"Is Spence waiting out there?" Dr. Lee asked Neil.
He shook his head. "He's still trying to eat. He ran back to his food."
She smiled. "He will be displeased if we haul him back up here again."
"If it's possible," Jan said, "I'd like to eat something as well. Marshall and I can–"
"Of course not," Dr. Lee said, standing up. "You're here to assist us, feeding you is the least we can do. Come." I gave Jan my hand and helped her to her feet.
We went down to the basement floor, where there was a small kitchen and a large dining room. The tables were about half full, and I saw Jinx of all ages from elderly to children. We went into the kitchen, where we served ourselves from big pots of chili and stew and vegetables.
As usual in these situations, I carried Jan's plate on my tray, since she couldn't carry a tray herself because of her cane.
When we stepped back into the dining room, I saw Spence at a round table with three other Jinx. As we approached, obviously planning to sit there, the others quickly moved to another table.
Spence gestured for us to sit, and Dr. Lee said, "We thought we'd interrupted your meal enough for one day."
He chuckled. "I was eating quickly, just in case."
We occupied ourselves with our food for a few moments, then Jan said, "Spence, did you notice anything unusual about Åsa before you went away?"
He shrugged. "She was a little distracted, I guess. Had something on her mind."
"Do you have any idea what it was?"
He shook his head. "No."
The rest of the conversation was equally unproductive. He had been gone on his mysterious errand for four days, and wasn't aware of any of Åsa's visits to Lloyd (which had started before his departure), or any possible visits to Ashford's house.
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