the u-town murder case (part five)

This story started here.

It was a small bedroom, not unusual in any way, but much cleaner and more organized than the room we'd just come from. Clothes were stacked neatly in piles, and there was a hamper for dirty laundry. A row of hooks on the wall held coats and jackets. There was a ceiling light, and the one lamp had a hand-painted shade.

The large mattress filled half the room, and the crumpled bedclothes were the one thing in the room which wasn't neat and tidy. There were no chairs, so we continued to stand as my employer looked around. I could see her judging how the room would be illuminated with the lights out and the door to the other room open.

Apartment Floor Plan

It took a moment for Leo to step into the room with us. "I'm sorry if this is upsetting," she said to him, "but I need you to tell me where the body was, where the coat was, where the knife was, everything."

He nodded. "Don't apologize," he said, "I appreciate that you're trying to help." He gestured at the bed. "She was lying there, on the right hand side of the bed. That was her side. I tend to sleep on the left side by habit, even when she's not there, so there was plenty of room for her to lie down without waking me up."

"How was she dressed?"

He shrugged. "Shirt, jeans, shoes. She hadn't taken her clothes off."

"Was that usual? Did she often go to bed with her clothes on?"

He shook his head. "Never. And she always took her shoes off in the house, even if she wasn't going to bed, unless it was really cold."

"Speaking of which, it's been pretty chilly at night. Was she wearing a coat when she went out?"

Leo looked around, then he went to a small pile of clothes in the corner and picked up a large, tweed overcoat. He held it out. "I'm sorry the place is a mess," he said. "She used to do the cleaning up, and I just haven't felt like it."

Jan Sleet nodded. "I completely understand." She took the coat and looked it over carefully, inside and out. "Where did she get this?" she asked. She reached into one of the pockets and her eyes narrowed. She didn't pull anything out, though, and I wondered what she had found.

He shrugged. "She's had it for a while. She might have found it, I really don't know."

Outside, I had an idea what was next. "Hospital?" I asked.

She nodded absently, her mind far away. I wondered if she was going to start pretending she had solved it already.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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