Vision in Silver Page 115

O’Sullivan paused, as if considering what he needed to say. “Patrick Hannigan married my mother’s younger sister, so he’s my uncle by marriage. He’s pro-human but not a supporter of the Humans First and Last movement. Considering how many of the movers and shakers in Toland do support the HFL and are lavishing attention on the motivational speaker from Cel-Romano, that’s not a politically savvy position to take, since only humans vote to elect human government officials. But after what happened to his predecessor—and seeing the Midwest Region receive that warning shake last month—Hannigan wants to be more active about keeping trouble from starting in the Northeast.”

“Prudent decision,” Burke said.

“Uncle Patrick says he takes after his grandmother, who was referred to as ‘a canny one.’ She had a way of sensing the truth about a person.”

An Intuit? Monty thought.

“Does the governor’s canny sense give him reason to think the police in Lakeside aren’t doing enough to keep the peace?” Burke asked.

“Just the opposite,” O’Sullivan replied. “Lakeside is strategically important because it’s a human port on one of the Great Lakes, and it’s one end of that whole water route. That means a lot of goods produced in Thaisia flow into the warehouses and then are loaded on trucks and trains that deliver those goods throughout the Northeast and Southeast. We can’t afford to lose control of this city. Toland is strategically important because it’s a port that serves coastal merchant ships and oceangoing vessels that take goods and people everywhere in the world. Goods and people go in and out of both cities.” He leaned forward. “And right now, the governor is concerned about the survival of both cities. Lakeside has had some rough patches these past few months, but you haven’t been slammed with the kind of response other human places have experienced when people crossed the terra indigene. And that is why I’m here. You actually have a dialogue with the Others. Not only can you ask questions; you can get answers. One of the things I’m investigating is a string of thefts in Toland’s elite neighborhoods, and the accusation that the Crowgard might be involved.”

“Thefts?” Monty felt chilled and didn’t dare look at Burke. “Why do you think the Crowgard would be involved?”

“They like shiny.” O’Sullivan thought for a moment. “The burglars took some silver, some cash, but mostly jewelry. Flashy pieces with stones worth a fortune. A couple of days ago an accusation was made by one of the victims. She claimed to have seen a Crow wearing her brooch.”

“How did this woman see a Crow?” Monty asked.

“She’s a society matron, so no one in Toland asked that question,” O’Sullivan replied. “Toland’s police commissioner suggested that I talk to the Others rather than doubt the word of a woman of good family.”

“What happened?” Burke asked.

“Nothing. Couldn’t even get in the door, so I left my card and asked someone to call me. And someone did later that day. He didn’t identify himself, but he informed me that the Crows had found a couple of pieces of discarded jewelry. The items had been tossed over the fence into the Courtyard. Finders keepers. He was certain that Crows had not flown up to a window ledge on a high-rise apartment building, gotten in through an open window, helped themselves to the contents of a woman’s jewelry box, and then flown away, which had been suggested by another investigator.”

“What, exactly, do you want to know?” Monty asked.

“I have some suspicions about what might be going on, but I’d like to know what the Others know about these burglaries.” O’Sullivan reached for a briefcase that had been resting against a leg of his chair. “I can show you . . .”

“Hold off on that,” Burke said. He looked at Monty. “Didn’t Kowalski mention that a Sanguinati visitor arrived this morning?”

“Yes, sir.” Feeling uneasy, Monty eyed O’Sullivan. “Stavros Sanguinati.”

O’Sullivan stiffened. “The vampire lawyer from the Toland Courtyard? That Stavros Sanguinati?”

Monty nodded. “He’s visited before. I think he’s close to some of the Sanguinati who live in the Courtyard here, especially . . .” Out of the corner of his eye, he caught the tiny movement of Burke’s head. “You’ve heard of Stavros?”

O’Sullivan looked at Monty, then at Burke. “Hubbney is only an hour’s train ride from Toland. Everyone on the force there has heard rumors that Stavros is the Toland Courtyard’s main problem solver, and if he solves the problem, the police won’t find a body floating in the river.”

Of course not, Monty thought. After the Sanguinati drink all the “problem’s” blood, they’ll give the meat to the Wolves in that Courtyard.

“Can you arrange a meeting?” O’Sullivan asked.

“Sounds like we have to,” Burke replied. “And sooner rather than later. Lieutenant, call Simon Wolfgard. Tell him we have an urgent matter to discuss and would like to talk to him . . . and Stavros Sanguinati.”

Monty hesitated. “This might not be the best time to discuss the Crowgard or accuse any of them of stealing.” To O’Sullivan he added, “One of the Lakeside Crows was also killed in the attack that killed Officer MacDonald.”

“I’m not here to make accusations.” O’Sullivan lifted the briefcase. “I’m here to ask questions and hopefully get a few answers.”

“About stolen jewelry,” Burke said.

O’Sullivan nodded. “And if they have any information about an object that could be opened with a small gold key that was found on a woman who had been murdered at the Toland train station early this month.”

Oh, gods, Monty thought. The missing diary.

Burke studied O’Sullivan, then looked at Monty. “Make the call.”

Monty left Burke’s office, went to his own desk, and reached for his phone. Then he hesitated.

He’d wished more than once that Lizzy had left Boo Bear on the train, that the bear and jewels had just disappeared. But Elayne would still be dead and Lizzy would still be in danger because Boo Bear wasn’t the only thing someone needed to reacquire. Maybe now, with the help of O’Sullivan, he could piece enough information together to finally have some answers. Maybe.

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