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Quarantine Mystery, XX

April 14, 2020

Sergeant Romano leaves me and walks straight across the street to Angus Mink’s house. I’m pleased to see that he is taking my suggestion, but what will Angus think when he learns I’ve told the police about him and his binoculars? I really don’t care. I watch from my porch and see the two policemen at Angus’s door. Angus appears at the door and they are talking.

Is this the right time to show them my evidence? The tiny syringe I found on the curb near Angus’s trashcan has been lying in my kitchen junk drawer since I retrieved it from where I kicked it under the dandelion. I went back with gloves and paper towels and picked it up, taking care not to touch the plastic. I find it now, lying in the drawer, still wrapped in paper towels.

The squad car hasn’t moved, so I can assume the two policemen are inside Angus’s house. I ring the bell and wait. Angus opens the door and looks confused. He is still wearing his lumberjack shirt and bedroom slippers.

“I have something I need to show Sergeant Romano. May I come in?” If Angus asks what it is, I’ll tell him to wait a minute. He leads me through and into the living room where Romano and friend are sitting. “This is probably nothing, but I think you may be interested.” I unwrap the syringe and hold it out. “It was after Victor was taken to the hospital—in fact, after we learned that he had died—I found this on the grass at the curb, near Angus’s trash can.”

Angus’s temper flashed. He froze in a wide stance, like a wrestler waiting for the signal to start. “I protest! This is not . . . I don’t know! . . .” 

“Relax, Angus. I’m not saying it was yours. I’m just telling them where I found it. It was trash pick-up day and, in fact, I believe Victor’s trash was also there.”

“So, it could have fallen out of Victor’s trash can!” Angus’s face was twisted into a comical likeness of outrage.

“Certainly. I have no idea how it got there, but I picked it up and kept it. I was in shock over Victor’s death and I suppose a part of me suspected something wasn’t right.”

Romano takes the syringe, paper toweling and all, and hands it to his partner with a knowing look that says, I think, evidence. Careful with it. “Let’s go outside. You can show me exactly where you found it.”

After we walk off the distance from where I picked it up to where I think the two trash cans sat, Romano says, “This may have nothing to do with anything. We don’t know how it got here, but it’s likely from Judge Anderson’s trash. We have his diabetic supplies—his box of extra syringes, his sharps container and all. Should be easy to find out if it’s one of his.”

For the first time ever, the young sidekick talks. “The lab can tell us if . . .”

Romano cut him off. “Right.” Then, to me, “Thank you, Mrs. McKenna.”

And to Angus, he says, “And thank you, too. We’ll be in touch.”

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