"The two UNCLE agents spun around to face a man in his shirtsleeves. "I'm the manager. Heard that fella outside, and saw you were better set up to defend than me. Phoned Sheriff Patterson—that'll be him at the door."
A voice of command on the porch shouted—"Holman—Crawford! Hit up those bushes and watch out. Hello in there!"
"He'll want to ask y'a few questions, but I'll speak for you." He glanced down. "Y' might want t' put your pants on before he comes in."
Napoleon looked down and remembered an armload of clothes dropped in the upstairs hall. Oh..."Thank you," he said, and fled.
With the police they checked the area around the tree and the tree itself for clues. A patch of leaves had been seared by acid and fragments of dull metal lay scattered some yards beyond. The tree itself was unmarked save for a worn but deeply graven legend, Barnabas loves Josette."
Need I add the action takes place in "a quiet little town" somewhere in New England?