In the previous episode, Kristi and Edmund discover part of Abdul Musa’s secret. Geoffrey demands that they join him at the excavation, but Kristi knows that there’s no way she can pass herself off as an artist. Readers voted that doesn’t do anything, because the police sergeant rides into camp at that moment.
At the sound of muffled hoof beats approaching the camp, Geoffrey scowled. “This is turning into a damned four-ring circus. I’ll be at the site if you need me.”
He disappeared in the direction of the tomb.
“Come on,” Edmund said. “What in the blazes does Abdul want now?”
But it wasn’t Abdul, thankfully. When they rounded the side of the tent, the police sergeant had already dismounted.
“Miss,” he said to Kristi with a nod, taking off his hat and wiping his forehead. His face was red and his mustache drooped in the heat.
Bareheaded, with his shirtsleeves rolled up, Edmund looked cool and unruffled in comparison. “How can we help you, Sergeant?”
“I’d like to talk to one of your men.” He pulled a slip of paper out of his pocket and consulted it. “An Alan Wright.”
“That’s odd,” Kristi blurted out. She bit her lip as he looked at her, confused.
“Alan went out to the site already. We were just about to walk over there, if you want to come along,” Edmund said.
“Can I leave him here?” He jerked his head towards his horse.
“Farid?” Edmund called. A barefoot boy wearing a tattered robe and an enormous grin scampered over. Edmund said something in Arabic, and the boy nodded and reached for the reins.
. . .
Geoffrey emerged from the tomb as they approached, wiping his hands on his pants.
“Geoff, the sergeant is here looking for Alan,” Edmund called out. Geoffrey pointed to a path winding up the cliff face.
“He’s up there.”
With a nod of thanks, the sergeant wiped his forehead again and headed up the path.
“Where’s your sketchbook?” Geoffrey asked, turning to Kristi.
“I, uh.” Crap.
“I have an extra one you can borrow,” Edith said, coming up behind them briskly.
“Thanks.” Kristi made a face at her retreating back as she followed her into the tomb.
A half an hour later, Edmund appeared and lowered himself to the ground next to her.
He looked disheveled in the dim light. “Miss Taylor–”
“Kristi,” she corrected.
“Very well. Kristi. I’ve been—Good lord, what is that?”
He had caught sight of her drawing. It was a mess of smudges from the sweat that ran down her forehead and dripped onto the paper. She hadn’t thought it was that bad. In fact, she was kind of proud of it. Minus the smudges, of course.
“Never mind,” she glowered at him and crossed her legs, hugging the sketchbook to her chest. “I’ve been thinking.”
“So have I,” he broke in. He looked around and lowered his voice. “Look. Whoever poisoned Lord Davies must have been with the expedition. I’ve talked to some of the men, and there was no one else here at the time.”
“Who do you think it was?” she asked, watching him closely. He had been carrying a book on poisons the first time she met him, after all.
“Wait. Shh. Do you hear that?” She cut him off, holding up her hand. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.