Magistrate: What is your name, ma'am?
Ellen: Ellen Kauffman.
Magistrate: And your age?
Ellen: (frowning): Is it necessary to this interview?
Magistrate: For my records--yes.
Ellen: Very well. I was born in 1863.
Magistrate: Thank you (he does math on a scrap of paper). How long have you lived in the village?
Ellen (pausing a moment to consider): Nearly five years. I operate the general store. Well, I do now. Since my husband's death.
Magistrate: Your husband is deceased?
Magistrate: My condolences, Mrs. Kauffman. How long have you known the accused, Ned Gebhardt?
Ellen: Ever since we moved to the village. That poor boy..."
Magistrate: Yes. And you believe him innocent of the crime?
Ellen: I'm not alone in that.
Magistrate (waving a hand in the air): I'm aware of the stepsister. I can understand her loyalty to the boy. But, what about you? What makes you think Gebhardt isn't a cold-hearted killer?
Ellen (raising her voice) : Because I know him. He's not the monster some would have you believe. He's a sad, gentle boy who doesn't have it in him to harm another person--especially not Susie. He loved her. He could not have done those terrible things.
Magistrate (looking stern): There's a rumor--uh. A rumor you are romantically involved with Detective Roth. Is it true?
Ellen (frowning again): I don't see what that has to do with anything. It's none of your business.
Magistrate: I'm afraid it is. For reasons I'll get to in a moment. Is the rumor true?
Ellen (blushes): We've only known one another a short time. I'll admit, we have become friends and allies in the effort to assure a fair trial for Ned.
Magistrate: Yes, that's my problem, Mrs. Kauffman. Do you think his feelings for you have influenced his position on the case?
Ellen: I do not. Simon is an honest, good man and he will put his job before personal feelings. If he finds evidence, he will present it to the court without hesitation. But, you know yourself, there are other suspects. Simon is investigating them, too, though no one else seems to care.
This is a short interview with a primary character from Something So Divine. Here's the blurb for the novel:
When a young girl is found murdered in a Pennsylvania rye field in the autumn of 1897, Ned Gebhardt, a feeble-minded youth known to have stalked the victim, is the prime suspect.
Evidence against Ned is circumstantial and there are other suspects. Influenced by the opinions of Ned’s stepsister and Ellen, a woman who has perked his interest, Simon Roth, the investigator, is inclined to give Ned benefit of the doubt. Then he discovers damaging evidence.
Still unwilling to view Ned as a cold-blooded killer, Roth puts his job and reputation in jeopardy as he seeks to assure a fair trial for the accused.
The novel is available in both print and electronic formats from the publisher, Sunbury Press (http://www.sunburypressstore.com/Something-So-Divine-9781620066126.htm); Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major booksellers.
Care to read more and see reviews? Go to https://www.amazon.com/Something-So-Divine-J-Lindermuth-ebook/dp/B014NG03OO?ie=UTF8&qid=1469466956&ref_=la_B002BLJIQ8_1_3&s=books&sr=1-3#nav-subnav