Ashford had tried to interrupt Christy with some sort of mocking comment, but she had just continued talking, as impassive as a tape recording. As she left, it was obvious that he was somewhat shaken, and as he turned to Jan Sleet, she said, "I am, as you know, one of the administrators of U-town, and I should tell you that we do not, of course, endorse this type of threat. However, you should also be aware that we don't have the forces which would be needed to protect you or this house against hundreds of angry gang members. Good day."
She turned and we climbed the stairs toward the door, her hand again resting on my arm. "I am going to examine the side entrance to this house," she called over her shoulder. "Don't worry, Marshall knows the way."
Outside, we pushed our way through the undergrowth to the corner of the house and around. What had looked like an entrance the night before now was revealed to be a small and dilapidated shed, leaning against the side of the house. There were windows on three sides of it, and it appeared to be some sort of small greenhouse. With the surrounding trees as thick as they were, it didn't seem like it would receive very much light, but perhaps the trees had come later.
I pushed open the door, which seemed to be coming off its hinges, and we stepped in. There were battered benches and tables along the outer walls, and broken clay pots on the uneven wooden floor. The smell of mildew was strong.
My employer brought out her pocket flash and turned it on. She looked around, focusing her attention on the side of the house, which formed the fourth wall of the shed.
"Odd place for an assignation," I observed. "Pretty unromantic, and there's no way to get into the house."
She smiled, running her fingers along the edges of the boards. "Yes, it would seem so." She continued her examination for a couple of minutes, then she triumphantly pressed something, there was a click, and part of the wall swung toward us.
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