Wilson began to walk away with a heavy heart. At first he had just been consumed with thoughts of how horrible it must have been for the old man. He wondered if he had been scared, if it had hurt. Then he wondered if Tooth had anyone in his life that would be effected. Surely he had family, close friends. They would be devastated. The poor old man, and his poor family. And then, then he started to realize that he was certainly on the list of the devastated himself. He hadn’t known Tooth well, and that was a fact that he was becoming more and more aware of, but now that he was gone he was beginning to realize what a big part the old man and his bookshop had in his life. Everything would be different from now on, he supposed. There was little enough kindness in his life, and there would now be less.

Then something else occurred to him, a thought that made him almost as sad as losing his friend. What would happen to the bookstore without its proprietor? Would it shut down? Get sold off? Would the new owners keep it, or dump the inventory for something more profitable? He tried to think back to all of the times he had visited the store, with its shelves and stacks piled high, the musty smell of old tomes and cracking glue. Had he ever seen anyone else in the shop? Surely he must have at some point. But he could not remember having done so. Tooth managed to obtain new books, at least on a semi-regular basis, so he supposed that the shop must have been making at least some money. Maybe only enough to scrape by, maybe not enough to satisfy a new owner. Tooth had loved the place, that much he knew for certain. He may not have known much about the man, but he did know that.

He turned quickly back to Officer Doyle, concern growing behind his eyes. “Officer Davies?” he asked, “I’m sorry, it seems like such a callus question right now, I’m sure, but do you know what will happen to the bookshop?”

“Hard to say” the officer replied. “I suppose it depends on whether or not there was a will, and if Mr. Feris made arrangements for the shop. With no will any assets he had will pass to next of kin, if he has any. If no next of kin can be found it will pass on to the city, and go to auction.”

“Man’s got a will.” Davies’ partner said, having just emerged from another foray into the shop. He shot a glance over at Wilson, a brief “You’re still here?” sort of look before turning back to his partner. “Should provide a lead on next of kin, at least. Looks like he left the shop to a Wilson Pool, no address though. More legwork for us tracking the guy down” he threw out, annoyed. Davies and Wilson just looked at him astonished, and then looked at each other.

“Gary,” Officer Davies said, “I think I can save you the trouble.”


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