This is Part 5 of Death in Knoxville. Need to catch up on the earlier parts of the story?
Peter said he left town after Minnie shot herself at Mrs. Hall’s home. He’d gone to Etowah, Tennessee, 70 miles south of Knoxville. He stayed there through Thanksgiving and Christmas. He stayed through the New Year. He might’ve stayed forever, if Minnie hadn’t written to him in February and asked him to come home.
For a month, he saw her every day and they were happy. Then she began to talk of suicide again.
At last, Peter agreed. They decided to carry out their suicide pact on March 13 but his nerve failed him again. Two days later, Minnie confronted him: she was determined to end her life that day.
“Go home,” he told her.
“If I ever go in that home again, I’ll be carried in,” Minnie cried fiercely. “I mean to get out of my worry this night, if I have to walk down to the bridge and jump off in the river.”
Minnie insisted on visiting her cousin before she died and Peter asked why she was so anxious to go. Minnie said she had told her husband that she was going there and “I want the last thing I told Will to be true.”
They agreed to meet in a few hours, on the corner of Church and Lithgow. While Minnie visited her cousin, Peter fortified himself with alcohol.