually.
From the manner of dress, the victim looked to be one of the Mushroom Poachers that escaped last week. The Jackdaw wanted to be very clear that none of the off-grid families did this. Wells told him she believed him, mostly because if they had, no one would ever find the body. No body to be found. The Jackdaw nodded to her. As she put it “I was kinda honored. We seem to have an understanding. Not friends, not a simpatico, but, you know, a mutual professional respect now.”
Wells went through the victim’s pockets and she found that his ID and keys had been taken. She also found muddy barefoot human prints leading to the body, and then away at a bounding pace. She called it in, opened a homicide investigation, took photos and fingerprints and all the usual police business. She then went back to her office, and with a heavy and conflicted heart, called her sister. She has asked that the Sheriff’s office be on the alert for The Scoutmaster. He is officially wanted for questioning in conjunction with the John Doe found murdered in the woods beyond the North Ridge.
I think we are all a little surprised. I mean, The Scoutmaster is an unhinged wildman loosed from suburbia, running around the woods like a maniac, but in a lovable and endearing sort of way. Nobody want’s to believe that he would be a murderer. At the same time, if this is one of the miserable so-and-soes that attacked the Joneses, well… can you blame him?
Chief Wells reminds us that The Scoutmaster is only wanted for questioning, that this doesn’t match his M.O., that everybody is innocent until proven guilty, and the the fingerprints just came back from the FBI and the victim, Walter “Stormwrecker” Leibowitz, was “a certifiable [redacted] [redacted] [redacted].”
So, if you encounter The Scoutmaster, feel free to thank him, but be sure to alert the authorities.
When Buster was asked how this impacted the betting pool, he frowned. “No way, that’s, that’s just not cool right now. Let it go, and let’s just wait and see what happens. I’m sure this is just a misunderstanding.”