Chapter no 14 – Red Fibers

Where the Crawdads Sing


Muggy heat blurred the morning into a haze of no sea, no sky.

Joe walked out of the sheriff’s building and met Ed getting out of the patrol truck. “C’mon over here, Sheriff. Got more from the lab on the Chase Andrews case. Hot as a boar’s breath inside.” He led the way to a large oak, its ancient roots punching through the bare dirt like fists. The sheriff followed, crunching acorns, and they stood in the shade, faces to the sea breeze.

He read out loud. “‘Bruising on the body, interior injuries, consistent with an extensive fall.’ He did bang the back of his head on that beam—the blood and hair samples matched his—which caused severe bruising and damage to the posterior lobe but didn’t kill him.

“There you have it; he died where we found him, had not been moved. The blood and hair on the crossbeam prove it. ‘Cause of death: sudden impact on occipital and parietal lobe of the posterior cerebral cortex, severed spine’—from falling off the tower.”

“So somebody did destroy all the foot- and fingerprints.



Anything else?”

“Listen to this. They found lots of foreign fibers on his jacket. Red wool fibers that didn’t come from any of his clothes. Sample included.” The sheriff shook a small plastic bag.

Both men peered at the fuzzy red threads flattened against the plastic like spider webbing.

“Wool, it says. Could be a sweater, scarf, hat,” Joe said.

“Shirt, skirt, socks, cape. Hell, it could be anything. And we have to find it.”

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