“Amanda, dear. A very good morning to you.”
“Oh, Bruce. How nice to hear from you. I take it you have something to tell me?”
He could hear the girlish anticipation in her voice.
“Indeed I do. It’s all still a bit unsettled, I’m afraid, but I do have an impression I’d like to discuss with you. In private would be best.”
“I see. Well, I’m free later this morning. Would you like to come around for some tea?”
“That would be wonderful. Shall we say 11:30?”
“Yes, that’s fine. I’ll see you then.”
He hung up and leaned back into the sofa. It would be good if Freddy could feed him some more information before hand, but he had enough to work with if need be. He was an old hand at coaxing details out of people without them realizing they were being led.
As the hour approached he got himself ready and was reaching for his car keys when the phone rang.
“Hey Bruce. Freddy. Listen, I heard back from my guy. That file has disappeared. There’s something not right in all this. Whatever it is you’re into, you might want to proceed with caution. This is highly irregular. Sorry I couldn’t get you more. I’m working another angle, I’ll let you know what shakes out.”
“Okay, thanks Freddy. I’ll wait for your call.”
Damn. This was a bit of a worry. A police file goes missing just when somebody has had a look at it. No telling what that meant but it sure was something to keep in mind. He got in his car and headed out.
He headed up the steps and rang the bell, straightening his tie just before the door opened.
“Good day sir. Madam is waiting for you in the lounge. This way please.”
The maid led him in and he saw a silver tea service waiting with the lady of the house.
“Ah, Bruce, punctual again. I like that about you.”
“Hello Amanda. Might I say you look radiant today.”
A coquettish giggle, then she waved him to the sofa. She poured them tea and offered him a cookie then looked into his eyes.
“So what have you found, if you don’t mind my getting straight to the point. I’m so concerned about dear Edward.”
He sipped his tea and put the cup down.
“Well, as I said on the phone it’s all a bit murky, and that’s unusual. One thing that comes through quite strong though is…well, how shall I put this? I get a strong sense that Edward is the, and I hope this won’t offend in any way, the black sheep of the family.”
He picked up his cup and sipped again, watching her eyes over the top of his cup. She blushed slightly and put her fingers to her mouth for a moment and looked down in thought.
“Well, yes, you’re right on the mark again, Bruce. Edward has always been, shall we say, a free spirit.”
“Yes, that’s the sense I get. I’m wondering if I might find a connection between that and his disappearance.”
He could see he chosen his words well. She seemed to be weighing the advisability of confiding something in him. At last she looked him in the eye.
“I shouldn’t be surprised at all. You see I did file a missing persons report with the police, but they don’t seem to have put much effort into the matter.”
He nodded and put on his best concerned look and gazed deep into her eyes.
“Not to worry, Amanda. I won’t rest until there is a resolution.”
Part 7 Tomorrow