We should consider using these bolts to cover our tracks, comments Paladin. If we recover our arrows and replace them with these bolts, it will make it harder to identify to any survivors who has attacked. Similarly, Doughbert and I both have some goblin arrows we can use to replace those used here. That will point the guilt away from us and towards the goblins.
Paladin will look to see if the halfling bandit's clothes are remarkable and whether they would fit Doughbert or him. Also whether the halfling looks from a distance like Paladin or Doughbert.
Karl eyes one of the crossbows, then looks at his shield. "I'm not much of a shot, and likely do more good with this-" Karl gestures with his shield "-when the fight comes. Still, might not hurt to have one handy."
Karl will grab one of the crossbows, and a few (as in 4) bolts. "These things are a pain to reload, but I'd be happy to swap ya in a fight."
If it's not still loaded, Karl will load the crossbow. Then he will approach the cave entrance, visibly debating between slinging the crossbow or his shield over a shoulder.
Squinting into the cave, Tannen sees that, beyond the entrance, the passageway immediately takes a sharp turn to the right (north), whereupon it continues for about 40' before turning sharply again to the left (west). Flickering shadows suggest that the caves are dimly, but serviceably, lit.
[Rolls]. Doughbert's search for "nasty surprises" doesn't reveal anything. Lifting the lid on the iron bowl he discovers the contents to be hot coals.
The halfling bandit's armour is standard leather - similar to Paladin's and wholly unremarkable. It would fit either Paladin or Doughbert (although perhaps more of a squeeze on Paladin). Overall, Doughbert's build is more akin to that of the bandit - Coastwood food can't be up to much as the bandit is rather less stout than the average halfling. Whether someone could mistake Doughbert for the bandit is another matter - it would depend who it was, the distance, the lighting, how well they knew them, etc. But it could be possible, in the right circumstances.
Paladin wonders whether he has been called fat, then decides he is pleasantly rotund. Paladin collects his fired arrows and uses his shortsword to open the wounds of the dead where he can, making it appear that they died from combat rather than missiles. Where he can't do that, he'll replace the arrow with a goblin one. He'll leave the halfling's armor undisturbed. Then Paladin will hide himself in the shrubs and let the others take the lead.
Doughbert watches Paladin doctor the crime scene and nods in agreement. He'll change into the dead halfling's armor and pack his away. A small potential for an advantage is better than no potential for advantage. When/if Tannen reports that the cave is serviceably lit doughbert will put the torch back into the pile and then move to where the group is, ready to enter when they are.
Karl appears to have decided to stow the shield on his back, just in case this starts as a shooting war. Watching Doughbert's progress, he gestures to the crossbows. "You might want one of these crossbows to finish your disguise there."
Tannen stashes his backpack in the bushes somewhere out of sight (so as to avoid being heavily loaded), then keeps an eye (and an 'open' ear) on the tunnel while the others prepare to enter the cave. Given that there is enough light to see by in the tunnel, Tannen figures that the party needn't use a torch - the additional light might ruin the chance for surprise.
Once the group are assembled, Tannen will lead them into the cave, whispering "ready those missiles and let's be as quiet as we can".