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28

Fleeced

Back at their rented room, Georgette was sitting at the all-purpose table, examining the loot that she had procured from Bens apartment.

It wasnt much.

She still couldnt believe that that woman, whoever she was, came in to take Bens food. Talk about nerve. Well, at least she didnt see me. Who knows how long shell be locked up there?

Georgette giggled. She looked up when she heard the key in the lock. Blaise came in looking as grumpy as he had when he left.

Whats all that? he asked, pointing at the cuff links and foreign coins and silver brush-and-comb set.

Youll be so proud of me, she said.

Why?

Remember the spare key ring I stole from Nat?

Yes.

Georgette sat up straight, excited by what she had to report. I had taken Nats key off of it But I got to thinking today. So I came home and looked at the other keys. In tiny letters, two were marked B.C.

Blaises face remained impassive.

Dont you get it? Ben Carney! Nats best friend! The one who died last night! Thats why Thomas Pilsner came running up to Nats apartment in the first place.

I know who youre talking about.

I figured they had to be the keys to Bens apartment, so I looked up his address and went over there. The keys worked!

Why did you do that?

Because hes dead. I thought maybe he had the diamonds in his apartment. You never know, ya know?

That was stupid.

Why?

Because if youd gotten caught we wouldnt have a chance to look for the diamonds in Pemrods apartment. And theyre more likely to be there if theyre anywhere.

No harm in trying, Georgette said, clearly annoyed that Blaise didnt praise her ingenuity. And now Ill have to tell him the rest of it, she thought. Here goes nothing. Someone walked in when I was in the bedroom going through Bens stuff.

What? Blaise looked alarmed.

Dont worry. She didnt see me. I sprayed her with Mace and locked her in the closet.

Georgette! Are you out of your mind? All you got out of it was a few trinkets and someone who just might be able to identify you.

Im telling you, she didnt see me! And what if the diamonds had been in there? Youd be singing a different tune.

Blaise sat down on the kitchen chair opposite her and rubbed his eyes. I just came home to get my tux. Lydias having another party tonight.

Im going.

You are?

Yes, she called and said she wanted to apologize for the confusion last night. So shes having the same group back tonight, no charge.

I dont like the sound of that, Blaise said. Its getting too hot around here. I think we should get out of town very soon.

But what about the diamonds?

Blaise thought for a moment. After the party tonight, well both slip into Pemrods. Well search the place. If we dont find them, then I say we take off.

What about your butler classes?

I cant stand them! I dont care about the proper way to iron the newspaper or draw a bath or polish the silver!

Georgette picked up the tarnished silver brush shed found on Bens dresser and smiled at him. You can practice on this.

Very funny. He took her hands in his. Georgette, somethings up with Lydia. I can just tell. Theyre probably having us all back tonight so the police can question everyone.

Maybe we shouldnt go.

That would look bad. And I want to get a shot at going through Nats apartment. Then were out of here.

Georgette looked around. Ill be glad to leave this dump.

Me too.

What if we get caught tonight?

We wont let anyone get in our way.

They laughed together.


| Fleeced | c