This story started here.
Stu leaned back in his chair and shook his head. "I'm sorry to hear about Ron's sister."
"She's not sorry, as far as I can tell," I said. "It seems that they despised each other, or at least Ron despised her sister. Not without reason, apparently, and I'm fairly sure I don't know the whole story."
Stu nodded. "Then I won't offer my condolences." Ron was in the outer office with Bea, working on the letter to her friend Bobby, and the door was closed.
"The problem," my employer explained, "is that, because of that animosity, which led Ron to punch her sister several times earlier in the day, it's quite likely that Ron will be accused at some point, especially if we can't establish that Tracy – that was the girl's name – knew other people in this area. We have no idea if she came here alone, for example. We're investigating on a couple of different fronts, but what I want to do is establish where Ron's birth parents are.
"I could call them, of course, but I don't want to tell them anything they don't know about what's happened. Not until I know everything about the situation. They do not seem to be thoughtful, rational people, and I don't want to get them alarmed. They might try to set some plan in motion to get Ron back. That's not a battle I intend to fight except from a position of strength."
Stu nodded slowly. "I was afraid of this. I really can't help, for two reasons. The first reason is that, without going into details, my main contact for this sort of information was in a clerical position. So, any information in city records, and some state records, was usually available. But this sort of information, from a different state, would have been more difficult. If the family had been involved in a crime, or with law enforcement..." He shrugged. "I observe your impatience, and of course you noted my use of the past tense. My friend has very recently retired and she is on a cruise. There is someone else who works in a similar capacity, on a lower level and with more restricted access, but she is currently out on maternity leave."
My employer shook her head and turned to me. "Make a note. Never get pregnant and never get old." She glanced at Christy and smiled. "I will not make that joke in front of Ron, of course." Then she took off her glasses and polished them slowly. She always carried a second handkerchief in a side pocket for this purpose, since the display handkerchief in her breast pocket was folded very precisely, showing three sharp points, and once it was in place she didn't like to have to refold it.
"There is another possibility," I said.