by Hy Conrad
Harry emerged from his ancient VW Beetle. Amy joined him, walking up the single-lane driveway past a new Jeep then a silver S-Class Mercedes parked by the front door. “We need to get you a new car,” she chided.
John Keebler’s country getaway was as luxurious a log cabin as they’d ever seen. Not that it would be doing John Keebler much good anymore. He had made his own getaway a few hours earlier, driving his convertible off the edge of a scenic turnout about halfway down the secluded mountain road. A low-lying neighbor heard the crash and phoned in the accident. Harry had seen the Highway Patrol report, which made him just curious enough to call Amy and suggest a drive.
An attractive woman around Amy’s age answered the door. Harry showed his badge.
“I thought the police all left,” she sighed.
“We just need background information,” said Harry. “Where was your father going when he drove off from the house?”
“Not my father, my husband,” she said without embarrassment and invited them in. Christine Keebler was about the same age as John Keebler’s two sons, which helped explain the rancorous little party that had taken place that afternoon.
“I had planned a dinner for John’s sons. John and I were in the bedroom when his son Nathan let himself into the house. That instantly got things off to a bad start. We heard Saul drive up a few minutes later. Both boys were out for blood, telling him the most disgusting lies about me.”
“The truth,” said Saul Keebler who proceeded to introduce himself and his brother entering the hall behind him. The Keebler sons seemed eager to talk.
“Our dad wasn’t the first older husband Christine had.”
“John knew all about my previous marriage.”
“But not about the one before that,” Nathan sneered. “Both in their 60s and both dead. All three dead.”
“Please!” Christine rolled her eyes. “John did get a little upset. But it was nothing we couldn’t work out. John said he wanted to be alone. He went out to the garage behind the house to tinker on his cars. I was in the kitchen when I heard him drive off.”
“Has anyone left the house since you were notified?”
Saul shook his head. “We’ve just been sitting here in shock–ever since the Highway Patrol left. Do we need to go identify the body?”
“Not until our people are through. We have to be careful not to contaminate the scene.”
“Contaminate the scene?” Christine seemed familiar with the phrase. “It can’t be homicide. John drove off alone.”
Harry shrugged. “Let’s all drive down to the spot where the car went over. About three miles down the road?”
“Fine,” Nathan said, reaching into his pocket for his keys. “We can all fit in my Jeep.”