the u-town murder case (part thirteen)

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My employer turned back to the man. "What time did you discover the body?" she asked.

"Late last night," he said. "Around two or three in the morning."

"And you sent a runner to let Jasper's sister know."

"Charlotte and Leo, yes." He shrugged. "It was the right thing to do. And I thought Leo would prefer to have a runner come to his place, rather than one of us."

She nodded.

"Have you called the hospital?" she asked.

He shook his head. "We handle our own problems."

"Understandable, but they have to be called." He was smiling, shaking his head, but she limped over and whispered something to him. He looked around the room, then he motioned her to the farthest corner.

She leaned over him and they talked quietly for several moments, then he nodded and turned to the other Dragons. "It is as I suspected," he said. He shook his head. "We have no more business here."

One of them started to protest, probably at leaving the body with us, but he silenced her with a look.

"It was not an honorable death," he said simply. "Come."

He was the last one to leave, and, without looking back, he said, "I will do as you have asked."

"Thank you," Jan said quietly as he left.

"What now?" I asked after a moment.

She shook her head and sat down gingerly on the cleanest part of the sofa. "Waiting," she said simply. "Vic will come as soon as they give him the message. Pat will come soon after that. It's solved."

She leaned back and closed her eyes, and it was clear that there was no triumph in this case. Then she looked at me, smiling a very wan smile. "You could make yourself useful, you know," she said quietly. "There is one thing that I'd like to find in this room somewhere. Of course, it might not be here..."

Then I got what she was talking about, and I started searching the room, straightening up the mess as I went.

Apartment Floor Plan

I searched until I found a key, tied to a long piece of string. The string was frayed, as if it had been snapped, and I was pretty sure that it had once been used to carry the key around someone's neck. I didn't remember the lock to the apartment, but I was pretty sure this was Charlotte's missing key.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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