Jack opened his eyes to full darkness. Wincing he sat up, head throbbing. He tried to feel around for stability and then his hand clasped a foot resting along the floorboards. Moving with his arms first, he found the bed and pulled himself up to his knees and then his feet. Every inch of him ached. He had to find a candle or a lamp to light. Using the bed post to feel for the wall, Jack maneuvered around the room bumping into the night stand.
A moment later he had a lamp and lit it. His eyes darted towards the bed and the floor. Verity and Mrs. Lawyer Evelyn Brightmoor were gone. He scrambled over to the body of Mr. Tanner Lloyd Brightmoor. Jack tried to figure out if the man were still alive. He shook him and then examined his face and limbs. Blood congealed along the man’s arm. His shirt was stained with brittle bits of dried blood.
He had been knocked out for hours and the aches told Jack they did more to him and Mr. Brightmoor than simply knock them over the head. He tried to rouse the tanner once more and then he leaned close to the man’s face listening for breathing. He didn’t hear breath or see the rise and fall of his chest.
Tears pricked at the corners of Jack’s eyes. He was dead. The Brightmoor’s had tried to help them and now he was dead and Evelyn was gone. Jack pulled out the paper from which they began compiling a list of suspects and allies, clues from his investigation to see if something might assist him now.