Snow Falling on Cedars Chapter 6
Horace Whaley is now testifying for Nels Gudmundsson. Nels questions Horace until he (apparently reluctantly) indicates that ultimately, Carl died by drowning. That is, he did not die from the head wound.
Art Moran is remembering how he told Susan Marie about her husband's death. He went to her uncomfortably because she was attractive, and because he knew her well enough that he could not give her the news formally. He had to talk with her and see her pain. And so he decided he would tell her he had urgent business and "in the spirit of one who knows his place simply leave Susan Marie alone." Chapter 6, pg. 70 Instead, however, he went into the house and told her gently that Carl was dead. She was struck dumb and he walked past her carefully to call her sister.