the case of the four women (part eleven)

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"I knocked on the right hand apartment door," he continued, "the apartment over the darkroom. A young Oriental lady opened the door. I introduced myself and told her that I was a reporter. She gave her name as Ashley Dawn, and she invited me in.

"She said she had lived there for about two years, the longest tenant in the building. Zoe had moved in four months before, Wilhelmina about a month later, and PF DeVoe about three weeks ago. I never did learn Wilhelmina's last name."

"Did you find out if Miss Dawn is in a relationship?"

"She is in a lesbian relationship with Wilhelmina, who lives upstairs."

"How did you determine that?"

"She mentioned it. Several times. The relationship is still quite new, and she seemed to be excited about it. Apparently it is her first relationship with a woman, and I gathered that Wilhelmina is more experienced in this area. Also, there were several very large black-and-white photographs on the walls of the apartment, depicting the two of them together, naked, engaging in various sexual acts."

My employer nodded. "I think we can accept that as evidence, at least for now." That got a momentary smile from the detective, though he tried to turn his head so his boss wouldn't see. "I assume she's the photographer who uses the darkroom below her apartment." He nodded. "Is she a professional? Or does she have a job?"

"She comes into the city two days a week, to work in an art gallery. Other than that, I don't know."

"What about Wilhemina? Does she have a job?"

"I was not able to find out."

"And Miss Alexander?"

"She worked in the restaurant when it was open, at least on weekends. Now that it's closed, they think Mr. Mason may be supporting her." He caught my employer's glance. "That's her gentleman friend. He's older than she is, and he's only there occasionally. Miss Dawn's opinion is that he's married and can't always get away from his wife." He allowed himself a brief smile. "She made me promise not to include that in the story I was writing."

"And Miss DeVoe?"

"No idea. I got the idea that they're a bit afraid of her. Not that she's threatening, she is apparently quite pleasant, but if you ask her a question you can't always tell what kind of information you may get. Usually more than you want, and probably inaccurate."

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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