After a time, I sat down and Horace, still talking, sat beside me. His voice sounded more strained and tired as time went on. My ears hurt from taking it all in. At last he came to the end.
“She’d left a note,” he said, “that she had taken Ernst and gone to the lake. It wasn’t like a … like a suicide note. I didn’t know that’s what she was… I swear, I didn’t know. I was so angry with her. I know I should’ve gone right away. Should’ve thought more about Ernest. Made sure he was okay. But instead I… I made myself dinner and ate it, nice and slow, before I went looking for them. If I had gone right away, maybe I could’ve stopped her. Maybe—”
I put my arms around Horace and pulled him close while he cried.