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The property description, complete with the location of pins set at specific degrees of longitude and latitude, described a sprawling 190 acre farm property known as the "Stoddard Farm" located in northwest Towns County.

The name "Stoddard" immediately tripped a cognitive switch in Isabel's mind as she remembered that Ray's mother's maiden name was Phyllis Freeman Stoddard, and that Phyllis also had a living brother somewhere in Georgia. Isabel hadn't heard Ray mention the Stoddards much during their marriage. When Ray's mother, Phyllis, died back in 1976, Isabel was aware that she had been institutionalized in an asylum in south Georgia for several years, and Ray had quietly arranged for the funeral and attended it alone.

During the forty-two years that Isabel had known him, Ray, for some reason, had not been close to the Stoddard side of his family, and no one ever knew why.

Feeling a little relieved at the conclusion of her visit to BOH, Isabel gathered up and took the contents of Ray's safety deposit box with her. The head teller also told Isabel that Ray had maintained an active checking account with the bank, but it had been closed and moved into an inactive status more than a year ago. Despite the fact that the deduction of his safety deposit box rent had depleted his account somewhat, the remaining account balance of $652 was refunded to Isabel in the form of a cashier's check, and Ray's inactive account was finally closed once and for all. |next|