There was no question of who was to blame: Thompson has said it himself, in blood-red oil paint wired to his neighbors’ fence. Gilvery had done it—or, rather, had driven Thompson to. That much was plain as day.

The real wrinkle was that no one knew who Gilvery was, or what they could possibly have done to provoke such a response.

That morning found Vincent Gaines strolling down Main Street in Porthaven, hands in pockets and a satisfied grin on his face.

“Congratulations, Mr. Comissioner of Schools,” called Sam Joliet, Porthaven’s premier greengrocer, from his storefront. “I voted for you, so I knew you’d win.”

“Thanks, Sam,” said Vincent. “I can’t say I’m too happy myself, though. Whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth. Unless that’s the rutabagas I bought from you yesterday, that is.”

“If the rutabaga leaves a sour taste in your mouth, it’s just doing its job,” Joliet laughed. “No, I mean Thompson. Run into him?”

Vincent sighed. “I’m not sure I want to see him. You saw the posters that he put up?”

“Which ones? The ones that accused you of being an anarchist, or the ones that said you’d spawned a mulatto bastard in Port au Prince?”