i am going to go down to the store on the corner, catherine announced, to buy a turtle.
a turtle? asked harold. whatever for? and besides, it is pouring rain.
oh, i shall wear my most weather proof rain gear.
that is all very well, but what do you want the turtle for?
to make turtle soup, of course. why else would i want it?
but it is cook’s day off.
i have the cookbook mrs wilson left behind, and it has what appears to be a very workable recipe in it.
oh well, suit yourself, i suppose you know your own mind. i still think you would be better served waiting for cook to make the turtle soup tomorrow - and going to the store herself to buy it, in bright glorious sunshine.
that is all very well, but i am off. wish me luck.
but when catherine opened the front door, who should be standing in front of it, apparently in some sort of daze, but charles. he was not wearing a hat and his umbrella was rolled and tucked under his arm, and the rain was furiously splashing and cascading over his bald head.
charles! catherine exclaimed. whatever are you doing here?
i - i was just thinking - i was thinking of - dash it, now i have lost my train of thought!
i am sorry to hear that. why don’t you come in out of the rain and dry yourself off a bit.
yes, i suppose i might as well.
the servants have the day off, but we have a roaring fire going, and harold might lend you some dry clothes.
i don’t care to wear other people’s clothing.
when charles entered the drawing room, harold looked up from his faithful copy of the newcomes and burst out laughing.
i will be back shortly, catherine told charles, and i will make some delicious turtle soup which will warm you right up.
harold continued to laugh, and to ostentatiously “hold his sides”.
stop laughing, harold, catherine admonished him. it is very uncivilized of you. why don’t you look for the admiral’s old blue suit in the attic and let charles change into it? i will be back in a flash.
and with that, catherine was out the door and on her way.
harold did not make any attempt to retrieve the admiral’s old blue suit from the attic, but he and charles sat in front of the roaring fire and had a long, somewhat contentious argument about the battle of rorke’s drift.
catherine returned a few hours later, quite wet, and without a turtle.
charles and harold refrained from asking her where she had been and what she had been doing.
i would like to speak to miss juliana williams, please.
this is juliana williams.
good afternoon, miss williams, my name is harland perkins, and i am an officer of the first bank in wilsonville. how are you today?
i am doing just fine, mister perkins. yourself?
i am doing very well, thank you.
what can i do for you today, mister perkins.
i am calling about the one hundred dollar gold coin you deposited at our branch in pineville.
what about it? is it counterfeit?
no, it is perfectly good. but could you tell me where you got it?
i do not see any reason why i should..
the police are interested in the matter.
really? then i will talk to the police if they contact me.
good afternoon. i would like to speak to miss juiiana williams.
who shall i say is calling?
i am detective morris delacroix, of the state police.
oh, yes, she was expecting you. please come in.
would you like some coffee , lieutenant, is it?
just detective, and thank you, but no thank you.. my business will be brief.
and the business concerns the gold coin i deposited in the pineville bank?
it does indeed. perhaps you have had time to refresh your memory as to where you got it.
i remember very well where i got it. i was not inclined to tell the gentleman at the bank, on such short notice, where i got it. perhaps i was getting a little too much up on my high horse. i apologize for any inconvenience i may be causing you.
thank you. be that as it may, where did you get the coin?
when i was a little girl, a man on main street told me i was a pretty girl and gave it to me.
just like that?
a one hundred dollar coin?
did he - act improperly in any way?
oh no. there were hordes of people around. i think it was the fourth of july.
and you were how old?
i think i was thirteen, give or take a year.
what did your parents think?
i never told them about it. i just took it home and hid it. for a rainy day.
and the rainy day came last week?
i am afraid it did.
and that is your story?
yes, it is.
and you do not have any more of these coins?
thank you. that is all i need.
are you sure you would not like something to drink? coffee, tea, mineral water?
you got any other ideas? that window looks like we could get stuck in it
that door doesn’t look he spent any of his gold on it.
you want to break it down?
what else are we here for?
it’s dark in here. we don’t have any matches.
i brought matches, dumbhead.
look! there’s somebody on the bed! it must be pete!
a brilliant deduction.
is he dead?
dead drunk, probably. let’s look around.
he’s cold. he is dead!
good, now we have time to look around. you aren’t scared, are you?
all right, we got the gold, let’s get out of here.
not so fast. let’s split it up first.
we can split it up later.
we can split it up now,
maybe we should just bury it somewhere. if we start spending it and they find his body the police will put two and two together…
i know all that. but if we just bury it and we both know where it is, how will we each know the other won’t dig it up? or one kill the other to get it all? better to split it up now and we won’t know where the other put theirs.
how are we going to split it?
i mean, we need another bag. do you want to look around here for one? let’s get out of here.