Lucy was changing from the black gown she had greeted Trask in when there was a knock on the door. Throwing on a dressing gown, she peered out of a window, and was surprised to see Giles Redmond on her step. What was Sarah Collins' husband doing seeking her out she wondered. "Just a moment," she called as he knocked again. Pausing by a mirror, Lucy smoothed her hair and pinched her cheeks into bloom. "Mr. Redmond. What can I do for you?"
"I need to speak to you, Lucy, if you have a moment."
"I've nowhere to go, have I?"
"I heard you were working at the Eagle," Giles commented, entering the cottage.
"I'm not expected there until later," Lucy told him. "But I might not go at all, not after - Jeremiah -" she lifted a fresh handkerchief to her eyes.
Giles saw the glimmer of tears, but he also smelled a faint onion smell as well. "A tragedy, to be certain. And just when he was about to mend his differences with Barnabas."
"Mend -? Are you certain of that, Mr. Redmond? Jeremiah had only just returned to Collinsport. I never had the opportunity to even say goodbye."
Giles gave her a measured look. "Indeed? Then perhaps it was not Jeremiah who met Daniel and Barnabas last evening for a discussion about what has been happening. The message was left for Jeremiah here - and he received it. Now are you going to tell me the truth?"
"Barnabas Collins killed Jeremiah, Mr. Redmond," Lucy insisted. "I don't know why you think that Jeremiah was here last evening - perhaps he did meet with Daniel - they were old friends, after all, and when I last wrote Jeremiah about Daniel's marriage, he was hopeful of wishing Daniel well. Perhaps that is why they met. I don't know. All I know is that the man I loved and hoped to marry is dead by the hand of a man I'm terrified of."
"Why are you terrified of Barnabas? What has he ever done to you?"
"You wouldn't believe me. No one did - until I told Reverend Trask."
Giles folded his arms across his chest. "Try me. I've been told I have a very open mind."
Barnabas looked up when Giles returned. "I thought you were going back to Collinwood," he said.
"I stopped by the Mitchell cottage," Giles told him. "And I think we might have a problem."
"Because Miss Lucy Mitchell is claiming that you forced her into an affair just after taking over Collinwood last year and insisted she help you in your ceremonies involving witchcraft."
"I've never touched the girl," Barnabas insisted. "If Angelique finds out about these lies then Lucy Mitchell could be dead before the trial even convenes." He quickly glanced at Giles. "She has an intense dislike for the girl because Lucy played her for such a fool all this time."
Giles' eyes narrowed. "Then none of it's true? You never swore to Lucy that if you ever saw Jeremiah again you would kill him?"
"Of course not. If that were true, then he would have been dead the other evening, when I saw him at Collinwood. Or last night."
"And did you send her to Amos Greene's to get one of his kerchiefs to use as an instrument in his murder?"
"No. Never. She's lying. Did you ask her about Nicholas Blair?"
"She says she knows him only as a man who's helped her and her mother financially since her dismissal from Collinwood. That she met him this morning to get some money for medicine. She told me that he had never met Jeremiah, and so had no reason to want him dead."
"Giles, she must realize that no one at Collinwood will confirm her story. Everyone there knows that I've never looked at another woman since I married Angelique. What can she hope to gain?"
"What did Jeremiah hope to gain?" Giles asked. "Collinwood," he said, answering his own question. "I'll talk to the servants at Collinwood," he said, "but you have to remember as well that their testimony could be construed to be out of fear of your retaliation if they support Lucy in this."
"Do you think that I could be in trouble, Giles?"
"You, my friend, are in trouble up to your neck."
"I need to see Angelique," Barnabas said. "To tell her about Lucy's lies -try to stop her before she -" He broke off, turning away from Giles.
"Look, Barnabas, I'll try to keep her calm, and I can bring her in here to see you - if that's what you really want -"
"Yes. I think she and I need to talk."
"I'll go and get her, then."
"No. Not now. Wait until after dark - there will be less chance of anyone being around to see her. I don't want her connected to this anymore than she has to be."
"Barnabas, she's your wife. She's a part of this whether you want her to be or not." He put his hand on Barnabas' shoulder through the bars. "I'll see you later." Giles turned toward the door, determined to find out exactly what Barnabas believed that Angelique might do to young Lucy Mitchell.
Barnabas sat on the narrow cot, head in his hands. There must be a way out of this, he thought. There MUST be.
Angelique was waiting for Giles when he returned to Collinwood. "Where is everyone else?" Giles asked.
"Sarah is with Harriet, and I asked Natalie to go and be with the boys. How is Barnabas, Giles?"
"Tired, angry. He wants to see you - "She rose as if to go. Giles placed a hand on her arm. "Not now. He suggested we wait until this evening. The mood in the village is - rather unpleasant. I had several things thrown in my direction when people recognized me as Barnabas' relation. Perhaps by tonight, they will have found something else to amuse them."
Angelique paced across the room. "I cannot believe that Trask thinks he has evidence to prove that Barnabas is a witch. Barnabas has never done anything -"
"This was a carefully orchestrated and planned action, Angelique. Barnabas believes it was planned by a man named Nicholas Blair." He watched carefully as her face drew into a knowing frown. "Do you know this man Blair?"
"I've - met him," Angelique admitted slowly. "And Barnabas is quite likely correct in his thought. Trask can have no proof that Barnabas was responsible for either of those deaths."
"He has the kerchief that Castle was known to carry with his mark on it. Apparently Greene found it in the shipyard office the morning after Castle's death. And Greene's final words to his son were that Barnabas was killing him using witchcraft."
"Circumstantial at best," she insisted. Her sharp gaze searched Giles' face. "There's more, isn't there?"
"Trask has another witness," Giles said. "Someone who insists that Barnabas has been practicing witchcraft for some time and that he has done all of this to destroy Jeremiah and terrorize the village into not questioning him about anything. That witness also claims that Barnabas disposed of Josette so he could marry you."
"That's nonsense! Who would say such lies about him? Tell me, Giles."
"Only if you give me your word that you won't retaliate in any way against this person. It is that which concerns Barnabas at the moment. He seems to think that you can exact vengeance by simply thinking about it." Angelique crossed her arms before her and turned away. "Angelique, I must know the truth if I am to have any chance of helping Barnabas."
"It makes no difference to what is going on now, Giles," Angelique told him. "I have done nothing to bring this about."
"No. But I think it somehow involves you. Tell me."
"We cannot talk here," Angelique insisted. "We might be overheard."
She shook her head. "Daniel is still there. The Old House."
Deborah fell into Ben's arms as soon as he entered the cottage. "Oh, Ben. This is even worse than I feared it would be. How is Mr. Collins?"
"Angry," Ben said. "With reason, what with the lies people are telling about him. That Lucy Mitchell is the root of the problem. Wish I had the nerve t'go shut her mouth-"
"Ben," Deborah said, frowning. "What are you talking about?"
"Mr. Giles told me that Lucy's telling Trask that Barnabas forced her to - be with him and help him with his witchcraft. That he told her he was going to kill Mr. Jeremiah the next time he saw him."
Deborah shook her head. "Oh, Ben. She's only doing what Nicholas Blair is telling her to do. Angelique told the Countess that he is an evil man - a true warlock who wants to destroy the Collins family."
"Then he'll have to destroy me as well," Ben declared.
The original Collins mansion was cold, and Angelique drew her cape tighter to ward off the chill. Looking around as Giles closed the door, she sighed as she found no trace of Josette's spirit. "Well, Angelique?"
"Do you believe that there are such things as witches, Giles?"
The young man looked at her for a long moment. "Not until now. I'd never really thought about it, I suppose. Why?"
"Because you happen to be looking at one."
He laughed nervously. Had all of this sent her into madness? "Angelique-"
"It's true, Giles. Barnabas can confirm it. As can Natalie du Près." When he still looked skeptical, she sighed. Turning toward the hearth, she saw that there was still wood laid there. "It's cold in here, isn't it?" she asked, then gazed intently before her.
Giles gasped in surprised shock when the wood erupted into a brilliant blaze of warming fire. "You -?"
"A simple trick," she said. "I have only used my powers a few times since coming to Collinwood - and not at all since my marriage without Barnabas' permission."
"Then Barnabas has always known this?"
"No. I tried to use my powers the night before Rebecca was born," she said. "You know about the nightmares that Bramwell has been having since we moved into that house?"
Giles nodded, still watching her. "Sarah mentioned them."
"I wanted to try and find out who was causing them. I knew that they had their root in something more than simple fear. Barnabas discovered me in the middle of the incantation. I never finished it."
"And how did he react to this knowledge?"
"He was shocked and surprised, just as you are. But he accepted it, and I gave him my word not to use my powers."
"And how does Nicholas Blair fit into this? Does he know the truth?"
"He wants to complete the curse of the person who granted me my powers in another life. To destroy the Collins family. He had intended to use Jeremiah to do that, but I suppose things must have changed. Jeremiah must have confronted him about Judah and Nicholas decided he had to be disposed of."
"You make it sound as if Jeremiah were no more than rubbish to be thrown out," Giles commented.
"To Nicholas he was. He was a tool to be used and then tossed aside when it no longer pleased Nicholas."
"What has he to gain by seeing Barnabas tried and convicted of witchcraft?"
"I do not know. Unless he thinks he can control Daniel -" She turned to face him. "Who were you speaking about earlier, Giles? This person who is accusing Barnabas of such things?"
"Lucy Mitchell." Giles watched the thunderclouds
begin to form in Angelique's eyes.
"Remember your promise to Barnabas, Angelique. To do anything to her now would only further Trask's case and help Nicholas accomplish his goal.
"What is she saying about Barnabas?"
"I want to know."
Lucy felt uncomfortable, as if someone were watching her. She drew the bedclothes tighter over her mother and then shivered. The temperature had dropped. She found a shawl and placed it around her shoulders. Going into the main room, she sat before the small fire in the grate, trying to warm her hands. Why was it so cold? "Nicholas?" she called out. "Where are you? I'm frightened, Nicholas."
Suddenly he was there, and Lucy forced herself not to run to him. "What is wrong, child?"
"It's so cold in here," she told him. "I don't understand it. Even at the fire, it's cold."
"Death always brings a chill with it," he told her.
"Death? Who's going to die?" she asked him, her eyes wide. "I have to testify for Trask," she reminded him. "I have to make certain that Barnabas Collins is hanged as a witch so that I can return to Collinwood -"
"And what price would you be willing to pay to achieve that goal, my dear?"
"Lucy?" Her mother was calling. Lucy looked at Nicholas, and shook her head. "No, Nicholas. You promised-"
"I promised to keep her alive," he reminded her. "She will only hold you back, my dear. Keep you from doing the things you must do."
Lucy shook her head, sobbing as she ran into the bedroom. "Mother?"
"Forgive me," Lorraine Mitchell begged softly between gasping breaths. "Never meant to hurt you -"
"Don't go, mother. Please."
"Worried about you - perhaps that nice Reverend Trask can help. Go to -" She took a painful breath, and then relaxed.
"Mother?" Lucy threw herself over her mother. "Mother, don't leave me!" Sobbing, she slid to kneel beside the bed. "No, no."
"It's for the best," Nicholas told her.
Lucy raised a tear-streaked face to him. "She was all I had," she said. "All I ever wanted was to make her last days easier, give her a place where she could live like a queen."
"After all she did to you? Forcing you to live in that place as a child?" Nicholas reminded her. "Not protecting you from that man who -"
"Stop it! That wasn't her fault. She had no choice but to do what she did."
"And neither do you, Lucy," Nicholas said, taking
her hands to bring her to her feet.
"You have no choice now, either. And nothing holding you back from doing what you must."
Lucy looked deeply into those dark eyes and felt herself changing, growing, becoming a part of this man. She nodded. "I understand, Nicholas."
Lucas ran to his mother's arms as soon as she entered the playroom. Bramwell looked up from where he was watching Natalie deal the Tarot cards. When Angelique sat down, Lucas on her lap, Bramwell went to her. "Why are you so sad, Angelique?"
"I am worried," she told the boy. "Your father has had to go away for a few days," She said.
"But he never goes without saying goodbye," Bramwell said, frowning. "Where did he go?"
Angelique glanced over his head at Natalie. "To New York. On business. It was very sudden, and -"
"I heard some of the servants talking, Angelique," Bramwell said. "I know that he's in the village -" he looked down at Lucas, and seemed unwilling to say more.
"He will be home soon, Bramwell," Angelique said, taking the boy's hand in hers. "I give you my word that he will be."
"I had another nightmare last night," he told her.
"You didn't wake me -"
"They seem to be changing- and I don't seem to be as afraid as I was before in them. Because now I have an escape."
"Whenever I start having the dream, and I'm being chased, I imagine that I run to the Old House, and nothing can harm me there."
Angelique smiled at him. "It's time for you and your brother to have your evening meal and then get into bed." She gave them each a hug, and then said, "Go and find Mrs. Burns."
Lucas ran ahead, but Bramwell hung back to give Angelique another quick embrace before following him.
"What are you going to do, chéri?" Natalie asked.
"I don't know. Giles is taking me to see Barnabas this evening -"
"Is that wise?" Natalie asked, frowning.
"He asked Giles to do it. I know he's going to tell me to stay out of it, perhaps even try to convince me to return to Martinique,-"
"And will he?"
"I can't leave, Natalie. Not now. He needs me."
"But if you do ANYTHING to help him, it will only make things worse. Mrs. Burns told me that she received a note from Trask asking to speak to her about Josette's death."
Angelique closed her eyes. "They're going to try and prove that Barnabas killed her," she said. "And to protect Bramwell, to protect Josette's memory, Barnabas will let them do it." She opened her eyes. "That did not sound the way I meant it, Natalie. I know that Josette's death still troubles you -"
"If she had simply returned to Martinique -but she would not have done that without her son. And I do not think that Barnabas would allow him to leave. He hopes to protect you and Lucas as well with his silence on this matter. What time are you leaving?"
"After sunset," Angelique told her. "I have to find Mrs. Burns and speak to her."
"I will send her to your room after she finishes with the children."
"Thank you, Maman," Angelique said. "I do not know what I do without you at the moment."
Natalie smiled, "I will be here," she promised. Once Angelique had gone, Natalie's smile faded, to be replaced by a look of concern. Turning back to the table, she shuffled the Tarot cards again and began to lay them out.
The young man who had relieved the Constable wasn't certain about letting Giles and Angelique into the jail, but Giles convinced him that he had no choice, and he picked up the keys. "Constable Johnson will be back soon," he told them. "Just went to have his evening meal."
Giles went into the cells, frowning at the single candle that lit the area. "Barnabas? I have a visitor for you."
Barnabas came to the bars and met Angelique, their hands grasping each other. "Angelique."
"Can you let her inside the cell?" Giles asked.
The young man shook his head. "Sorry. Constable would have my hide if I did that."
"We'll wait out here," Giles told the couple. "Just call when you're ready for me."
"Thank you, Giles," Barnabas said, as the door closed behind them. He brought Angelique's hand to his lips. "How are you?"
"I think I should be asking you that," she said. "Barnabas, I can get you out of here -"
"No," he said, shaking his head. "I don't want you to use your - talents, Angelique," he insisted softly. "It's far too dangerous."
"But you'll be convicted- hanged. Or worse."
"What do you mean?"
"There's talk in the village of beheading."
"Trask hasn't any real evidence," Barnabas reminded her. "Only the word of a dead man that he found Castle's kerchief in my office, and the word of the dead man's son that his last words accused me of his murder."
"And what about Lucy's testimony?"
"It won't hold up either," Barnabas insisted. "Everyone at Collinwood will testify that I never had anything to do with the girl."
"What about Jeremiah's death?" She watched as a cloud passed over his face.
"Blair was responsible for that. I know it was Blair."
Angelique ran a hand over his cheek. "His death must be destroying you inside. I know that you always hoped that you and he would make up your differences -"
"So did he," Barnabas told her. "But not in the way you and I mean."
"His last words were to tell me that he had wanted Collinwood for the two of us. Me and him." He shook his head. "He never gave any intimation of that, never implied -"
"Because he knew it was wrong, Barnabas," Angelique said. "He knew it would only drive you farther away."
"Yes," Barnabas agreed. "How are the children?"
"Lucas is too young to understand what is happening," she told him.
Giles was teasing the young deputy about a girl at the Eagle that he had mentioned, when the door to the office was thrown open by a furious Lucy Mitchell. "I want to see the prisoner," she demanded, fire in her green eyes. "Now."
"Don't know if I should," the young man said. "I was told that you weren't to see Mr. Collins for your own safety."
"I don't care about my safety!" Lucy screamed. "I want to see him! He won't get away with this!" She rattled the door to the cells. "Do you hear me, Barnabas Collins? You won't get away with this! You promised! You promised!" She began to cry, loud, wrenching sobs, and pounded on the door. Trask and the Constable entered the office, and Trask lifted the girl from the door. "Let me go! I have to tell him that it won't make a difference. That I'm still going to testify to the things he did, the things he made me do."
"What won't make a difference?" Trask asked.
"My mother. He always told me that if I ever told anyone, if I ever betrayed him, he would kill her. She's dead. Mother's dead!" Trask smiled at Giles. "Then you will testify to that in court, and it will be one more piece of evidence that will see the destruction of the witch! Open the cells, young man. This woman has business with the prisoner."
The deputy looked at Giles, and then picked up the keys. Unlocking the door, he stepped aside as Lucy rushed past him. "You killed her!! You lying monster! I hope you get what's coming to you!" She lashed out at Barnabas through the cells as Barnabas gave Angelique a warning glance.
"He didn't kill anyone, you silly girl," Angelique said with far more calm than she felt. She wanted to do the same thing that Nicholas had done with Jeremiah. Simply lift her hand - it would be so easy.
Trask frowned. "What is Mrs. Collins doing here?" he asked the deputy.
"I didn't see any harm in letting her see her husband," the young man said.
"Don't worry, Trask, I'm leaving. But not before you take this creature away from my husband. I can't be certain of his safety with her here."
Lucy's snarl would have frightened most women. But Angelique merely glared back. Lucy burst into tears and seemed on the verge of collapse. "Oh, poor mama. If I had known he would do this - You said she'd be safe, Reverend," she mumbled, as Trask put his arm around her to lead her from the cell and out of the jail.
"I'll take you home," he told her. "You should not be alone this evening."
Giles returned the Constable's angry look evenly. "Mr. Collins asked to see his wife, sir, and I was simply carrying out my client's orders."
"You best get her out of town before word spreads about Lucy's mother. It might get a little ugly."
Angelique turned back to Barnabas. "Barnabas -?"
"Go back to Collinwood and take care of the children."
"I'm placing Barnabas' life in your hands, Constable," Angelique told him. "If anything happens to him, you will be responsible."
Something in that ice blue gaze chilled the man, and he found himself nodding. "Yes, ma'am. I'll take real good care of him. He'll get his trial."
Angelique pressed her hand to Barnabas' cheek, then turned
and swept from the room.
Giles looked at Barnabas. "I'll be back tomorrow morning."
"Thank you, Giles."
Lucy let Trask lead her into the cottage. "They came for her a little while ago," she said. "I haven't been able to go back into that room. It was terrible. She cried so, begged for mercy, for someone to help her. I very nearly went to the jail and asked the Constable to release him so she would be all right."
"That would have been a mistake," Trask told her. "To give into the devil even to save the life of a loved one is to send your eternal soul into hell."
Lucy turned into is arms, plastering herself to him. "I don't know what I'm going to do now. I don't have anyone to turn to."
Trask patted her shoulder. "You have me. And you have the Lord Almighty to turn to as well. Never forget that."
"But I can't feel it when His arms are around me. Not like I can feel yours."
Trask kept his hand on the girl's shoulder. It had been a long time since he had allowed a woman this close to him. He considered the majority of them to be controlled by Satan himself. This young woman was in serious need of guidance, of comfort. And since there seemed to be no one else who cared to give it to her, that left only Ezekiel Trask to do the work. "Is there someone else you can send for to stay with you for the night? I do not like the idea of your being alone."
"Couldn't you stay, Reverend?" Lucy asked. "Most of the ladies in town hate me. Mother always said they were jealous because of my position at Collinwood - and then because they all liked Mrs. Collins so much that if she let me go, there had to be a good reason."
"There is no one else?" He confirmed.
"No one," she told him in a small, frightened voice. "I'm afraid of what Barnabas Collins might try to do. If you're here, you might be able to protect me from his touch." She shivered.
"I will stay- for awhile," he told her.
Lucy smiled, her cheek against his chest.
Angelique found herself unable to sleep, and wandered the corridors of Collinwood. As the clocks chimed three a.m., she was near the study and heard Harriet's voice. "Come out of there right now, Daniel Collins. It's doing no one any good for you to closet yourself in that study and drink yourself into a stupor just because Jeremiah is dead. I say good riddance to the man. Man! As if he could be called that.-" The door opened and Daniel stood there, his red-rimmed eyes filled with anger.
"Shut up, Harriet! You don't know what you're talking about, as usual. I haven't had a drop of whiskey in hours. I've been remembering, thinking - wondering if Jeremiah would still be alive if I hadn't led him into that meeting last night -"
"What meeting? When did you see Jeremiah? You swore to me, Daniel-"
"And I kept my word, Harriet," he said tiredly. "But at what price? If it was Jeremiah's life, then the price was too high. Go on to bed. You need your rest. I'll be along later."
The door closed, and Angelique watched from the shadowed corner as Harriet turned on her heel and headed toward the stair. Once more alone, Angelique went to the foyer and pulled on her cape. Perhaps some night air would help clear her mind.
"Hello, my dear. Can't sleep?"
Angelique turned as she entered the garden to find Nicholas there. "You have a lot of nerve, Nicholas. Appearing to me after everything you've done today."
"Me? And just what have I done?"
"You killed Jeremiah. And Lucy's mother."
"I was led to believe in the village that Barnabas Collins was responsible for those deaths."
"You know he wasn't."
"Ah, but can you prove that? I didn't think so. He'll be convicted, my dear."
"Stop this, Nicholas. Please. He's never done anything to you -"
"He's a Collins," Nicholas reminded her. "And he took something far more precious from my master."
"You. He came to Martinique and led you away from your destiny, brought you here."
"He didn't do it deliberately. He doesn't deserve -"
"No. He doesn't. You can save him, you know."
"He doesn't want me to use my powers -"
Nicholas' laughter was as dry as the leaves that crackled beneath their feet. "You don't have to answer to ANYONE except for our master, Angelique," he said. "Certainly not to a very human husband."
"I no longer want to answer to anyone else," she told him.
"Then you do not want to save him," Nicholas said. "Or the Collins family."
Angelique looked up at him. "What do you mean? Of course I want to save them."
"Then come with me. Leave Collinwood and take your proper place and I will spare Barnabas Collins and his family."
"What about the curse?"
"That can be -overlooked," he said, smiling with all the charm of a snake. "Consider it, Angelique. Or would you rather be contemplating burying your husband beside his uncle?"
Angelique returned to the house, her mind awhirl. If she could save Barnabas, the children, even Daniel's family, would it be worth any sacrifice? Entering her bedroom, she found Natalie trying to quiet Rebecca. "Here. Let me take her," Angelique said, holding out her arms for the infant. With deft movements, she began to nurse the child. "There. Is that what you were wanting, little one?" She moved around the room, restless, aware that Natalie was watching her closely.
"Where did you go?"
"For a walk. I couldn't sleep, so I decided some fresh air might help. I don't know what to do, Maman. Barnabas doesn't want me to help him, but if I stand aside and do nothing, then -"
"Then Barnabas will be convicted of witchcraft," Natalie finished. "I now, chéri. I know."
"And if Trask brings the truth of Josette's death to light, then how will Bramwell react? Knowing that she -" Angelique shook her head gently. "I need to consider all of my choices."
Natalie frowned. "Choices? What choices? You have none. Barnabas told you not to use your powers to save him."
"I know." She sat down. "But I cannot stand idly by either. There must be SOMETHING I can do."
"You can help Barnabas most by doing as he asked you to do: go back to Martinique with me. Take the children-"
"No, Natalie. I won't leave Collinsport without Barnabas. These children need him as much as they do me. I'll think of something." She wasn't about to tell Natalie about Nicholas' offer. The woman would insist that she not even think of such a thing. But her choices were becoming very limited.
Sarah turned over and placed her hand on the bed, thinking to find her husband still there. But the bed was empty and cold. Opening her eyes, she said, "Giles?"
"Go back to sleep, Sarah," he said from the window.
"Why are you up?"
"I'm thinking, trying to come up with something that will -"
"That will save Barnabas?" she asked. Rising from the bed, she went to put her arms around him. "You will. I know you will."
"Don't place too much faith in me, Sarah. With all of the things that are involved here - Things about which you know nothing. I'll do my best, darling, but - my best -"
She placed a hand over his lips. "I won't hear such talk. Your best will be just enough to free Barnabas of this ridiculous charge. Once everyone knows about what Uncle Jeremiah was doing-"
"But they won't, Sarah. Jeremiah is dead, and most of the village believes that Barnabas killed him. If they are now told that Jeremiah was behind all of this, they will wonder who killed him."
"Then find that Nicholas Blair gentleman who came here with him. Present him to the court."
Giles smiled gently. "If it were only that easy. He seems to have vanished into thin air. No one knows where he is staying- and Lucy insists that she has no idea where he is."
"She's lying. That girl shouldn't be trusted. To say the things she has about Barnabas - You know he's not like that, Giles. Barnabas wouldn't hurt a soul if he can help it."
Giles pulled her against him. "I know, my love. I know. I'll do everything I can, Sarah, to save him. But it may not be entirely in my hands."
Lamar Trask sat before the fire in the main room of the suite he shared with his father. It was nearly dawn, and there was no sign of the Reverend. A movement from the bedroom drew his attention. "Lamar? What are you doing?" Jason asked, rubbing sleep from his eyes.
"I was just wondering where my father might be."
"You mean he's not back yet?"
"No. There's been no word all night."
Jason's eyes widened in fear. "Perhaps the warlock has finished him. He might be laying dead somewhere -"
Lamar shook his head. "I couldn't be that fortunate," he said, drawing Jason's wide eyed stare.
"How can you say such a terrible thing? Your father is a wonderful man."
"You're only saying that because you don't really know him," Lamar said. "He's not a very nice person."
"You're still thinking about going to find your brother, aren't you?"
Lamar nodded. "But if you say a word to Father -"
Jason shook his head. "I won't." He fell silent. "Do you really think your brother would take me in, too, Lamar?"
"I think he would. Gerald's really a wonderful person. He's married and has a wife- and I think a son of his own. I just have to find the right moment to go."
"I can't go until the trial is over," Jason told him. "I know Father and I weren't close, but I owe it to him to see the person responsible for his death pays."
"IF he was responsible," Lamar speculated.
"What do you mean?"
Lamar shrugged. "I've heard people talking around the village. There is more going on here than we can see, Jason."
"Tell me what you've heard."
Trask left the Mitchell cottage before first light, not wishing for anyone to bear witness to his having been at Lucy's side all night. Nothing untoward had occurred, he reasoned. Once this trial was finished, Ezekiel wondered if young Lucy Mitchell might be willing to consider becoming the third Mrs. Trask. He smiled at the thought of her being at his side, perhaps giving him yet another son - perhaps another child would show more gratitude for the work his father was ordained to perform. Certainly Gerald had never shown any. Nor did Lamar. He frowned. He would have to make certain that both Lamar and Jason thought he had come in late and had been in his bed all night. That shouldn't prove too difficult, he thought, his steps leading him farther from the small cottage.
Lucy watched until he had vanished into the darkness, and then turned as Nicholas spoke. "Did you enjoy yourself, my dear?"
"I was bored to tears," she declared. "Every time I would try to - he would insist we go to our knees and pray. PRAY. I thought about praying that he would finally let down that reserve of his -" She stopped as Nicholas began to laugh. "What is so amusing?"
"You. Did he say when the trial is supposed to begin?"
"He hopes to begin within the week," Lucy told him. "You weren't here?"
"I had other things to do," he told her. "You should prepare for your mother's burial."
"Yes. And Jeremiah's," she remembered.
"He would have died anyway," Nicholas reminded her.
"But I would have been his widow by then," she said. "And Collinwood would be mine."
"I've already assured you that you will be back at Collinwood very soon," he told her. "Now go. And remember that you must act grief stricken and furious with Barnabas Collins."
"That won't be difficult," Lucy said, turning toward her room.
Trask let himself into the hotel room, and then paused upon seeing two pair of eyes on him. "Why are the two of you out of bed so early?"
"I couldn't sleep," Lamar explained. "And Jason stayed out here to keep me company."
"I went for a walk. I had much on my mind."
Jason frowned, but said nothing. Lamar wasn't as timid. "You must have walked a good distance, since you were not here all night, Father."
Trask's eyes narrowed. "You are mistaken, Lamar. Both you and Jason were fast asleep when I returned late last evening. And then I discovered that I was unable to sleep, so I left again. You were both still sleeping then, as well."
"If you say so, Father," Lamar said, looking at Jason. "I am going to have some breakfast. Are you coming, Jason?"
Jason looked at Trask, and then nodded. "Yes." He followed Lamar from the room. In the hall, he leaned close. "He wants us to lie about his whereabouts, doesn't he?" he asked.
Lamar nodded. "He often does this. And I always go along. But not this time. If someone asks, I will tell them that my Father was not in that room all night."
"But what would you gain by such a thing?"
"My freedom," Lamar said simply.
Giles entered the cell area and shook his head. "I'm sorry, Barnabas. He refuses to allow it."
"I'm not to be allowed to attend my uncle's funeral?" Barnabas asked.
"He insists that since you caused it, he can't trust you not to cause another - or even escape. I'm sorry."
"I want Angelique to attend," Barnabas told him. "I don't care how much she argues -"
"She's already agreed to be there," Giles assured him in a soft voice. "I'm not sure I would go if I were in her place, but she insisted that she had to go - if for no other reason than to see him buried."
"How is Sarah?"
"Worried. She wants to see you. I told her I would ask - the Constable is agreeable, if you are."
"Bring her after the funeral," Barnabas told him.
"I will." He hesitated, as if about to say more, then turned and left.
Barnabas sat down again.