Vision in Silver Page 60

“This could put her in danger,” he said after he and Burke stowed the boxes in the backseat of Burke’s car and headed for Monty’s apartment to pick up the mail and a couple more changes of clothes.

“Yes, it could,” Burke agreed. “But this is a precarious time for all of us, whether the majority of people realize it or not.”

Since he agreed with that, Monty lapsed into silence during the short drive to his apartment, his thoughts going back to Lizzy. She’d been very upset when Jester brought her to the Market Square medical office. Part of that had been an excessive display of emotion for what should have been a small disappointment when she couldn’t ride a pony. More had been real fear when Meg Corbyn spun out of control because of her tantrum.

And may the gods help him, she still didn’t know Elayne was dead.

That excessive display wasn’t typical of Lizzy. At least, it hadn’t been a few months ago. He hoped this wasn’t a new pattern of behavior.

Right now he hoped a lot of things.

Burke parked across the street from Monty’s apartment. When they went into the building, Monty stopped to check his mailbox before going up the stairs.

He opened the apartment door, took two steps inside, and stopped.

“Lieutenant?” Burke said quietly, drawing his gun.

Monty stepped carefully into the kitchen, set his mail on the table, and looked around. Nothing out of place, and yet . . .

He checked the living room, bedroom, bathroom.

“I think someone searched my apartment,” Monty finally said.

“You think?” Burke looked around. He holstered his gun and took out his mobile phone. “This is Burke. I want a list of all trains between Toland and Lakeside yesterday and this morning. And I want a list of every train that arrived in Lakeside between yesterday morning and now. Don’t leave those lists sitting on my desk. Hold on to them until I get back to the station.”

“This would be the first place someone would look for Lizzy,” Monty said. “If they figured out she was on a train to Lakeside, this is where they would look.”

“Did someone travel to Lakeside to make a search, or did someone call a person who was already here? There are some police officers in Lakeside who think Humans First and Last is a mighty fine idea.” Burke blew out a breath. “The search didn’t turn up the bear or the jewels. That could be the reason Captain Scaffoldon called this morning.”

Monty looked at Burke. “Scaffoldon? From the CIU unit in Toland?”

“One and the same. Someone called the station early this morning, trying to confirm if you would be home. Shortly after that, Scaffoldon called, claiming to want to know your whereabouts for the time of Elayne’s murder. Would have been enough time for someone to search your place and report back to Scaffoldon that nothing was found.”

He needed to think clearly, so Monty ignored the burn of anger at being accused of Elayne’s murder—and the deeper burn that he and Lizzy could have been here, could have been attacked by whoever was searching for the jewels. More trauma to Lizzy, if not something worse. And for what? Boo Bear and the jewels were already at the Chestnut Street station.

Of course, no one would have known that.

“Are Boo Bear and the jewels in the evidence lockup?” Monty asked.

“Boo Bear, the jewels, and the photographs taken of the evidence are in a safe place,” Burke replied.

An evasive answer. Right now, he didn’t care about the bear or the jewels, so it was a sufficient answer.

Monty went back into the bedroom and pulled the lockbox off the top shelf. He set it on the bed and opened it. Pete Denby had the copy of Lizzy’s birth certificate and the legal papers for the child support, so the lockbox held Monty’s checkbook and savings account. His will. A copy of the rental agreement for the apartment. A few other personal papers.

Nothing missing. Nothing out of order.

When Burke stepped into the bedroom doorway, Monty said, “I can’t ask an investigating team to dust the apartment for fingerprints when I can’t even be sure anyone has been in here.” And as soon as he asked, the news would surely travel and, quite likely, reach the ears of the person who had conducted the search.

“That’s the human way of looking for an intruder,” Burke said. “You have another option.”

It took Monty a moment to realize what Burke meant. Then he sighed as he pulled out his phone and called Howling Good Reads.

“Mr. Wolfgard? I realize this isn’t a good day to ask for a favor, but I need some help determining if someone has been in my apartment looking for Lizzy.”

CHAPTER 27

Watersday, Maius 12

“I’m sorry, Meg,” Merri Lee said. “But I think Henry is right. You shouldn’t have made that cut, especially when you were feeling out of control.”

They were sitting in the back room of the Liaison’s Office making a record of what had happened to precipitate Meg’s need to make the cut, including everything Lizzy had said while the pins-and-needles feeling escalated to the painful buzz. Now Meg pushed away from the table and went into the sorting room, looking for something to do that would give her an excuse to end this discussion.

“That’s not what you wanted to hear.” Merri Lee followed Meg into the sorting room and set the pad of paper and pen on the counter.

“I had to cut!” Meg shouted. “Why doesn’t anyone understand that?”

“Maybe no one understands it because no one else sees it that way,” Merri Lee replied hotly. “You screwed up, and now you’re trying to justify your actions.”

“Lizzy . . .”

“Threw a hissy fit and tried to get her own way. Maybe she’s a spoiled brat and thinks she should always get her own way. Maybe she’s been misbehaving—and getting away with it—because her mother caved when she started whining and Lieutenant Montgomery wasn’t there to insist on good behavior. Or maybe she’s acting up because she’s only six or seven years old and has been through a lot in the past twenty-four hours.” Merri Lee blew out a breath. “Look, Meg, you tried to do something nice by showing her the ponies. They’re chunky and they look kind of cute in a grumpy sort of way. And everything was fine until she started going on about riding a pony, right?”

Meg laid a hand against her waist, feeling the bandage over the cut. “Yes, but then . . .”

Prev Next