the family murder case (part thirty-eight)

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After a quick ride to the train station, in a small procession comprising two luxury cars and a single gleaming motorcycle, we reached the moment I had been dreading: the unloading of the luggage. Christy and I assisted the two chauffeurs (or whatever they were), despite a disapproving look from Claudia. She kept her arm around Erika's shoulders, and Erika's degree of shell shock was indicated by the fact that she didn't even try to help us.

"I'm a bit concerned," I said when we were done, "about how we're going to get all of this luggage off the train when we get there, and then get it into the cars or cabs or whatever we can get."

"I can help," Christy said.

"You're going to get there ahead of us?"

"This train is a local, right?"

I nodded. "There are no expresses at this hour."

She grinned. "Piece of cake."

My employer tapped my shoulder. "On the train, I'll need my notepaper, my pen, and an envelope."


"No, we're going to hand-deliver it."

The train was nearly deserted. I pulled one of the seat backs into the opposite position, so we could all sit facing each other. Claudia immediately took one of the window seats and lit a cigarette. With no ceremony, Erika kicked off her shoes and lay across the seats (on that side of the train, the seats were wide enough for three people). Her back was to us, and her head was in Claudia's lap. Claudia smoothed her fine, blonde hair, and then she rested her hand on Erika's shoulder.

I never asked, of course, but everything about Claudia's attitude since they had returned to the restaurant led me to think that, while they had been gone, Claudia had realized that the murder victim could easily have been Erika instead of Freddy.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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