I really love Pudding. She has so much enthusiasm and love for her brother that Irene can’t help but admire her. The two women are so different: Irene is beautiful, shy, and somehow cold whereas Pudding is overweight, grubby, but so warm and cheerful. The girl won’t let anybody stop her conviction that her brother is innocent. After Irene tells her that she felt something meaningful after talking to Hilarius and Ma Tanner, Pudding takes upon herself to talk to the two of them. Both Hilarius and Ma Tanner tell her that she should find the truth in the root and in history. When Ma Tanner says something about something foul, Pudding has a brainwave. The next day she finds Irene and tell her about the book she was reading recently about the foulest crimes in Wiltshire, and in the book there is the crime of a girl Sarah, who was killed the same way and in the same place as Alistair and Sarah’s murder happened the same day but fifty years ago. Pudding knows that this is linked to the crime, and that means that the same person who killed Sarah murdered Alistair. Pudding could see that Irene had the same feeling about the book as she had with Hilarius, the doll or Ma Tanner, and now she can see on her face what she meant.
Pudding then goes to find Constable Peter Dempsey. We know that Peter is only three years older than Pudding, and they were in school together, and I have the feeling that he has a crush on Pudding. The girl tells her about the book and the crime, and even though Peter is not as enthusiastic as Pudding, he promises to talk to Superintendent Blackman about it and find what he can about the 50-year-old crime.
As for Clemmie, her mother and sisters know that she is pregnant. Rose, her mother, tells her father, who reacts in a sad way, and he tells Rose to take Clemmie to the Tanners as Ma Tanner will able to abort the child. Clemmie is very afraid when they get to the Tanners as she thinks that her mother has found out about Eli. Yet, when she realises why they are there, Clemmie keeps shaking her head and hugging her middle. Ma Tanner tells Rose that she can’t do much if Clemmie doesn’t want to get rid of her baby, and what she should do is to persuade her husband that this is good. The old woman even gives Rose some herbs to give her husband. William, her father, then talks to Clemmie and tells her that she can stay with them, but if the man who took advantage of her dared to come close to the farm, he will give him a good beating. Eli is happy with the baby and comes up with a plan for him and Clemmie to leave the village and live in Swindon. I don’t think this is what Clemmie wants as she doesn’t want to live in some strange place where nobody will know her. Clemmie is also afraid that Eli wants her to live with his family because she is afraid of Isaac Tanner, and she knows that sooner or later he will turn his violence against her and her baby. Poor Clemmie!!! What a jam she is!!!
I am totally engrossed in this book, and I want to find out the truth as much as Pudding and Irene. I thought that Isaac Tanner had killed Alistair, but is that the truth? What about the link with the murder of Sarah? Who killed Sarah? The person must be around 70, and the only people who are old in this novel is Nancy, Hilarius, and Ma Tanner. Are any of them responsible for Sarah’s death? Why was she killed? And who was she? And did the same person kill Alistair? If so, why?