You’re like the talk of the campus, he said casually as he popped an orange cheese ball into his mouth.
I fear I would sit on you rather than the sofa, Eddie whispered back.Why are we whispering? Miss Charming whispered.
Well, we are in a dark room with a murderer, said Charlotte. No need to alert him to our presence.Ho hum, poor me, Mr. Mallery said somewhere to her left. A murderer, all alone, and no one to murder. If only a potential victim would speak up and alert me to her presence.Got you! Eddie said suddenly, seizing the lady’s arm.
Miss Gardenside screamed. So did Charlotte. Stupid brothers.What? Wait! Do not start without me, Colonel Andrews said, rushing back in, the candle flame bobbing. He placed the candle in a holder on the mantel. We are safe. The servants absconded, and the house is ours. Go on, Mallery. We will give you till fifty.
Charlotte stood close to the candle and watched their elected murderer leave the room, his expression decidedly sneaky. Charlotte put her arm through Miss Charming’s.
Want to be hiding buddies? she whispered.The shock of that name zapped her, static electricity grazing her skin. She closed her book and stood up slowly, fearing to find a camera crew crouched behind her, that she was the victim of reality TV and had been duped not privately but in front of millions of viewers. She swung around, and the airport was full of disinterested bustle. In her present mood (chagrined and zippy mad), it was hard to properly enjoy the relief that came with thinking, At least I’m not on TV.
The walk back past security felt impossibly long, the click of her heels much too loud, as though she were all alone and no bodies were present to muffle the sounds of her solitude.There was Customer Service, a chirpy brunette with a permanent smile behind the desk. And there was someone waiting there, someone dressed in jeans and a sweater, devilishly normal in the twenty-first-century crowd. He saw her, and he straightened, his eyes hopeful. Apparently, Mrs. Wattlesbrook’s barrister hadn’t been in his office to assure her that being a magazine writer doesn’t nullify a confidentiality agreement.
Martin. You whistled? She laid the rancor on thick. No need to tap dance around.Jane, I’m sorry. I was going to tell you today. Or tonight. The point is, I was going to tell you, and then we could still see if you and I—