She made me sad.
Danielle Kipling’s sweet nature was a gift to the citizens of Cross. She was never without a smile on her face, never without a kind word for someone. Any room brightened when Danielle walked into it, and there wasn’t a soul in the town who didn’t smile back when they saw her.
Her parents had passed when she was young, and she and her sister were raised by a loving, if somewhat strict, aunt. Danielle was, from what I understood, a little touched. A hint of madness, though nothing unbearable.
I don’t think Danielle wanted anything more than to be loved by an artist.
In January of 1909, a young artist by the name of Keith Macomber moved to Cross and took up residence in a small apartment several buildings up from the Cross Historical Society. Starting in March, I often saw Danielle walking along the road and up to his home. He was, I learned, a young man recently returned from Paris, where he had studied under some formidable masters whose names I never cared to learn.
Keith was not a man I was fond of. There was something off about him, and I disliked the way he looked at women in general when he was out and about the town. And, when he spoke to me, I wanted nothing more than to knock his teeth out of his mouth.
On December 10, I saw Danielle walk up to his building, but she was noticeably absent the following two days. Then, on December 13, her sister Doris came into the Society. Danielle had not come home, and it was unlike her to stay out.
I told Doris I would look into it, and she left for home to await her sister’s return.
I went directly to Keith’s apartment and forced the door. What I found was disturbing.
Keith Macomber was dead, which was no loss as far as I was concerned.
He was, however, seated in a chair with his hands nailed to the table, and his eyes gouged out. They and his tongue were on a plate in front of him, and Danielle was singing softly to him, her eyes wide and her expression one of pure madness.
There is only one cure for that form of insanity, and I applied it as mercifully as I could. She died easily, and in her last moments, I hope she believed he loved her.