Book Excerpt From "Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: A Fool and His Honey"

I hung up and hid behind a curtain, so I could check on Darius from time to time. I needn’t have bothered to hide. I could have been on the surface of the moon for all Darius cared. He was one big brown goose pimple in the chilly breeze as he danced around buck naked, telling the sky that we would have the wedding supper when she came.

I wondered what Darius would do when he ran out of verses.

I didn’t have to wait long. He switched to “Turkey in the Straw.” Darius was having a flashback to elementary school music class, I decided.

He scampered around to his own music with an impressive light-footedness for a staid middle-aged man.

I decided to call my husband.

“There’s a naked man in the backyard,” I said softly, because Darius had stopped singing and was hunting an imaginary deer.

“Anyone I know?” Martin’s voice was cautious. He wasn’t certain how seriously to take this.

“Darius Quattermain. The woodman.” “I assume you’ve called the sheriff?”

“The car’s here now.” The official car had just pulled up my driveway. I nodded approvingly. The siren wasn’t on and the lights stopped flashing as I watched. “Jimmy Henske and Levon Suit,” I told Martin.

“Jimmy Henske, huh? Maybe I’d better come home.” And the phone was replaced firmly in its cradle. Martin has no high opinion of the sheriff’s department in Sparling County, and Jimmy Henske, who is maybe twenty-five, gawky and diffident, has never inspired my husband with his competence.

But Jimmy’s a nice guy, and Levon Suit (who went to high school with me) is a very controlled deputy who is not only innately more intelligent than Jimmy but five years more experienced. I remembered that Levon had dated one of Darius’s daughters when we were juniors.

I watched, fascinated, as Levon slowly approached Darius. I was a little surprised the deputy would brave walking right up to him—but then, it was completely obvious Darius wasn’t carrying a weapon. It appeared that Darius had killed the deer and resumed singing and dancing in celebration. In fact, he was so glad to see Levon that he grabbed Levon’s hands and capered off, and for a delirious minute or two Levon trotted right along with him.

With a patience that made me proud, the two deputies coaxed Darius into their car. Jimmy hurried back to pick up Darius’s clothes, which he tossed in the front seat.