Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chapter Nine - Spread the Love

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Chapter Nine

"I have no idea," I said. It felt like I'd said it a hundred times. "I have no idea how the pendant got into the coat pocket."

We were sitting on chairs about twenty feet outside the market. The pendant had been returned, and Cece and Carolyn were discussing something while Milton, Gordon and Shannon had their own conversation and took turns peering over at my interrogation.

Officer Alice (Al) Dayton didn't believe me. "Mr. O'Brien said you had your hands in your pockets, Ms. Robins. How in the world did you miss the pendant?"

"Like I said, I put the jam in the pocket. It covered the pendant."

"After you put the pendant in the pocket?" Officer Al said.

"I didn't put the pendant in the pocket. I didn't know it was there. As I have also said over and over again, this isn't my coat. It's Milton's. He let me wear it."

"Are you accusing Mr. O'Brien of stealing the pendant?"


Officer Dayton sighed. If she weren't so irritating, I might have thought she was pretty in a bleached blonde surfer girl way. But all I could think of was how I liked Monson's police officers better than San Francisco's variety.

"Why does your coat match the other gentleman's?" She nodded toward Gordon.

"I don’t know." I was trying not to grit my teeth when I spoke.

"Mr. O'Brien, could you join us, please?" Officer Dayton signaled at Milton.

Milton hurried over.

"Ms. Robins says this is your coat," Officer Dayton said.

"It is," Milton said.

"Is that your coat, too?" She pointed at Gordon.

"It used to be. I gave it to Gordon a while ago."

"Is there any chance the two coats could have been mixed up?

"No - I mean, I don't think so. Well . . . I suppose there might be," Milton said thoughtfully. "I keep a couple in my van and a couple in my stall. The cold can sneak up on you here. I let people borrow them."

Officer Dayton sighed again, but this time I didn't think it was because she thought I was lying. "Can you tell me who borrowed this coat recently?"

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