The moment George started speaking, Evelyn regretted having insisted on knowing the truth about her parents and her birth. And like a witness watching things unfold right before his eyes, George narrated the story of how a little girl named Evelyn came to be.
* * *
It was a Friday afternoon. The dark grey clouds looming in the skies above were as daunting in their appearance as they were in their promise of new life to be borne from their pouring wonders.
Still with a long distance to cover before reaching home, sixteen year old Beatrice quickened her pace and silently chastised herself for dodging prep, again just so she could hang out with the cute boy that was visiting the family at the main house at home.
“Now am going to be soaking wet by the time I get home and that’s just not so cool!” She complained and quickly graduated her fast walking pace to a jog. She had not even gone far when the heavens cried and quenched the dry thirsty earth with enough pause to give every living thing pause for a moment before running for cover.
For Beatrice, there was nowhere close by to hide apart from the houses on either side of the long dusty road. She stopped for a few seconds to wipe her face with and cover her head with her school bag, to hell with the books inside. No way she was going to let her mother subject her hair to that hot and cruel iron comb again.
She had just resumed running when she heard a car drive up from behind and hoot. She moved to the side, thinking that the driver was urging her away from the centre of the road where she had been but to her surprise, the car stopped right in front of her and she saw the passenger door open.
She recognized the red land Cruiser. It was the only one of that kind in that neighbourhood and it belonged to Mr Chileshe the landlord from the main house. Beatrice ran and got into the vehicle.
“Dear Lord you are soaking wet!” The kind looking thirty year old man said as he reached out to the back of her seat to grab his Jacket hanging there. It was then that he noticed that a third of her very light skinned thighs were screaming at him from where she was seated. He quickly threw the jacket at her and asked her to cover herself up.
“Thank you so much Mr Chileshe,” she said, clearly oblivious to her state of almost-nakedness because she used the jacket to cover her upper body instead.
Mr Chileshe nervously cleared his throat and quickly focused his attention on the road ahead as he drove at a snail’s pace with his hazards turned on. “You should wear your seat belt,” he said without looking at her.
She did as instructed; a smile playing on her face as she tightly hugged herself into the jacket, embracing the warm heat from the car’s AC which he turned on just before she had entered the vehicle.
“Do you think Danny is home this time?” Beatrice asked.
“Danny?” Mr Chileshe asked. “Oh, you mean Daniel my wife’s cousin?”
“Yes, that one,” she said.
“I am not sure. He’s nineteen years old and a student…I don’t suppose he would be at home at this hour unless he is a very good boy…which I doubt. Why do you ask?” No sooner had he finished the question than the answer occurred to him. “Oooh,” he said, looking at the visibly smitten Beatrice. “You have a little crush on him?”
“A little!?” Beatrice exclaimed. “I think I am in-love with him!”
“You are only what, fifteen years old? What do you know about love young one?” Herbert Chileshe asked.
“I am sixteen years old and I will be graduating high school in a couple of years so I am old enough. I have had plenty boyfriends before so I have experience. Arrh…please don’t tell my mother any of this stuff I just said. She will kill me!”
Mr Chileshe laughed. “I think your mother already knows what a naughty child you are. I heard her complain about something you did to my wife the other day.”
“My mother likes to act holy. She thinks she is Mother Theresa. Anyway, do you think I have a chance with Danny?”
Mr Chileshe never dreamt he would be having a conversation like this one with anyone in reality. He had always wished for a sister but his parents could only give him boys for siblings. And when he thought he might get a daughter of his own, he was faced with a whole new challenge.
So this is how it feels like to have a little sister? Herbert thought.
Despite his pleasure at being treated like an older brother, Herbert Chileshe was not sure how to respond to the girl’s enthusiasm and willingness to pour her heart out to him. Being such an introvert, he found socialization more challenging than most things in life and thus he could only thank the stars for giving him such outspoken company. He didn’t need to say much to keep the conversation going with Beatrice. The teenager was a nonstop chatter box!
“I don’t know Danny very well,” Herbert told the girl. “For the five years Nora and I have been married, this is the first time he’s visited us. Our home is very close to his school so he will be spending his vacations with us.”
“I see,” Beatrice replied. “That means I get to see him often. Does he have a type?” She asked.
“Beatrice, Daniel is nineteen years old,” he reminded her. “There is a law somewhere that forbids him to have the kind of relationship you are imagining with him.”
“I don’t care,” Beatrice said nonchalantly. “I heard your wife comes from a very rich family. That means that Danny is rich too isn’t it?”
“I should think so,” he answered. “What has that got to do with anything?”
“I want to get married to a very rich man. I am tired of being labelled poor at church, at school and everywhere I go. My mother doesn’t seem to mind at all so she’s not making any effort to make our lives better. That means it’s up to me to do something if I want to get out of this hell hole.”
“Did you ever consider just working hard at school and then picking a career that would make you a lot of money?”
Beatrice laughed. “That takes a lot of work and a lot of time for me to see the fruits but, if I marry rich, it reduces the time by half.”
“Do all sixteen year olds talk as much as you do?” Herbert wondered out loud.
“You are just too much of a quite man Mr Chileshe that’s why you think I talk too much. No wonder your mother in-law disrespects you every time she visits.”
Herbert didn’t know how to respond to her sudden revelation. He had no idea that his private business was a matter of public concern.
“You don’t need to feel embarrassed,” Beatrice assured him. “I am always on your side. Rick folks are just like that, always thinking they are better than everyone else. Just by looking at her daughter, I can tell that she is the one unable to give you a child. She looks like she had a wild life before you married her. She looks like the type that had multiple boyfriends wrapped around her well manicured rich girl fingers.”
“Beatrice, that’s my wife you are talking about,” Herbert said sternly. “I would appreciate it if you didn’t speak about her in such a manner.”
“Cool,” Beatrice said, completely unfazed by his sudden withdraw and seriousness. “I just don’t like that your mother-in-law is constantly disrespecting you like it’s your fault you guys can’t have a child. You are such a good hearted man. If not for you, my mother and I wouldn’t have a place to stay. And, I also just hate your wife. She is too arrogant. I am sorry….” She shrugged her shoulders.
“Thank you for saying that about me…but my wife isn’t a bad person. She was just raised differently than most people but she’s very kind. You guys started off on the wrong foot so…. As for my mother in-law, well, it’s always easier to put the blame on the other side of the family when such problems occur. You are too young to understand matters like this.”
“Most people tell me that I am too mature for my age,” she said. “We are almost home now.” She squinted her eyes trying to look past the heavy rains. “I think that’s your wife waiting by the gate under the umbrella. I know that dress very well.”
“She’s the one,” Herbert confirmed with a proud grin on his face which was quickly replaced by concern. “It’s too cold and wet out there. What the hell does she think she’s doing?”
“I guess she does love you after all,” Beatrice commented.
“What would make you think otherwise?” He sounded a little smug.
Beatrice simply shrugged her shoulders as Herbert turned to drive through the already opened gate. Nora ran towards the car and waited on him right outside his door, ready to cover him up with her umbrella the moment he stepped out.
Nora took her husband’s briefcase from him and just as she was give him a light hug, she saw the door open on the other side and out came Beatrice. Nora made a face at her husband who only shrugged his shoulders before planting a kiss on her cheek.
“Thank you for the ride Mr Chileshe!” Beatrice shouted before running off towards their two room apartment on the other side of the yard.
“What was she doing in your car?” Nora grilled her husband the moment they were inside the house.
“Ummm sweetheart, you don’t need to sound like that,” he said. “I found her getting soaked on her way here and I offered her a ride. Did you expect me to just drive past her when we were both coming to the same place?”
“I just don’t like that girl honey,” Nora whined. “Did you see the length of her skirt?”
Herbert blinked profusely, unable to answer her question and at the same time wondering if it was rhetoric.
“What sixteen year old girl wears a short skirt that only covers her neck while the rest of her body is left to fill in the blanks for all men’s imaginations out there. Just look at you Herb, you look so guilty already. I am sure you had an eyeful didn’t you? It must have been fun getting a front row seat to such a spectacle ah.”
“I don’t know what you expect me to say Nora,” he started walking towards their bedroom. Nora was right behind him. “I am very tired sweetie, can we not fight please.” He had stopped at the door of their bedroom and turned to face her. “If I cared about her state of dress do you even think that I would have so easily entered the yard with her in my car?”
“I guess you have a point,” Nora said, placing her hand on his chest. “However, this should be the last time I see you giving that girl a ride.”
“Yes, I hear you,” he said resignedly.
“Do you know that she was dating a married man and only left him after his wife came to publicly humiliate her here?”
Herbert sighed and turned to open the door. Nora followed him inside.
“I know, you mentioned that to me several times now and I have told you, several times too that I am not like that man.” Her husband said, throwing his jacket on the bed. “There is no need for you to act like this every time you see me talking to her. They are our tenants. We can’t just pass each other whenever we meet as if we are strangers.”
“There is a difference between exchanging pleasantries and stopping to chat.” Nora said. “For a man who doesn’t talk much, I have seen you chat with that girl’s mother longer than you do with other people.”
“She’s a widow, she reminds me of my mother a lot. You know very well how my mother raised us alone without the support of a man. Every time I see Ms Melody, I think about my late mother.”
“But that woman only has one child Herbert. She is nowhere close to being anything like your mother.”
“You wouldn’t understand,” he said. “It’s not like I expect you to.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Nora!” her mother called out for her. “Is that husband of yours back now? I thought I heard voices.”
“You should go,” Hebert started unbuttoning his shirt. “Your mother needs you.”
“I’m coming mama!” Nora made a face before turning to leave the room.
Herbert threw his head on the bed and sat down looking like a man that had just been heavily rained on.
The next morning during breakfast, Herbert took the opportunity to talk to Daniel about Beatrice, thinking that if his wife knew her interest in her cousin, perhaps she might stop worrying about his eyes wondering in the teenager’s direction.
“You mean that small girl from the quarter with the big boobs?” Daniel asked Herbert.
Hebert felt as if he had just been asked a trick question because his wife was looking at him sternly, religiously waiting to hear his response.
“I mean the school girl Daniel,” he deliberately avoided giving the obvious answer that would land him flat into a trap.
“Yes, she’s the one I’m talking about. Don’t tell me you’ve never noticed those huge things hanging from her chest? They are the first thing you see when she enters the room or comes out of that tiny house of theirs.” The nineteen year old was completely oblivious to the fact that he was putting his brother-in-law on the spot.
Herbert took the wise way out. “So I take it you like her?” It appeared that he had successfully dodged a trap from the looks on the faces of the two women in sight.
“Hell no!” Daniel said. “I like her boobs quite alright, but my dislike for jail is deeper than the desires of my loins.”
“Danny!” Nora threw her cousin a warning look.
“That’s very wise of you Danny,” Tina commended her nephew. “Some of these girls just exist to give poor unsuspecting men trouble.” She was looking accusingly at her son on-law. “That girl smells like trouble. I could tell the very first time I laid eyes on her so you better steer clear off her, you hear me?”
“Yes aunty,” Daniel said.
“Go for girls your age and the ones with the same background as you. You have seen for yourself the kind of problems your cousin is facing because she married beneath her.”
“Mother!” Nora snapped. “Please don’t talk about my husband like that, and he is sitting here right here with us.”
“I am just trying to educate your cousin here.” Her mother said unapologetically. “I am sure that Herbert understands exactly what I am trying to say, don’t you son in-law?”
“I should leave for work now,” Herbert stood up. “Thank you for breakfast honey. I will see you in the afternoon, mother,” he said to his mother in-law with a forced smile on his face. “Danny, let’s chat another time okay.”
“Fine bro, see you later.”
Herbert walked into the living room where his briefcase was lying on the table and he picked it up to go.
“Are you not even going to kiss me goodbye?” Nora had followed him into the room.
Herbert walked back to her and kissed her lightly on the cheek. “I’ll see you later.” He said and quickly turned to leave.
“Has he left?” Nora’s mother joined her in the living room, walking towards the window to look outside. He saw Herbert get into his car and drive out of the yard.
“You should really stop disrespecting my husband like that mother,” Nora cautioned her mother. She walked over to the display unit and turned on the tele.
Her mother left the window to sit down on the sofa. “I don’t like the looks of him. He looks dumb and I hate that for a man he is so easy to control. What sort of man is so spineless?”
“It’s not that he is spineless mother,” Nora joined her mother on the sofa. “He was just brought up differently from us. His mother taught him to be very respectful towards his mother in-law that’s why he never answers you back. He’s not like that with me you know. He’s always telling me off and doesn’t mince words when he’s upset.
“That’s the problem with quite people, when they finally speak, they explode. He really hates being disrespected and I think that if you keep pushing him like this, one day he might just punch you in the face, or worse.” And then she laughed at the image her imagination had conjured up, much to her mother’s chagrin.
“I dare him to try,” the woman said. “He’s only like that with you because you let him.”
“That’s how a wife ought to be. But of course you wouldn’t know. Growing up abroad must have really messed you up mother. Thank God I went through those lessons before I got married. That funny speaking lady saved my marriage.”
“Ooh I hate that woman so much. I only let her teach you because your grandfather threatened to cut me off from her will if I didn’t let you do it. But seriously, couldn’t you have picked a better man? Why did it have to this one of all people? There were so many men from good families seeking your hand in marriage but you just had to pick one who can’t even give you children.”
“Here we go again,” Nora complained. “My husband doesn’t have a problem having children mother. I have told you several times that we saw a specialist and she told us that we are both fine, it’s just time.”
“Tell that to his relatives, because I have seen them point fingers at you many times.”
“I don’t owe anyone an explanation mother. Let them talk if they want, as if that will make the problems in their own marriages go away. Herbert and I are happy. We will have children whenever God wants us to.”
“So what are you going to do about that girl eyeing our Danny?”
“There is no way in hell I am going to let her get anywhere close to him. I am going to put a stop to her infatuation the moment I see her outside loitering about like she always does.”
As expected, Nora caught Beatrice surveying the house when she went into the kitchen to give instructions to the maid about what to do with the new kitchenware she had bought the previous day.
“That girl, seriously?” She said as she looked out the window.
“You mean Mama Melody’s daughter madam?” her maid asked, also watching Nora through the window. “She is quite a character that one isn’t she?” The elderly woman remarked, laughing at the sight of Beatrice looking around the house with such thirst in her eyes, oblivious to the audience looking at her from inside.
“What is she searching for?” The maid asked.
“Just wash the dishes bamake Joe and stop looking for gossip.” Nora answered. “But if you must know, she seems to be interested in Danny but I am going to put a stop to this right away.”
When Nora opened the door, Beatrice almost jumped at her unexpected appearance. She had been looking forward to seeing someone else. Nora walked to where she was and joined her under the huge Mango tree that separated the two houses.
“What do you think you are doing there?” Nora asked her.
“I am just standing,” Beatrice answered smugly. “Is there a law against me standing here?”
“What?” Nora couldn’t believe the girl’s insolence. “What did you just say to me?”
“I thought rich people unwaxed their ears with expensive formulas, I guess that was only a rumour.” Beatrice snickered.
“You are a stubborn little thing aren’t you?” Nora retorted. “I knew there was a reason why I didn’t like you the first time I saw you.”
“I am only like this because you looked down on us when my mother begged you to let us live here. It’s not like you even need the little money that comes from this house so I am not going to pretend that I like you. I really despise you and I will never forget how you treated me and my mother.”
“How did a kind woman like your mother end up with a twerp like you?” Nora asked.
“What did you call me?”
“Look it up in a dictionary,” Nora said. “Of course I am assuming that that third rate school of yours has a library since it’s obvious you don’t own one.”
“What do you want from me?” Beatrice asked. “You obviously didn’t come all the way here from your Sugar Candy Mountain to put a smile on my face.”
“I heard that you are interested in my brother,” Nora scoffed.
“I thought he was your cousin.” Beatrice said.
“Cousins are also considered siblings, didn’t your mother teach you that?”
“I don’t have siblings or cousins so how the hell am I supposed to know something like that? Why are you concerning yourself with my feelings? Whatever I feel is between Danny and me, it’s none of your business.”
Nora broke down in laughter. “Did you just say none of my business?” She clapped her hands. “You really are clueless. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since they don’t teach common sense in schools. Do you actually think that my family would let you anywhere near my cousin? Do you even know who his father is?”
“I didn’t say that I want to get married to him. I just like him. Is there anything wrong with that?”
“Why don’t you try boys your age? Danny is clearly way out of your league. You are just a kid. You should concentrate on school instead of chasing after older men. Besides, Danny doesn’t even like you. He thinks you are just a kid and has never thought of you any other way. Don’t let those mountains in your chest fool you.
“I suggest that you stick to boys your age and stop trying to reach for things way above you. You still reek of your mother’s breast milk and you think you can cheat your way into my family. Wake up and smell the coffee you stinking little brat.”
“If you had seen the way your husband reacted when he got a glimpse of my legs, you wouldn’t be calling me a little girl right now.” Beatrice said vaingloriously.
Nora smacked her hard across the face but instead of wincing in pain, Beatrice only touched the assaulted area as she smiled defiantly at the woman who had just declared war against her.
“The truth hurts doesn’t it?” Beatrice said. “Do you want me to prove to you just how much of a child I am not?” She threatened.
Nora scoffed. “Do you think that my husband would give you his time of day?” He confidently asked. “Herbert is the most honourable man you will ever meet in your sorry life. He is different from all those men you’ve been playing around with.”
“If he is so honourable, why are you trembling?” Beatrice asked, looking down at Nora’s shaking hands which she immediately knotted into fists.
“There is something about these twins that leaves any red-blooded man powerless,” She was pointing at her chest. “You said it yourself, poor people have no pride whatsoever…isn’t that what you said to my mother when she was grovelling before you begging you to let her stay in that tiny house of yours with the little change she had on her?
“You were so damn right Nora, I will hand you that. Someone should have really told you that there is power in what we speak…because you are about to find out just how powerful your words are.”
“You better stay away from my husband or I will make sure that you regret the day you were born.” Nora was reeling with anger.
“I already regret being born from parents like mine, think about something else to threaten me with,” came Beatrice’s conceited reply before she turned and left Nora convulsing from rage.
“Can you believe that girl mother?” Nora stormed into her mother’s bedroom and interrupted her call.
“Mummy will call you back again in a little bit, okay my love?” her mother said to whoever she had been speaking to on the phone before putting the receiver down.
“Was that little V?” Nora asked. “I also wanted to talk to him. Gosh I miss him so much.” For a moment, Nora had forgotten about her rage. Her little brother had a way of making her feel like the happiest person alive. He was the one thing she terribly missed about leaving her parent’s home; she didn’t get to see him as often as she would have loved.
“You barged in here like a tornado, what the hell is going on?” Her mother asked.
“That, that stupid girl,” she was pointing in the direction of Beatrice’s house. “She threatened me, can you believe that?”
“What do you mean she threatened you?” Tina asked her daughter.
“I told her to stay away from Danny and she ended up threatening to go after my husband instead.”
“What?” Her mother got up from the bed. “I should have handled this myself. We need to put a stop to this and send that woman with her Jezebel daughter away from here.” She started walking towards the door but her daughter’s next words halted her.
“I might have said something to make her threaten me like that.” Nora shut her eyes in regret.
“There is nothing that you might have said that would make it okay for anyone to threaten your marriage child.” Her mother assured her. “Wait here, I am going to take care of this before it gets out of hand.” And she bolted out of the room and headed straight to Beatrice’s house.
Nora followed her behind.
Tina busted into the house unannounced and found Beatrice buttering her bread in their make-shift kitchen.
“What are you doing?” Beatrice asked the pair. “So you went and cried to mummy,” she teased Nora who was standing behind her mother.
Tina moved forward and smacked Beatrice hard across the face, the same spot her daughter had earlier targeted except this time around, Beatrice felt the world spin around as she placed her hand the injured area, shutting her eyes to keep the world from spinning so fat. Her eyes had turned red as tears welled up inside.
Tina then went about grabbing things from the house, whatever she could get her hands on and she went throwing them outside while Beatrice watched in dismay.
“Shouldn’t we wait for her mother to come back before kicking them out?” Nora asked her mother who continued to throw things out with the kind of commitment that she wished could only be rivalled by the bond holding her daughter’s marriage. She might not be a fan of Herbert, but any man was better if it meant avoiding divorce.
She pushed the shell-shocked Beatrice to the side and sent her falling to the floor, turning the small bucket of water lying there to the side and drowning her bottom in its spilled contents. She remained on the floor as Tina went about her business and it was in that position that her mother found her when she finally came back from buying a few groceries from the shops nearby.
“What is going on here?” Melody asked.
Tina finally stopped whatever she was doing and went outside to lash out at her daughter’s tenant.
“I am doing something that should have been done a long time ago. If you cannot control your own daughter, then you should be ready to face the consequences of your sins.” She lashed out at the visibly confused woman.
“What did my daughter do this time?” Melody asked.
“She threatened my daughter’s marriage!” Tina shouted. “You of all people should know exactly what that means since you claim to be such a good Christian.”
“Beatrice,” Melody turned to her daughter. “Is what she’s saying true?”
“Are you suggesting that I would lie to you about such a thing?” Tina hissed.
“Beatrice, what did you do?” Melody asked her daughter.
Beatrice finally decided to get up from the floor and she did so in the most calm way possible. “I told you that we should move out of this place but you insisted on staying and being treated like garbage by these people. I don’t regret anything I said to her mother. After what they’ve just done, I am more determined than ever to teach this spoilt woman a lesson. I will help you throw some things out,” she was now addressing Nora’s mother.
“You seem out of breath just handling these few things. You must be growing old. Is your husband still alive? Maybe I should hitch a ride from him as well. I hear the old fellas really like them young and fresh.” And she went about moving the rest of the remaining stuff outside.
“Can you hear your daughter?” Tina was fuming from ear to ear.
“I am very sorry Ma’am,” Melody bowed her head down continuously. “It is my sin that my daughter turned out this way. Please forgive me. I beg of you. We will move out of here as soon as possible.”
“I need you out of here this very moment!” Tina thundered.
“I understand,” Melody said resignedly. “Just give me time to pack everything and we will be out of here.”
“Good,” Tina said and turned to leave. “What are you still doing in there Nora?” She shouted to her daughter who was still standing inside the house watching the scene between the two mothers.
Nora quickly ran to catch up to her mother.
“Did you really have to do that?” Nora asked her mother once she had caught up to her.
“You will thank me later in future for that,” Tina told her daughter.
“But that was not how things turned out,” George told a shell-shocked Evelyn.
“What happened to my grandmother and… you know, Beatrice?” Evelyn asked.
“They left that house that very day,” George said.
“Where did they go?”
“On the streets, where else would they go? Your grandmother grew up on the streets before she was rescued by some missionaries so she knew where she could find a safe place to spend the night with her daughter. She was too embarrassed to go to any of her church friends because then she would have to tell them what had happened.
“She was never one to tell a lie. No one would have welcomed them into their home with that. That single night they spent out on the streets was the day Beatrice lost whatever little innocence she had left in her. She was filled with so much bitterness and a need for revenge and she went after Mr Chileshe with a vengeance.”
“Tell me something,” Evelyn made George pause his narrative for a moment. “Is he my father? Mr Chileshe, was he my father?”
George hesitated but eventually nodded. “Yes,” he said.
“Dear Lord,” Evelyn gasped. “So she finally succeeded in seducing him.”
“That she did, yes…but not so easily.” George said. “Mr Chileshe knew exactly what she was up to so he avoided her. Unfortunately, he had so much going on in his marriage and the devil somehow found a space to squeeze himself in. Beatrice was so determined to ruin that family that she never relented in her pursuit, not even for a second despite being rejected over and over again.
“Nora’s mother even had her arrested once but Beatrice turned things around at the police station, claimed the woman was only bitter because her daughter’s husband was chasing after her. She threatened Tina and Nora that if they didn’t have her released; she would accuse Herbert of molesting her while they lived at their house. She was a very good actress, they would have believed her without a doubt.”
“It reached that far?” Evelyn asked.
“Oh dear, it was worse than that,” George said. “Beatrice’s determination shook Herbert to his very roots so much that he begun to see her as a woman and not as the child she was. There is something about confessed feelings that makes people weaken inside and Beatrice went beyond just confessing her love to him.
“But, it still took two years before Beatrice would have her way. He finally gave in to her after a heated argument with his mother in-law. It was something he had done out of anger, out of spite and he regretted it the moment the deed was done but that was all Beatrice needed to push her agenda forward. And that is how you were conceived.”
“I feel like I just heard a story that was happening to someone else and it has nothing to do with me,” Evelyn said with a distant expression on her face. “I cannot believe that something like that…something so scary and unbelievable has so much to do with me. I guess now I can understand why Grandma Melody never wanted to speak to me about it.”
“She didn’t feel it was something you needed to know…and she was right.” George said.
“But, you said my mother killed my father…how did things turn out like that? Did she really kill him?”
“I said she had something to do with his death. I never said that she actually killed him.”
“What is the difference?” Evelyn asked.
“Perhaps I should tell you the rest of the story so you can understand what I mean.”
* * *