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Quarantine Mystery, XXI

April 15, 2020

I am curious about why Carla Minton is driving by so often. Angus says he’s seen her four times recently and Sukey is certain Carla has swiped something—she didn’t say what—from Victor’s files. The one time I saw her on our street, she stopped at the Burkes’ house, I think. I wish I had paid closer attention. But if she did, what business did Carla have at the Burkes’? Carla is real estate. Gary Burke, firefighter. Jenna, lawyer. Gary isn’t normally at home these days, but Jenna is. I think it’s likely that Carla is visiting Jenna. 

I remember the giant Lego creation the kids are building in the Burke’s family room and wonder what it would be like to confer about legal matters in the shadow of a monstrous Gorilla Walker. If I’m right about Carla conferring with Jenna on a legal matter, there is no use talking to Jenna about it. Client confidentiality. Jenna would tell me nothing.

When Marian plods by my house on her usual eleven thirty outing, I’m waiting and I join her. I mention my suspicion about Carla and Jenna.

“You’re right,” Marian says. “Carla is talking to Jenna about something she did or said back when she was trying to buy up the whole block and make it into the Anderson compound as she called it. Something she did at that time is bothering her now.

“By she you mean Carla,” I said, struggling to keep the story straight. Marian has a tendency to skip important details.

“Yes. I feel it is something to do with all the wild threats she used to intimidate us into selling. No proof, of course, just a feeling.”

“How do you know all this?”

“All what? I told you it’s just a feeling.”

“I mean, how do you know Carla is talking to Jenna about a legal matter?’

“Little pitchers have big ears.”

“You’ve been talking to the Burke children,” I say.

“I baked them some cookies.”

I laugh. Wouldn’t it be smart for the police to learn cookie-baking? It would make interrogation so much more pleasant.

Marian and I both turn toward the street as an old beaten-up Nissan clanks by.

“That’s Sukey,” Marian says.

“Why is a man driving Sukey’s car?” I wonder if Angus is watching with his binoculars.

Sergeant Romano needs to know about this.

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