Chapter Three: The Coburn Mystery, Original Draft (1988)

It was Andy Stirling who discovered the alleged murder weapon: a heavy wooden club, two feet long and three inches wide.

The club lay in open view on the floor in the space between Sarah and Wally’s bedrooms. Joe Quilla recognized the club at once–he said it was part of a load of firewood that he had carried into the house the day before.

As Andy picked up the club, felt its weight and handed it over to Dr. Thompson, he argued that Wally should be kept at Joe Quilla’s home until Sheriff Michael Sheehan arrived–but the ranchhand’s wife was frightened and refused to take responsibility for Wally’s safety. Not under her roof, she said.


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