Good Mr. Ben Stokes is gone.  His death was grotesque on every level.  My emotions are muted, however.  During my years away, I feel as if I have gained and lost him many times over.  More pointed is the fact that this could in no way be suicide.  I now have a man to mourn and a murder to both establish and solve.

He is in the rather soiled hands of the Reverend Trask’s son, Lamar.  In my short trip to view my dear friend, this pernicious progeny managed to vicariously insult me (via my “father”) on a number of levels.

From his perspective, however, he is justified.  I really must make more of an effort to understand his myopia and expand the limitations of my own.

Met Mr. Quentin Collins I.  He is judiciously handling himself in a rather complicated emotional entanglement created by Gerard Stiles marrying his widow.  I see I was right in my assertion that Mr. Collins is still alive.

He is a focused, interesting man.  I may prefer him to his rather melancholy namesake.  We shall see.



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