12 April 2017

18 - Love is in the air

Wednesday August 13 

Cleo did not particularly want to speak to her mother since her mother had not phoned her about her new domestic arrangements, but she was obliged to do so on Wednesday morning because she needed steaks for the dinner party that night.
“I don’t supposed you are surprised that I am back here since Grit will have told you and I expect that Gary has been ferreting around,” said Gloria.
“Gary does not ferret around, Mother, but you could have told me what you were planning,” said Cleo.
“Is that why you’re phoning,” Gloria asked.
“Certainly not. I need a tray of good steaks, Mother, and Robert does the best.”
“How many? Am I included in your party?”
“Eight to ten, Mother and no, I’m not inviting you.. I’m sure you have better things to do,” said Cleo.
“So you are excluding me, Cleopatra Hartley.”
“Hurley, Mother. I’m married, remember?”
“Well, Hurley then.”
“I would not know who to invite, Mother. What is your family situation now?”
“I have a new associate,” said Gloria.
“Associate or toy-boy?”
“Gabriel is only six years younger than his brother. He is not too young for me, Cleo.”
“What about Romano?”
“What about Romano?” Gloria repeated.
Cleo could hear Robert struggling to take command of the phone.
“Do you want to order something, Cleo?” he said. “We are too busy for family spats here.”
“I am not spatting,” said Cleo. “Your assistant is responsible for the spat. I just want to order a tray of steaks.”
“Do you need them today?”
“Yes please, Robert.”
“I’ll bring them over after one. The shop is shut this afternoon.”
“OK. Just one question,” said Cleo.
“Yes, your Mother is working for me again and yes, she has left Romano and is living at Delilah’s with Gabriel, who is a first class pizza baker and will be delivering pizzas to sell half-cooked here from next week. They can be frozen or eaten the same day. In fact, he is already working for Delilah.”
“Wow. She must be delighted. How long has that been going on between my mother and Gabriel?”
“I don’t know. I haven’t asked,” said Robert.
“What happened to your other assistant?”
“Pregnant. They all get pregnant,” said Robert. “Gloria phoned on Sunday night and said she was back in Upper Grumpsfield and could she have her job back and I said yes.”
“Well you shouldn’t have that pregnancy problem with my Mother, should you?”
***
Cleo rang off disgusted with the way Gloria was behaving, although she did not know the reason for Gloria’s breakup, even if she suspected a clash of strong personalities to be the cause.
She was glad Gary was home for lunch. Cleo had been mentally preoccupied with her mother’s behaviour since Dorothy had turned up bearing fresh croissants and muffins for a second breakfast a couple of hours previously. Cleo had still been enjoying the first breakfast that was already her second, with the two girls, so she was surprised to see Dorothy, who usually issued a warning that she was about to descend on the cottage.
***
“You’ll never guess who was at Robert’s shop,” she said.
“I will. It’s my mother.”
“You could have knocked me down with a feather,” said Dorothy. “So I went to Crumb’s and stocked up with goodies and here I am.”
“You haven’t met Lottie, have you Dorothy?”
“You two look like sisters,” was the reaction.
“We are only cousins,” said Charlie. “Thanks for bringing the buns.”
“Shouldn’t you be at school, Charlie?”
“Holidays,” said Charlie.
“So what do you make of your Mother being back?” Cleo asked.
“It was obviously not nice being in Middlethumpton at that restaurant,” said Dorothy.
“There’s a rumour that she has taken up with Romano’s younger brother,” Cleo said diplomatically.
“That’s taken up, Mummy?”
“Friendly,” said Cleo, giving Dorothy a warning look.
“Did Robert tell you that bit of gossip?”
“He did, actually. I was quite surprised. He doesn’t usually go in for tittle-tattle.”
“What’s tittle-tattle,” Lottie asked.
“That’s what grownups talk when children are about,” said Charlie.
***
By the time Gary arrived, the girls had gone to Helen’s to colour pictures since that was the latest craze. Dorothy was still sitting at the dining-table.
“Is that breakfast or lunch?” he asked.
“A bit of both,” said Dorothy.
“I’ll make you a sandwich, shall I?” said Cleo. “We’ll be eating a lot this evening.”
“A good idea. Both, I mean. Have you invited Dorothy?”
“Not yet.”
“You heard, Dorothy. Come to dinner this evening. We are celebrating Roger Stone moving in with Grit and Joe’s ex-girlfriend fortunately leaving yesterday.”
“I’d better not ask why an ex-girlfriend of Joe’s was here in the first place. He can’t have got through one girlfriend already, surely,” said Dorothy.
“No, Dorothy. Sonia came uninvited. She was Lottie’s teacher at her boarding school in South Africa and seemed to think she could warm up the relationship with Joe although they had parted company before he came to Europe.”
“Sonia must be very thick-skinned,” said Dorothy.
“That is probably the most adept description you could give her,” said Gary. “We did not like her much, and that includes Joe.”
“Did you see Romano today?” Cleo asked.
I had antipasti there. He’s quite cut up.”
“Did he tell you that Gloria and his brother are now lodging with Delilah? Gabriel is baking pizzas there and is going to deliver them to Robert’s shop from next week,” said Cleo.
“No. Romano was very morose. He’s sad that Gloria prefers his brother.”
“It’s all hunky-dory, my mother would say,” said Cleo.
“Only for her,” said Gary.
“I’m sad about Romano, too,” said Cleo. “Gloria was an improvement in his life.”
“Short-lived as it turned out. Romano is sorry for himself,” said Gary. “And he uttered murderous intentions about his brother.”
“He’s operatic, Gary. He’ll either get over it or my Mother will creep back into his arms with some sort of explanation on her lips.”
“I don’t think she was ever in his arms much, Cleo.”
“Did he tell you that?”
“More or less. His ‘amore’ stopped well before the bedroom door.”
“That should not have bothered my mother. She had given up erotic adventures. She was always proud of that.”
“Presumably she got the wrong end of the story, as usual,” said Gary.
“Or he did. I thought they slept together.”
Most Italians get married first,” said Dorothy.
“On what do you base that idea,” said Gary.
“Old movies,” said Dorothy. “But the Americans were just as prudish. They always stopped before the bedroom door and the film then switched to the following day.”
“I’m sure you’ve got more to say on that subject, Dorothy, but can we move on to Kelly now?” said Gary.
“No one seems to be sad about him,” said Dorothy. “He was running an illegal brothel. Did you know that, Gary?”
“I thought all brothels were illegal,” said Cleo.
“Not quite. If the pimp has only one girl, that’s home comfort, apparently. But having two is running a brothel and it has to be licenced.”
“You are well-informed about that too, Dorothy,” said Gary.
“I’ve been around, especially in that village of the damned down the road. There was a lot of anger in Lower Grumpsfield because the women thought the village should be kept respectable while the men used Kelly’s erotic services and paid with the housekeeping.”
“I hope that the services did not include Edith,” said Cleo.
“I wouldn’t know,” said Dorothy. “People were rather hush-hush about the details. I’m planning to visit Edith this afternoon. I could ask her then.”
“It won’t make any difference, Dorothy,” said Gary. “We can’t get him now.”
“It might make a vital difference if you find out which of his so-called ladies was not registered and question them about their clients.”
“The vice squad does not get as far as Lower Grumpsfield,” said Gary.
“They should. It’s a den of iniquity. And if they don’t, you should. We are talking about a murder, after all. You would not be trespassing on their patch.”
“You have a point there,” said Gary.
“And here’s a parting tip from an elderly sleuth,” said Dorothy. “You might be looking for one of those wives, but maybe you should find out which of them got my laundry basket and go on from there.”
Dorothy promised to be back for dinner by seven. Gary was deep in thought. Had Dorothy hit on something again?”
***
“Dorothy’s parting words were again rather potent,” said Gary.
“That’s Dorothy for you,” said Cleo. “I think Edith should see Dr Mitchell urgently.”
“Don’t fuss!” said Gary. “It’s really not our business despite what Dorothy says.”
“It is our business, Gary, since it involves a friend.”
“I wonder if Albert found out anything about that pistol. Oscar has not rung yet,” said Gary.
As so often happens when we think or talk about someone, they phone.
***
“We may be onto something, Mr Hurley,” said Oscar. “Albert overheard someone talking about shooting practice. He’s going to go there again and listen in. Maybe he’ll hear something more. He’ll go alone next time. I don’t think there’s a problem there. The village seems very respectable. There is one thing however…”
“I think I know what you are going to tell me.”
“I was approached by Mr Kelly’s neighbour,” said Oscar.
“Mr Tailor?”
“Yes. He told me that Kelly had been running a brothel.”
“That was a long time ago, Dr Pope.”
“I know about that if you mean his late wife. She was his main attraction and she was killed, wasn’t she, but not in the line of duty.”
“She was many people’s main attraction in those days, Dr Pope, and Kelly was not killed in the line of duty, either.”
“Anyway, Tailor asked me if I was interested in that sort of thing.”
 “I expect you said you weren’t.”
“On the contrary. I showed great enthusiasm for something so enticing and so near home. You do want to find Kelly’s murderer, don’t you?”
“We do, Dr Pope. I didn’t know you were interested in investigating.”
“Just as a hobby, Mr Hurley. Human nature is a bottomless pit.”
“So what do you propose?”
“I’ll accept Mr Tailor’s invitation and see what he has to say. Supposing that pistol got into the hands of one of wives of those customers of Kelly’s?”
“I have to admit that it’s a brilliant idea, Dr Pope, remembering that Dorothy had made the same suggestion.”
“No one knows that I went to the coffee bar with Albert, by the way.”
“That’s good. Between the two of you, you might come up with the killer.”
“We’ll do our best and I’ll keep you posted,” said Oscar and rang off.
***
Cleo had been listening in. She was astonished.
“Are you really going to encourage Oscar?” she said.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Gary. “Only local gossip will provide any new information. I learnt that from you, my love.”
“So you did. We can rule out the schoolboy prank then, couldn’t we?” said Cleo.
“The business probably started with boys pinching that laundry-basket, but what Oscar said points to there being other candidates for the murder,” said Gary.
“I wonder if we can get a list of the husbands who visited Kelly’s establishment,” said Cleo. “I’ll phone Dorothy. She must ask Edith if she saw any other women at Kelly’s house. She could also ask her if she knew the names of any men who went there and if money changed hands.”
***
“I don’t do it for money,” Edith told Dorothy. She was shocked that Dorothy could think such a thing.
“I don’t mean you, Edith,” said Dorothy, equally shocked that Edith described her erotic adventures as ‘doing it’.
“Do you mean the nice men who came sometimes?” said Edith.
“Did you do it with them, too, Edith?” said Dorothy.
“Sometimes, when Paddy got tired,” she said.
Dorothy did not know if she could carry on such a conversation with someone she used to think was respectable.
“Do you know their names, Edith?” Dorothy persevered despite her scruples.
“They only used first names, Dorothy. There was one called Jim and another called Fred, and another called Frank who smelt good. I remember that.”
“Not the Frank from Cleo’s agency, I hope,” said Dorothy.
“Could be. He is a detective, Dorothy. I recognized him, but only with his clothes on.”
Dorothy wanted to leave, but she had to ask one more question.
“Who were the women entertaining the men, Edith? Did you know them?”
“There was a young one called Sophia. She used to work at Robert’s shop, I think. She got pregnant, Dorothy, so she couldn’t help Kelly any more. And then there was an older one named Rita. I think she’s a hairdresser. She was nice. I think she was friendly with Frank, but he came to me for sex.”
***
It was with some difficulty that Dorothy extricated herself from Edith’s kitchen. She did not think for one moment that Edith realized she had been engaged in prostitution, but that was plainly the case. She had mentioned two women who could provide information about the men who were customers of Kelly, and the wives could probably be traced through those descriptions. One of them might have been the recipient of the laundry-basket, possibly because one of her children had a hand in taking it, and ultimately used the pistol to get rid of Kelly and save her marriage, or what was left of it.
Dorothy was not shocked about the young woman called Sophia, since she remembered her from serving at the coffee bar in Lower Grumpsfield as being a bit brazen, but what about Rita? Was that really the hairdresser? Is that where she had met Frank?
Dorothy would spill these particular beans at dinner that evening. It should cause quite a lot of horror and speculation. Best of all, it would be an assurance that she was indispensable to the Hartley Agency. Dorothy was a keen sleuth, but she was also vain and anxious to prove that she was not too old to be a private eye.
***
At about two o’clock Robert delivered the steaks Cleo had ordered. Gary answered the door and asked Cleo’s ex in. Robert was reluctant, but soon persuaded by the offer of a cup of coffee to see him on his way.
“Don’t ask me about Gloria,” said Robert.
“I wasn’t going to,” said Cleo.
“I was, Robert,” said Gary. “She has really upset Romano.”
“He upset her,” said Robert.
“How?” said Cleo.
“He would not sleep in the same room,” said Robert.
“Oh. That is rather hurtful. I thought they were in love and going to get married.”
“So did she,” said Robert.
“Why didn’t she tell me months ago?” said Cleo.
“I think she was ashamed.”
“That makes sense,” said Gary. “She’s very proud of her female guiles, though she never put them to the test, as far as I know, until Romano took an interest.”
“But then Gabriel came and started a really nice friendship with her,” said Robert. “Romano did not like that at all and apparently they fought over her.”
“Awesome,” said Cleo. “I expect my mother was flattered.”
“Flattered enough to clear out with that brother,” said Gary.
“She didn’t tell me directly, but I think things are going better with Gabriel, if you know what I mean,” said Robert.
Coming from Robert, that was a tremendously open statement. He did not normally talk about people’s private lives.
“So she now has a sex life, does she?” said Gary.
“I wouldn’t go as far as that,” said Robert.
“I think I would,” said Gary.
“It isn’t something you talk about with your ex mother-in-law,” said Robert.
“You’d better ask her, Gary. She’s your mother-in-law. You only know that she gets on better with Gabriel.”
“I don’t feel related to her,” said Gary.
“But you are,” said Cleo.  “Do you still deliver American cuts of beef to Romano’s restaurant, Robert?”
“He has not cancelled his order. I don’t know if he knows that Gloria is back working for me. I’d better be going now. Lots to do,” he said.
“How much for the steaks, Robert?” Gary asked.
“Don’t worry about that,” said Robert.
“I would worry if you thought I could not pay for them,” said Gary.
“£32 then,” said Robert. “Eight T-bones and a number of filets.”
“Cheap at the price, Robert. Take £40. I have no small change.”
“I don’t take charity,” said Robert.
“Then take £8 off the next invoice,” said Gary.
Robert looked briefly at the twins, who were supporting themselves on their haunches and looking at him wide-eyed from the safety of the playpen.
“They are rather nice,” he said grudgingly.
“More to come,” said Gary, stroking Cleo’s baby bump lovingly, to Robert’s horror.
Cleo saw that and put her hand over Gary’s. The intimate gesture was embarrassing to Robert. He congratulated them formally and fortunately refrained from say that Cleo was too old for that nonsense, though they knew that he thought it. Age had apparently not made any difference to Cleo’s yearning to have a houseful of kids and Gary’s willingness to go along with the idea.
“How is PeggySue,” said Robert, and that was the first time in nearly a year that he had asked about her.
“Asleep. Would you like to see her?” said Gary.
“Well, yes,” said Robert.
Gary led him into the children’s room and Robert stroked the cheek of the little girl he had once pretended was his.
“She’s lovely,” he said. “I’m sorry I was such a mean bastard, Gary.”
“All is forgiven, Robert.”
“I’m glad to see how happy Cleo is. She was unhappy with me, you know.”
“I know. You are welcome here, Robert, especially if you want to see PeggySue when she is awake.”
“I’ll take you up on that if it won’t bother Cleo.”
“It’s won’t bother her. You disappointed her, Robert, but she’s over that now.”
“I can see that. Thank you.”
Gary showed Robert out.
“Poor guy,” he said when he returned. “I think we need a hug.”
“I think we need a siesta before the babies wake,” said Cleo. “I feel as if we’d just had a visit from the censor.”
“I’ll go with that,” said Gary.
***
By a few minutes before seven, nearly everyone had arrived for dinner and had been offered an alcohol-free cocktail prescribed by Cleo since she would herself not be drinking alcohol for some months to come. Dorothy had arrived nursing a litre of homemade ice cream for afters.
Gary took one sip of his cocktail and replaced it with beer drunk out of the bottle for himself and Roger. The food was lined up on the worktop. Buffets were the rule rather than the exception at the Hurley cottage. The guests would grill their own steaks if Roger did not do it for them. The girls’ filet steaks were the only meat to be cooked properly, Charlie said, and that was because because she had taken charge of the grill pan. The T-bone steaks were supervised by Roger. That was already a tradition.
Joe arrived from Heathrow after an exasperating drive home. He met Barbara at the cottage gate and opened has arms spontaneously. They embraced and wondered what had just happened. Then they went into the cottage. Joe had a key. Their appearance together and obvious togetherness did not really surprise anyone. Cleo felt like applauding.
“Is it always this hectic,” Joe said.
“This is nothing,” said Gary. “You should see Cleo’s mother perform at family gatherings.”
“Isn’t she invited?”
“Cleo thought she should be left to sort out her new life before visiting us.”
(Famous last words.)
“That will be her now,” said Gary. “Uninvited and with a new beau. Cleo will not be pleased. Don’t bother with the door, Joe. Gloria also has a door key.”
***
“I’ve come to see if the steaks are OK,” said Gloria, marching into the living-room. “This is a friend of mine,” she said pointing the Romano look-alike in her wake.
“Mother, what are you doing here,” Cleo called. “I did not invite you.”
“I misheard,” said Gloria. “This is Gabriel, folks.”
Gabriel was quite clearly a younger version of his brother Romano. Cleo was angry and prone to being very direct in that mood.
“Have you worn poor Romano out?” she said now.
Gloria realized that she had a captured audience and put on a shocked air.
Gary stepped in hurriedly and offered Gabriel a beer. Gabriel said in fairly broken English that he usually drank wine but he would like to try it. Gary took time on the way to the fridge to tell Cleo not to take it out on Romano’s brother because he wanted the evening to be pleasant.
“My mother is the limit. She’s gate-crashing with her new lover,” Cleo said. Gary took over the salad mixing and Cleo went up to Gabriel.
“Don’t you have to make pizzas this evening, Mr Gabriel?” she asked.
“Brunetti,” Gabriel said. “How are you doing?”
Another Italian with quaint English, thought Gary.
“OK, but I was not expecting my private party to be gate-crashed,” said Cleo, looking directly at her mother.
“We are related,” said Gloria, pouting.
“Only by birth, Mother,” said Cleo. “But now you are here you might as well stay.”
“I thought you’d say that,” said Gloria. “What are we celebrating?”
“Roger’s come to stay,” said Grit.
“How long for?” said Gloria.
“Forever, Mrs Hartley,” said Roger. “How long are you staying?”
Gary had to go and get the vino rosso to cover up his amusement. Good old Roger. He had summed up the situation and given Gloria a bit of contra that she obviously did not like.
“Forever,” she replied coyly, clasping Gabriel’s hand like a teenager on her first date, but looking appreciatively at Roger.
“He’s taken,” said Grit.
That remark caused general amusement. Gabriel Brunetti looked puzzled. Gloria looked uncomfortable.
“It’s OK Mother. Have a little cocktail to be going on with. There’s plenty of food for everyone.”
“If you are sure, Cleo,” said Gloria, now regretting her desire to show off her new life. “I don’t want to intrude.”
“It’s a bit late to say that now, Mother,” said Cleo.
Dorothy came to the rescue. She got between Gloria and Brunetti, both of whom were nearly a head shorter, put her arms around their shoulders and said she was pleased to see them.
After that things got back to normal. Joe introduced himself to Brunetti, who was extremely puzzled about who belonged to whom in that household. The two Charlottes told him.
“This one is my Daddy,” said Lottie. “The one over there is Charlie’s Daddy. Are you Charlie’s grandfather?”
Brunetti just made a helpless gesture. Cleo served Gloria with the fruity cocktail. Joe explained to Lottie that Signor Brunetti was just a friend. Lottie remarked that he was holding hands with the loud lady. Joe explained that the loud lady was Cleo’s mother.
***
“Come and get it,” said Gary a short time later and the meal was pronounced perfect.
“Are we talking shop, Gary?” Dorothy asked.
“When the girls are in bed, Dorothy and Gloria and her friend have gone home” said Gary.
“We’re going, Daddy,” said Charlie. “Lottie’s sleeping here again.”
“Is that alright, Daddy,” said Lottie. “I don’t want to be in Gran’s house all on my own.”
“That’s fine,” said Joe.
Hugs all round followed (even Gabriel got some) and the girls went off to bed or, as Gary discovered when he looked in on the children shortly after, to another round of picture colouring. The littlest one were all asleep despite being put to bed earlier than usual. Gary spent a few quiet minutes just looking at Tommy and Teddy and wondering how he had deserved such lovely offspring and such a ghastly mother-in-law.
The gate-crashers departed for Delilah’s bistro. One of the guest rooms was now permanently occupied by Mr Morgan, the church organist, and the other guest room had only a king-size bed. Cleo would not ask her mother about her new sleeping arrangements, That would have been prying and she supposed that Gabriel was an improvement on Romano, who thought intimacy started after the marriage vows had been exchanged.
Joe and Barbara left together after spending the evening totally engrossed in each other. Where they were going next left nothing to the imagination.
***
Dorothy had waited patiently to report on her talk with Edith, but it had taken some time to get that far. Gloria had obviously not wanted to leave without being supplied with some fresh tittle-tattle. Gabriel had not felt comfortable all evening and was wondering whether it had been a good idea to prise Gloria from his brother. But Romano had not even put up a fight. Would Gloria have gone with Gabriel if there had been a real discussion about the situation? Gloria had no real idea of what the brothers had said to one another since they spoke in a fast Calabrian dialect.
Fortunately for Gloria, Gary was firmly on Romano’s side. On the y out, he whispered that his flat was now empty if she wanted it back and Roger was vacating his apartment, so she could choose. Gloria whispered a thank you and indicated that Gabriel Brunetti was only a flash in the pan.
“Don’t sleep with him then,” Gary advised. “He’ll think it’s permanent if you do. Italians are like that.”
“Too late,” Gloria whispered back. “But I’m good at getting out of bad situations, Gary. I’ll phone you about the flat.”
Gary had not really known why he had given Gloria that advice at that moment in time, but certainly not to hear that she was having sex with the guy. Surely there were younger females he could have gone for. Gary did not think he should tell Cleo that her mother was catching up on 40 years of celibacy. He was, to be honest, a little shocked, although he had to admit that it only applied to Gloria. He could see that his mother had taken control of her life and approved wholeheartedly.    
***
“Right,” Gary said, once the little inner circle was left over. “Spill the beans, Dorothy!”
Dorothy did not hesitate.
“Edith does not realize that she was working at a brothel,” said Dorothy.
“She wasn’t, if she was Kelly’s only woman friend,” said Gary.
“But she wasn’t, Gary. She named two other entertainers, as she called them, and I was shocked about one of them.”
“Go on. Don’t keep us in suspense,” said Gary.
“One was Sophia, late of the coffee bar and Robert’s shop who joined the organization while awaiting the birth of a baby whose father is probably a complete mystery.”
“That is so often the case,” said Cleo. “And the other?”
“Rita,” said Dorothy.
“Rita Bailey?”
“A hairdresser, Edith said. She had recognized her but did not see her as a rival because apparently Frank came to her for sex.”
“There was general horror that Dorothy could be so blunt at her age.
“Sorry to be so direct,” said Dorothy. “It’s hard to euphemize in such situations.”
“Impossible, Dorothy,” said Grit.
“One of Kelly’s customers was definitely Frank Wetherby. There was a Joe, a Fred, and a few others. Edith seemed to know quite a bit about Kelly’s business, but had not connected her personal relationship with him or even her own antics with Frank to the rest of the goings-on.”
“It’s all very seamy,” said Gary. “And Edith is the seamiest of all.”
“That’s not all, Gary. The customers only used first names at that establishment, but it should not be difficult to trace them. Kelly relied on local custom.”
“Do you think one of them killed Kelly?” Roger asked.
“No. Not the men. I’d tip on one of the wives, possibly the one who came into possession of my laundry-basket.”
“I don’t think we’ve had a murder involving the theft of a laundry-basket before,” said Roger. “Tell us more, Dorothy.”
“Supposing two youths took the basket and carried it home? They would decide who should have it and it came into possession of one of the mothers. The gun may not even have been discovered by them. The person who now had the basket examined it and found the gun hidden under the lining. An idea came to her. She would get rid of Kelly so that the bordello would no longer be in service and her husband would not get any more funny ideas.”
“So she studied the movements of Mr Kelly and then shot him, I suppose,” said Grit.
“You should write crime stories, Grit” said Joe. “Make them short and I’ll publish them in Cops Corner.”
“That’s not a bad idea, Joe,” said Dorothy. “ I’d like to try my hand at writing stories. I’ve been looking for something new to do in my semi-retirement.”
“Get writing, Ladies, but how do you think we should act now?” said Gary.
“Take my idea seriously, Gary. Find out who the men are who went to Kelly’s establishment and talk to the wives. Find the laundry-basket and I think you will have found your killer!”
“You heard,” said Roger to Gary. He was amused, but Dorothy had a habit of hitting the nail on the head and both of them knew it.
“I heard and we’ll do just that,” said Gary. ”There’s always a chance that Dorothy is on the right track, isn’t there?”
Dorothy smiled and nodded.

“That’s what private eyes are for, Gary,” she said.