While the Deans were pleased that Martha had confided in them about her gruesome discovery, her pending exit remained an ever-present pall that hung over the remainder of the evening like a chilly fog.
It was on these byways that Dean opted to travel, rolling along the river with the down of cottonwoods filling the air like a winter snowstorm, past the occasional farm house, fields, and ever-present vista of mountains wrapping around him.
The ever-present list and pencil were poised on the kitchen counter, as if ready for action.
Fred O'Connor strolled into the kitchen a few moments later, all smiles, carrying his ever-present notebook.
Fully alert, he listened, but heard only night noises, the ticking of the hall clock, a slight breeze, the ever-present furnace rumbling heat to the old building.