the family murder case (part twenty-two)

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"Well, how about this?" my employer said. "Who was in the house that night? Give me a picture of the scene."

Erika sighed. "It was the third day that Bobby had been there with his friends. It was really uncomfortable, at least for me."

"In what way?"

"There were three friends, three boys. I got the idea that they didn't actually like Bobby that much. But they had the opportunity to stay in a mansion, to eat good food, to ride horses and swim and so on."

"So, they were just taking advantage of Bobby?"

"Well, that's the way it looked to me."

"Was this the first time you'd met Bobby?" I asked. "The semester must have already been in session when you and Claudia got there."

"Oh, no. He's been coming home most weekends. Mrs. Forrester said how nice it was that he was coming home so often."

"And, if I might possibly be inappropriate," I said, which made them both smile, "the main activity that people seek over school breaks isn't usually horseback riding or swimming..."

They laughed as more bread arrived, and more olive oil was poured, and more pepper was ground.

"Well," Erika continued after a moment, "the boys have been pursuing that activity as much as they can. I gather the more attractive servants have not been immune."

"Immune to advances, or have they been succumbing?"

She shrugged. "Based on how the boys talk, they've been having some success."

"But boys are not always the most reliable reporters of their own rates of success, especially in that area," I added.

"True," she said with a smile. "In general, I didn't try to find out, because I didn't care."

"Understandable." my employer, "but it might be significant now."

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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