August 8th, 2012

Murder, Mystery, Page 19, Part 1

Esther knew what Reuben would tell her.  She had long thought the Elizabeth's killer might be Ethan, with his deep anger, his dangerous rages, and his desperate need for control -- all well hidden beneath a guise of gentleness but obvious to a sensitive person. These needs had come from his father and from his father's father.  We were peasants, but our ancestors were herders and warriors, going back to Israel and Isaac and Abraham who was willing to kill his sons had it been God's will.  Whatever Ethan thought right at the moment was an Eternal Truth.  His beatings of wife and son were always justified and therefore just.  Someday his rage was going to get somebody killed.

But it had only been recently that Esther perceived that this killing might be accomplished through the hand of another.  When she had seen Sellma and Reuben together, the outward appearance had been that of a loving mother and son.  But there was a different story written in Sellma's eyes and face -- the desperation of a drowning person clinging to a piece of jetsam in an angry sea.  At that moment Esther knew that Sellma could kill, had killed, in order not to lose her hold on her son.

So when Reuben broke the news she had hugged him, and said Thank you, Reuben.  She had wanted him to make the discovery for his sake, not for hers.  Now she had to go to confront, forgive and comfort Sellma.