It took everything David had to keep the disgust from his face. “Why are you telling us, then?”
“Well, you see,” said Luther, reaching into his coat, “my men were supposed to kill Meriwether earlier tonight.” He pulled out a small handgun.
David and Meriwether both stiffened in their seats.
“Imagine my surprise when I received word that Meriwether was not at home and had come here, instead. Now I am left to wonder if killing him is truly necessary.”
“It surely isn’t,” David said hastily, ignoring his increased heartbeat. “Meri is on our side. Why would you even think it necessary to kill him in the first place?”
“One must be meticulous,” said Luther. For a long moment, his gaze held on Meriwether, whose return expression was not one of fright or worry but of anger and defiance. “I did not think Meriwether would understand, especially when he learned that Gabriel, Charles, and Martin are all dead as well.”
Meriwether stood. “WHAT?!”
Luther pointed the gun at him now. “You see? So easy to read, this one.”
It was all going wrong. David knew he had to think of something, but nothing came to mind. “Luther, please don’t do anything rash. Let us speak reasonably on this matter. Meri, sit down. Meri.”
Slowly, Meriwether sat.
“David will soon receive word of their deaths,” said Luther, “and as he is now the oldest, emergency power will fall to him.” He glanced at David. “I would appreciate it if you did not accept your new responsibility and instead passed it on to me.”
“Of course,” said David. His mind was racing again. If Luther’s only objective was to obtain emergency power, then killing Meriwether would not be strictly needed, as Meriwether was younger. Perhaps one brother’s life could yet be saved here. “But please don’t harm Meri. If you have any affection for me at all, Luther, then allow me this one favor.”
“You are fond of him?” said Luther. “I do not see why. He only seems like a needless complication to me.”