After washing and eating, Seymour set off to inspect the residence of the late hog farmer, Mr. Harold Roberts, on the other side of a shallow creek. One bridge and two fences later, he found himself outside a large enclosure containing several dozen snorting, grunting, wallowing swine. None of these were quite as large as Apples, but a few looked as if they might come close. The hogs came in a variety of colors: some were pink, others gray, and still others had spots and patterns. Seymour was willing to bet that even the smallest out of them would have outweighed him by a factor of two or more.
He went around the corner of the pen and continued on to the cottage, which was small and thatched like most of the others in the area. MacAskell had informed him that Rogers was unmarried and had no one living with him, but Seymour knocked at the door, just in case. When after ten seconds, no one responded, he entered. People did not seem to see any use for locks in these parts.
There was no sign of a struggle inside the house. In fact, everything seemed just as it should have been. He did find, however, an official notice concerning a festival that would be taking place, according to its name, upon the following day.
Please bring your hog to Tent 4 at nine-thirty in the morning for weighing. Allow for extra time in transporting your animal, as there will be crowds.
Yours, the Management of Brittle Plains Midsummer’s Day Fair.
Undoubtedly, this was the same contest which the girl had assured him that Apples would win. There, evidently, lay the connection, and possibly even a motive. He reviewed the facts. Roberts had entered a pig into a weight contest, had been killed, and then had been buried in a neighbor’s yard by a woman who then had left in a direction likely to lead her to the farm in which resided the reigning champion. The reigning champion was owned by a woman. It did not take a genius to see where this was leading.
But something did not add up. None of the pigs Seymour had seen was as large as Apples. There seemed to be no risk to his title. Why then would this have escalated to murder?
He resolved to speak with Apples’ owner as soon as possible.