Crows of a feather
Malone stood in the shop, looking down on the opened coffin-like box. They had placed the body in here, so the rigor would pass more quickly, with at least some nominal amount of heat coming from the pot bellied stove. The box was the same they'd used to transport the body, and others before it. It was bigger than a regular coffin and meant to accomodate those situations where rigor or other circumstances might prevent a body from arranging itself neatly inside a smaller space. Having heard something about how this beautiful, broken young woman had come to her demise, Mason, his father, had thought it prudent to take the larger receptacle.

With fingertips pressing into the fabric of his cap, Malone stood, gazing and gazing, almost one would have thought in a state of rapture. His lips moved very slightly but no sound emanated from them. Hearing the door that lead from the house proper to the shop open, he jumped, his look furtive, almost...guilty. He turned to see who it was that had come to disturb his reverie.
The man walked into their home and didn't get far before he stopped before Malone. He stared at the boy and silently slammed the lid upon the body. He continued to look at his face, waiting for his son to move on. It was only when he finally did turn away that he reopened the box. He looked at the body and lifted an arm testing to get the rigor mortis. He frowned and forced it to bend but stopped before he broke anything and sighed. It would take longer. Mason lowered the appendage carefully and turned to see if his assistant was doing his work. He didn't want to keep the lid down but it seemed so easy to distract him.
A body! And by way of murder most foul! Or was it? That's all he'd heard, and frankly all he needed to know to make straight for the mortuary. He didn't know the Soweberrys well, but it seemed obvious that he ought to at least attempt a cozy-up.

Corbenic knocked on the door and spread down his strange robes to look presentable, though little of that could actually be achieved without a more thorough scrubbing which he neglected to do most days.
His head turned as he heard the knock. Who on earth could it have been? The constable? Family or friends of the dead woman? Perhaps it was more work. He glanced at Malone to make sure he was behaving before he walked towards the door and opened it.

He stared for a long silent moment at the strange man whom he hadn't remembered seeing before. He didn't seem like a person suffering a loss, so he was unlikely someone to provide a client. He finally spoke in a soft and calm voice. "Yes? May I help you?"
Malone jumped a second time when his father slammed the lid down on the box. He felt a stab of injury - indignation - he hadn't been doing anything! Just looking, that's all - but he kept his features as still as the granite that so often graced the graves which he had so often helped to dig. He kept his eyes down and made no sound, but turned silently to return to his task of laying out the lines of the coffin to be, with a carpenter's pencil. He carefully kept his eyes averted, but his ears were tuned in to every sound emanating from his father's activities - jealously tuned in, if the truth be told.

The knock that came on their door made him jump a third time, and this time his eyes flew to the source of the noise. Eyes that widened, as he wondered at the timing of visitor to body, thinking perhaps it would be someone from the castle. He caught his father's quick glance, and once again, his eyes turned to his work, at least they appeared to. In reality, his hands were still as he covertly watched from under dark lashes to see his father open the door to their guest.

As he could barely see past his father's form, he would have to wait to learn who it was who had come a'knocking.
“Yes! Hello.” He tried to peer over the man’s shoulder to see if the body was there. “My name is Mr. Corvid Knott. The apothecary? The local druggist?” Surely he knew of him. Did he never take a nip of cocaine for his headaches? “I heard tell of a deceased woman... is it true she fell from being pushed? I am a - I have knowledge, er, research.. interest! In the field of anatomy. The mechanics of the body. I thought I might lend a hand. That is to say, if you needed one.” As always, he had a way with words. “Or perhaps, perhaps for a small sum, I might view... for research purposes, I admire the work of.. Leonardo and how you know, you know the bodies he looked at. To make art.”
"Apothecary? Good to know." Mason already considered some ideas. Maybe he had something so he wouldn't have to worry about his son sneaking around at night. He didn't let the man in any closer though.

"We're not an amusement, sir. These aren't for studying. Try the hospital. I got my son here. He helps. And we don't study the bodies, we gotta keep them pristine for their families." He folded his arms and eyed him carefully. Of course, he didn't need another making his job harder.

"Maybe I can make you a deal."

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