The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 45

“Thus, we can assume that your assailant was close to your height, perhaps even somewhat taller than you. Right?” Noone continued

Eloh nodded his head a bit sheepishly as he looked down at Noone who stood in front of him.

“Additionally, the person also probably struck you using their right hand,” Noone explained. She then took the parchment in her left hand and swung it again, explaining, “You see how if I were to use a left hand and strike in the most natural and probable way, then I would hit the left side of your head? The only way one would be likely to hit you where they did using their left hand is if they were standing directly to your right and had approached from the side.” Noone walked to Eloh’s side and demonstrated. “But you would’ve certainly seen someone approaching from here in your peripheral vision. And you didn’t mention seeing the person at all before you were struck. Is that right?” Eloh nodded his head. “Now, if they used their right hand, then we can guess that it is their dominant hand. Thus, we are looking for a right-handed person about the same height as you. Does that eliminate anyone?”

“Yes,” Eloh admitted, “Arrs is about my height. Jule is maybe a hands-breadth taller. But Sanda’s much shorter than me.”

“Exactly,” Noone said, “It’s very unlikely Sanda did it. I myself would’ve probably eliminated the woman from consideration from the first. Even without considering the height, I didn’t think it was done by a woman.”

“Why is that?” Amida asked, standing against the wall in the back.

“Because women are more creative. Whereas our saboteur appears to be constrained by the stilted creativity of a man,” she said with as small smile, “Anything else you can tell us that can might help eliminate one more suspect?” Eloh shrugged his shoulders. “Did you observe any footprints that might have been laid down by our saboteur?”

“Far too many footprints around the watermill to possibly identify which ones were laid by the person who started the fire,” Eloh replied.

“Perhaps we can get somewhere by asking the question of how the fire started. You said you had observed a small fire burning before you were knocked out. What was feeding the fire? Was it the only one?”

“I believe it was the only one. At least at that point,” Eloh said, “Perhaps there were others started after I was knocked unconscious. The fire was right up against the wall opposite the door. It looked like it was just a small pile of kindling. A few small sticks, maybe some hay.”

“There are a great many mattresses in these cloisters stuffed with hay,” Noone interrupted at this point, “Maybe if we peak into our suspects’ rooms again we can find some evidence of whether they’ve been removing hay from their mattress. Admittedly, there are other possible places one could get hay, but if it looks like one of them pulled some from their mattresses, that would be suggestive. Also, did you smell anything when you saw the fire? Did it smell of oil of any kind?”

“No,” Eloh shook his head, “Don’t think so.”

“Then they probably weren’t using a lamp. Did it smell like the beeswax of a candle?” Noone asked.

“I don’t know. I smelled smoke,” Eloh replied, shaking his head.

“Well it probably was lit by a candle,” Noone said, “Unless it was a bright light, in which case it may have been a torch. Was the light you saw in the mill when you approached a bright light like a torch, or a dimmer light like a candle? Try to discount the brightness of the small fire that had been set when you answer this question.”

“You’re asking me to scrutinize my memories in more detail than I think they’ve been collected,” Eloh said, “The event’s not painted on the interior of my brain, I’m afraid to say. It’s more like a sight in the distance. But if you want me to answer the question based on what I remember, I don’t think it was bright enough for a torch.”

“A candle is more likely,” Noone mused, “Probably both used as the assailant’s source of light and the source of the fire. That’ll thus have to be the next thing we look into: to see if we can find that candle. We’ll continue tomorrow. Now it’s time to rest. Fortunately, we have made progress. More progress than you had made. Don’t you see how I was able to make more progress in this investigation in the short time before bedtime then you were able to make in two days? By carefully thinking things through.”

“Yes, your reasoning skills are very impressive,” Eloh humbly admitted. Amida emitted a small laugh when he said this.

“I don’t need flattery,” Noone said with a smile, “Now let’s get us all to bed.”

<-- Go to Part 44         Go to Part 46 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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