Sheriff Terkinberry, wearing work clothes, approaches site where bones were found.

Scandal at Maple Valley – Episode 30: The Bones Investigation

A police car just beyond tracks, men working.

It’s difficult to say what has become of our happy little community in Maple Valley. Gossip has always been one of our strongest characteristics, but it’s getting ridiculous.

Last week, Vee Burthrap was convinced Shorty Cloverton was having an “uncommon relationship,” as she called it, with Wilomena Shermer, the good reverend’s wife. Vee Burthrap doesn’t even attend Maple Valley Church. If someone is going to gossip about church, they should at least attend!

The main talk topic has been the identity of bones discovered during an emergency watermain repair. Most folks are convinced Sylvia Meisner has been found.

Sheriff Pete Terkinberry contacted state forensics and a team was on the scene of the discovery within an hour of his call. Just that was something remarkable to talk about. A fact. Instead, neighbors have been trying to convince the unbelieving why the remains are undoubtedly those of the missing Sylvia.

Rev. Shermer had everything he could to do calm the members of the memorial dinner committee. They were so offended by the reverend’s comment about not being sure Sylvia had been found it almost resulted in an investigation by the bishopric.

Shermer received a phone call from Bishop Liftenwick, saying he had been contacted by Olenia Durgasmon, who expressed concern that perhaps Reverend Shermer had lost his way. The good reverend resisted the urge to call her a self-absorbed, big mouth bag as he explained the circumstances to his superior. The bishop did a fine job counseling the reverend away from doing terrible things to Olenia.

Quintin O’Dillmotte continues to stir the fury. Just a few days ago, he was arguing with two other men at Smith’s Overalls. He told Orville Pilsh and Merv Ohpe Sheriff Pete refused to allow him to order a special casket for Sylvia Meisner’s funeral.

“The funeral home belongs to you, right?” Orville asked.

“Yes, so what?” Quintin answered.

“How can the sheriff stop you from ordering a casket for your own funeral home? If you want to order a casket, order it!” Merv said.

“But the Sheriff’s Office should pay for it because it’s an official investigation!” O’Dillmotte yelled.

“Quintin, you’re crazy! Sylvia Meisner hasn’t even been found yet!” Pilsh hollered.

“Yes, she has! I know it! I’m sure they’re gonna find out those bones are hers!” Quintin yelled even louder.

Orville and Merv both walked away from Quintin, shaking their heads.

Freight traffic has been stopped while the investigation unfolds. A long train has been standing at the Maple Valley curve for several days. Businesses in Newtown and other towns down the line are waiting for supplies.

Sheriff Terkinberry arrived at the burial site wearing work clothes and a hardhat. It was a good choice for the situation, but it surprised folks to see the sheriff drive into an investigation scene in the patrol car, but not wearing his unform. People in Maple Valley are very serious about protocols and when someone like the sheriff steps outside the expectations, it makes them nervous.

Several people in Newtown have contributed to the theory that the bones are those of an animal. They’re too small to be from a cow, like Burch Mazzlif suggested, after he told everyone his grandfather buried a holstein there. He didn’t want to drag it back to Maple Valley, so he buried it where it dropped.

Sheriff Pete Terkinberry finally revealed at the end of this week, according to the forensic research, the bones are indeed human. How long the remains have been buried there will be determined in the weeks ahead.