Chapter no 19 – Something Going On

Where the Crawdads Sing


The morning after reading the second lab report, the eighth day since finding Chase Andrews’s body in the swamp, Deputy

Purdue pushed open the door to the sheriff’s office with his foot and stepped inside. He carried two paper cups of coffee and a bag of hot donuts—just pulled from the fryer.

“Oh man, the smell of Parker’s,” Ed said as Joe placed the goods on the desk. Each man dug an enormous donut from the brown paper bag splotched with grease stains. Smacked loudly, licked glazed fingers.

Speaking over each other, both men announced, “Well, I got something.”

“Go ahead,” Ed said.



“I got it from several sources that Chase had something goin’ on in the marsh.”

“Going on? What do you mean?”

“Not sure, but some guys at the Dog-Gone say ’bout four years ago he started goin’ out to the marsh a lot by himself, was real secretive about it. He’d still go fishin’ or boatin’ with his friends, but made a lot of trips alone. I was thinkin’ maybe he got himself mixed up with some potheads or worse. Got over his head with some nasty drug thug. Ya lie down with dogs, ya get up with fleas. Or in this case, not get up at all.”

“I don’t know. He was such an athlete; hard to picture him getting mixed up in drugs,” the sheriff said.

“Former athlete. And anyhow, lots of ’em get tangled up in drugs. When the grand days of hero dry up, they gotta get a high

from somewheres else. Or maybe he had a woman out there.”

“I just don’t know of any ladies out there that’d be his type. He only hung out with the so-called Barkley elite. Not trash.”

“Well, if he thought of himself as slummin’, maybe that’s why he was so quiet about it.”

“True,” the sheriff said. “Anyway, whatever he had going on out there, it opens up a whole new side of his life we didn’t know about. Let’s do some snooping, see what he was up to.”



“Ya said you got something, too?”

“Not sure what. Chase’s mother called, said she had something important to tell us about the case. Something to do with a shell necklace he wore all the time. She’s sure it’s a clue. Wants to come in here to tell us about it.”

“When’s she coming?”

“This afternoon, pretty soon.”

“It’d be nice to have a real clue. Beats walkin’ around looking for some guy wearin’ a red wool sweater with a motive attached. We gotta admit, if this was a murder, it was a clever one. The marsh chewed up and swallowed all the evidence, if there was any. Do we have time for lunch before Patti Love gets here?”

“Sure. And the special’s fried pork chops. Blackberry pie.”

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