the case of the four women (part twelve)

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"Can you describe PF DeVoe?" Miss Tumolo asked, surprising us all.

"I didn't meet her. Miss Dawn did have a photograph of the four of them at a picnic, along with Mister Mason. Based on that, I would say that she's of medium height, with straight blonde hair tied back in a pony tail, wearing very large, round, wire-rim glasses–"

"I know her," Miss Tumolo said. "She comes to the school to volunteer sometimes. Mr. Guthrie maintains a list of people who are not allowed to volunteer, and she's at the top of the list."

"Why is that?" Mr. Prescott asked.

"She's insane, or at least not very well connected to reality."

"I've met her, too," I said. "She comes to the hospital every couple of weeks, trying to volunteer there. We used to let her, but she had an unsettling effect on the patients. And, to be honest, on the staff."

"I gather you don't approve of locking up crazy people," Mr. Prescott commented.

"We're not opposed to it," my employer said, "and in some cases it is necessary. But she doesn't appear to be dangerous, and she seems quite happy the way she is." She nodded at the detective. "What else did you find out?"

"I congratulated Miss Dawn on her relationship, because I know that sort of thing is encouraged in U-town. I also asked about Mr. Mason. She said she and Wilhelmina had met him a couple of times, but they do not know him well. Then we heard a noise in the hall, and she got up and went to the door. It was Miss Alexander and Mr. Mason, and she invited them in, explaining that I was a reporter. Miss Alexander was just cautious, but Mr. Mason expressed reluctance to get involved at all, though he was polite."

"Not surprising, if he was there to visit his mistress."

"True. But then Mr. Mason made me, or at least he figured out I wasn't a reporter. He seemed to think I was a private detective, and the others believed him and Miss Dawn asked me to leave."

My employer fired her pipe back to life and looked out the window for a moment.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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