River Bank Mystery (Part 3/3)

River Bank Mystery (Part 3/3)
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grade 4
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   3.28

     challenging words:    circuit, plat, shadowy, shotgun, slim, death, foundation, saying, yonder, murder, clearly, loosen, likely, rough, tragic, roots
     content words:    Adam Pope, Jackson Shaw, Joe Harris, Eben Tull

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River Bank Mystery (Part 3/3)
By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     Adam Pope is investigating the death of Jackson Shaw. Joe Harris, Eben Tull, and he have returned to the place where Shaw's body was found.
2     Pope looked at the rocks scattered in a thick layer along the bank. He knew that one of them was likely the murder weapon, but who could tell for sure? He stared into the deeper pool of water nearby. Hardly a ripple stirred the surface of the stream. Deep in its shadowy depths lay the long slim bodies of trout as they hid from the sun. It was easy to see why Shaw had come to fish.
3     "What was the disagreement between your families about?" Pope asked Joe.
4     "He moved some of the property markers between our farms before we moved in. It moved a sweet water spring from our side of the line to his. Thankfully the spring was clearly marked on the plat for our farm. It wasn't until the circuit judge came through and made Shaw give it back that it was solved. My father hasn't trusted him since."
5     "I can understand why that would lead to hard feelings, but not to murder," said Pope thoughtfully. "There had to be some kind of reason for killing him." He turned to Eben. "How did you come to be involved in all of this, Tull?"
6     "I was minding my own business, working in the field just up yonder. When I started plowing this year, I had a lot of trouble with stones. I'd just cleared the trees right along there last fall. I'd started putting them in heaps at the edge of the field. Today, I started loading them into the stone boat I made. I like to have a pile of rocks near the buildings to use for foundation work when I am ready to build."
7     "Why would there be more rocks in the area that was being cleared?" asked Pope.
8     "Well, they seem to push up from below," said Tull thoughtfully. "I think the roots loosen them. This ground isn't as rocky as some, though, and once it's cleared, it's great for farming."

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