Chapter XVI A Homicide

November 15, 2016

Chapter XVI A Homicide

Paul hurried home from work because he wanted to leave with Dr Alvarez the cost estimate his boss had made for the shelves that he wanted made. The doctor wasn’t home so he left the estimate with his wife.

Before he got home he saw his neighbor raking leaves in his front yard. His name was John. He stopped to talk with him for a few minuets. John and his wife had come to the Bible studies a number of times at the Alvarez home.

The following Friday evening the Parks family was eating their evening meal when someone clapped their hands at the front gate. It was Silvia, the wife of Ralph Diaz. You may remember that he and his family had recently moved To Chilecito to work in the sugar cane harvest. Silvia was worried about Ralph because he hadn’t come home yet. She said his boss was going to pay his employees at the end of the day. She was waiting for him to come home with some money so she could go out and buy some groceries. It was almost 9:00. Paul invited her to come in and share her concern with Mary. Together they debated about what they should do.

Silvia wanted to report it to the police, but Paul thought they should wait a while longer before doing that. He asked her if it could be that Ralph might have stopped at a bar to have a few drinks on the way home. “That could be,” she said.

Mary offered to cook something for their evening meal while Paul went out to see if he could find Ralph. He stopped at John’s house and told him what had happened and asked him to go with him. Together they made the rounds of all the bars, but they didn’t find Ralph in any of them. They had to go back and tell Silvia that they hadn’t found him. Paul offered to go with her the next morning to the police station and report that he was missing.

Word soon got around the neighborhood about the problem at the Diaz house. Several came by the house to offer comfort to Silvia and her family. About 4:00 that afternoon a squad car stopped in front of the Diaz house and two policemen got out. Paul saw them. He went and got Mary and they ran to find out what the news was. It wasn’t good news. They said a body had been found under a pile of sugar cane. They wanted Silvia to go with them to the police station to see if it was Ralph’s body. Mary got in the squad car and went with Silvia. Within a few minuets they came back with the sad news that it was Ralph. He had been stabbed.

You can imagine the shock and desperation that Silvia and the children felt. They had just recently moved to Chilecito. They didn’t have any relatives there. They hadn’t had time to make many friends there. Silvia didn’t have any money.

That same afternoon a man from the neighborhood started going door to door asking for donations to help with the funeral and burial expenses of Ralph. Others came to clean the house and make preparations for the viewing that would be held the next morning. In spite of the fact that most of the people didn’t know the Diaz family, out of respect, a great many came to the viewing and to offer consolation to Silvia and the children. With Silvia’s permission, Ralph asked Dr. Alvarez to come and pray at the funeral.

As you can imagine, the neighbors were greatly troubled and wondered who the murderer was. Many were there from out of town to work in the sugar cane harvest. They asked themselves, “Was it one of us or one of them? Obviously, the murderer had taken Ralph’s money. Some had suspicions about who it might have been, but no one knew for sure.

Will the guilty person be found? Keep reading the story of the Parks family.

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