Before the sheriff could speak, realization dawned on PJ and she swung around and pointed a long witchy fake fingernail at Darth Vader. “The yellow bandana!” she shouted. “You planted it to throw suspicion on Aletha.”
Aletha, the minion, stood up and looked back at the Brunses. Because of her costume, her response was squeaky and unintelligible.
The sheriff looked up at PJ. “Ms. Norton? Would you care to explain yourself?”
Punk said, “I think I can tell you what’s on my wife’s mind. I believe that Mr. Conniver was murdered by Princess Leia.”
Whether because of his statement or the arrow through his head, the sheriff looked at Punk with disbelief. “What are you talking about? The woman has a leg in a cast.”
“They have a golf cart, Sheriff. Check the trail to Black Hawk Point for tire tracks,” Punk said.
“Those dents that you thought might be from my walking stick or Gigi’s boots? Try matching them to the ends of her crutches,” PJ said.
The sheriff shook his head. “We will check it, but it’s all circumstantial.”
“Ask him who he delivered the note to,” PJ said, indicating Blake Sneth.
The sheriff turned to Blake. “Well?”
Blake admitted he had delivered a note to Con Conniver’s camper for Bonnie. Bonnie began to cry.
“It was an accident! I only wanted to threaten him with a lawsuit. But he was so smug—claimed he didn’t do it—”
“Which was apparently true,” said PJ, looking at Blake.
“—that I swung at him with my crutch,” continued Bonnie between sobs, “and he lost his footing. I didn’t know what to do. I told Joe.” She nodded at her husband.
“And he decided to throw suspicion on a couple of others with the notepad and the bandana,” Punk added.
“It wasn’t her fault—,” Joe began but the sheriff had heard enough.
“Mr. And Mrs. Bruns, I need you to come with me.”
Later, after the wagon had been towed back to the campground, Punk and PJ and their new friends gathered around the fire pit at Fred and Doris’ campsite. They were rehashing events when the sheriff pulled up. He apologized for suspecting them but said it was “normal collateral with an investigation.”
“One question, Sheriff,” Punk said. “How did you happen to be out on that road tonight?”
“I was pretty sure there was a murderer on that hayrack and when I heard you were broken down, I thought I’d better check on everyone.”
“I don’t think Bonnie was really a threat to anyone else,” PJ said.
“As it turns out, no, but I couldn’t be sure. By the way, what’s this about a tablet?”
Fortunately, it was too dark for him to see PJ’s blush. “What tablet?” she asked, and the rest all shrugged.
“I see,” said Sheriff Turner and winked, “Well, you folks enjoy the rest of your weekend.”
As he pulled away, PJ looked around at the group, and she thought once again of the TV ad that had drawn her to camping. The moon, the RVs in the background, the firelight reflecting off the smiling faces—it was just like the ad. Well, except for Shirley’s Raggedy Ann wig and the arrow through Punk’s head.