Just outside Lewiston, Iowa, Franz Dusenberg is walking the back 40 acres of his farm, looking to see where he might need to mend his fence before the winter sets in hard and truly.
He knows what it is even before he can tell who it is.
Franz Dusenberg is the one who first comes upon Bill Wilson’s body, hanging from the limb of a tree.
Coming closer, he notes how the face, how it looks somehow pained, even in the stillness of death.
Leaving it there, he turns to walk back to the farmhouse, where he will send his sons to ride into Luddington.
After school, Tommy goes to Billy Wilson’s house. Billy hadn’t been at school, but no one had asked about him. No one, not even Eliza the schoolmarm seemed like they were wanting to talk about the last few days at all.
When Tommy gets there, he knocks on the door, but no one comes. The door is unlocked. He opened it and calls through the house. No answer
Tommy then goes around the side of the house, past the back yard, toward the trees and their treehouse. He climbs up inside, where he finds a note stuck inside the latest issue of Dime Detective.
The note reads:
THANKS FOR BEING MY BEST FRIEND.
I’VE RUN AWAY WITH MAD CARNIVAL
THE THREE-LEGGED MAN
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