My employer looked around the room again. "Interesting. It will take some thinking to figure out how the murderer, and the weapon, got out of this room. Can you all be here tomorrow night?"
"I certainly don't feel like going out," Jason said.
My employer looked up. "As I remember this building from the outside, there must be something above us. Another floor?"
Erika nodded. "Just an attic. It used to be used for storage, but we never go up there anymore."
"How do you get to it?"
"In the other room, the parlor, there's a ladder in the back of the closet."
My employer turned to me. "Please search this floor and the attic, and let me know what you find."
Erika took out her keys again. "I'll unlock the door for you," she said.
As we walked back down the hall, and my employer asked, "Is the parlor door usually kept locked?"
"Always. Claudia and I have the only keys."
"What about the door to Claudia's bedroom? I noticed that you unlocked that as well."
Erika shook her head. "It was never locked before. Claudia asked me to lock it after the murder. I think it just made her feel better, to have it closed up. Like it would help her stop thinking about it."
Erika unlocked the parlor door, and Jan pointed back down the narrow hall with her cane. "Do you think the murderer could have killed Ryan and then run down the hall here to the parlor, before you two made it up to this floor? Apart from the question of the door being locked?"
They thought for a moment. "I don't think so," Jason said. "We got up here pretty quickly."
"Besides, listen to this," Erika said. She walked back down the hall, glancing back at us as the floorboards creaked in a couple of different places.
"The carpet was taken up a while ago," she said. "It was really worn, and Claudia didn't have the money to replace it. I don't think he could have made it down here, and into the parlor, without our hearing him."