In the opening scene the sheriff, his wife, the county attorney, neighbor Mr. Hale and Mrs Hale are all at the home of John Wright. Mr. Hale is explaining to the men and women how he had found Mrs. Wright that morning that her husband was deceased.
Mr. Hale, Mrs. Hale , Sheriff Peters and Mrs. Peters and the county attorney were all talking about how being a farm wife was hard. They were talking about Mrs. Wright and her preserves calling them "trifles." They explained how Mrs. Wright was worried that her jam would freeze if she wasn't there to take care of it.
The men went upstairs to see the crime scene where Mr. Hale found Mr. Wright dead in his bed from strangulation. Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters talked about how Mrs. Wright was a lively thing and pretty in her day before life was rough on her.
Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale continued to discuss Mrs. Wright. Mrs. Hale began straightening things up in the home. Both women didn't feel right snooping around in Mrs. Wrights kitchen.
Mrs Peters find a basket of quilt work that Mrs. Wright was working on. It was a log cabin pattern. As Mrs. Peters began digging around in the quilting she found a little box. Inside the box was a little bird that was dead. It had its neck broken. Both women began to wonder if Mrs. Wright had killed her husband.
When the men came back into the room the women snatch the box they found the dead bird in and take it with them.