"Yes, not taking care of the body the Lord gave him and going out beyond his congregation. If he had been preaching the Bible, the words of our Lord, to the heathens, it would have been different. But he had this pragmatic attitude that if someone needed him, they would ask and he would be there for them. Of course, also, if he saw someone he knew needed help he was there for them."
"Dr. Magill here."
"Mercer, Sheriff here."
"What can I do for you?"
"Well, Doc, I know you have your oath of confidentiality with your patients, but I need some help here."
"I just left John Barker's home, speaking with Mrs. Barker. She just doesn't seem right in the mind. I knew John pretty well. He was a good guy, you know, an even keel guy. I never thought he was judging me or anyone else. After spending some time with her, I cannot see the 2 of them together. Sometimes, there is something going on that you know about. Any help here?"
"Well, for John's sake, I'll tell you. He wouldn't mind, I'm sure. And he had his wife's permission to her medical files." He paused."Long story, short Sheriff, she is not right. When they first came here, she was a different person. Her personality was very much like his. However, about 15 months ago, she went to see a lady in the country. When she came back she was a different person. If I didn't know any better, I'd say was possessed."
"I was thinking car accident, fell down the stairs, hit her head -issue. Voodoo never came to mind."
"Yep, it was almost like instead of being possessed by the devil, God took over and went a little wild."
"So you would say she is not really stable?"
"Well, I'm not a shrink, but my guess would be 'no', she is not stable."
"Capable of committing a crime?"
Dr. Magill was quiet for a moment. "Sheriff, anyone is capable of committing a crime. Especially if they have the motive and the means. I don't want to go as far saying she had either."
"Not asking you to. But really appreciate your help." The Sheriff thanked him again and rang off.
He called Mike,"I'm not sure about Mrs. Barker."
"I thought Dr. Sadler said it was a heart attack?"
"He did, I'm just dotting all my I's and crossing my T's."
"What do you need from me?"
"Nothing now, just me up to date on anything else you hear about this situation," said the Sheriff and they rang off.
At Ed's a group of ladies were meeting to organize a dinner for Mrs. Barker. Luellen asked,"How many people do we need to plan for?"
'Miss' Ella looked at her, "I'm not sure. Come to think of it, I do not have any idea. They did not have children or any local family. Maybe we should ask?"
Francine laughed,"Ella, OK, you get to call Mrs. Barker and inquire."
Ella tried to look serious,"She just lost her husband. I'm sure she is devastated." Not one lady looked her in the eyes."OK, I'll go. She probably needs company anyway."
They continued planning. As they broke up, Ella told them she would let them know what she learned.
The Sheriff was having lunch at the counter at Ed's. Wade came in. "What's up?" asked Wade as he sat down beside him.
"Just left Mrs. Barker's house. Ever met her?"
"Can't say I have." Wade turned to Ed, "The regular."
Ed just said,"Coming up."
"Well Mrs. Barker is nothing like her late husband. Let's just say, she was not happy about her late husband's habits."
Wade raised an eye brow,"Not happy with his habits?"
"Seems, she is a vegan, in good health, and very concerned about her husband's health."
"Hum," said Wade looking at his glass of ice tea.
"Looks like she was not happy with her husband and had all the motives to kill him."
"Yes, 'fraid so. I'm going to wait until after the funeral to arrest her. I don't think she is going anywhere and there is no point in making a scene"
Wade didn't say anything, he just started eating the burger Ed had just put in front of him. After he swallowed his first bite, he looked at the Sheriff," I thought Hollis said it was a heart attack?"
"He did. I'm just covering my bases. Her reaction to his death was just not normal."
Wade took another sip of tea. Without looking at the Sheriff, he added, "Hollis is a pretty straight shooter. If he said coronary, then why look further?" He laughed, "You got better things to do with your time."
The Sheriff laughed,"I definitely agree, there is just something about his widow that I found unsettling." He took a bite of his sandwich,"Hell, my wife thinks she is odd. Don't you think after 17 years of marriage, she would show some emotion?"
"Guess so." Wade stood up, left some cash on the counter, and said to the Sheriff,"Good luck." With that he turned and walked out the door.
As he got in his car, Wade called Hank, "Hank, there may be a problem here."
"The Sheriff is considering arresting Mrs. Barker for the murder of her husband."
"Oh that is choice. What do we do?"
"Nothing, if I need you, I'll call you." and they rang off.