Was the Surviving Son Victim — or Villain?
Another neighbor, Gus Kaufman, breathlessly arrived on foot just as Ben was tying the Liers’ horses to the back side of the barn, out of sight of the terrifying flames.
“Where’s Charles and Tilde?” he rasped.
“Don’t know,” replied Henry. “Best get on the telephone and try and find them. Maybe they’re to town.” The bleakness in his eyes belied his hopeful words.
John Wand was the next neighbor to arrive. His watch, illuminated by the blaze, showed 2:20 a.m. He angled his wagon across the drive, sealing off the lane where it ran closest to the house. He knew others would be arriving soon, the countryside roused by the efficient party-line alarms pealing through the night.
The house was now completely engulfed. The northwest corner was the last to be wrapped in the red-orange embrace of the fire. In short order, the timber frame was completely consumed by the fire’s fierce hunger. Only a stove pipe protruded drunkenly from what used to be the kitchen. It leaned away from the silent dinner bell sitting forlornly atop its post in the backyard. The place smelled of ash and despair.
About the Author
Beth Lane is a retired businesswoman who grew up near the scene of the murders. The local legends became personal when her great-grandfather’s name was tied to the trial. After years of research, the story is now told. Lane currently lives in the Southwestern U.S. Visit Beth’s websitefor information on her creativity coaching program at www.BethLaneWrites.com