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datatime: 2022-09-29 04:03:40 Author:ETGQodIB

Presently, I found the gift shop-Gift Shoppe-which had once been a summer kitchen, I think, and I went in. The lights were off, but sunlight came in through the windows.

The house, as I said, was large, circa about 1850s, typical of the home of a rich merchant or sea captain. The foyer was big, and to the left was a large sitting room, to the right was the dining room. The place was all antiques, of course, mostly junk if you want my opinion, but probably worth a bunch of buckos. I didn't see or hear anyone in the house, so I wandered about from room to room. It wasn't actually a museum in the sense of exhibits; it was just a decorated period house. I couldn't see anything sinister about the place, no paintings of burning churches on the walls, no black candles, no needlepoint pentagrams or black cats, and the kitchen had no bubbling witch's cauldron.

The next call was from my ex, whose name is Robin Paine, which fits her, and who also happens to be an attorney. She said, "Hello, John, this is Robin. I want to remind you that our one-year separation ends on October first, at which time we are legally divorced. You'll get a copy of the decree in the mail. There's nothing for you to sign or do. It's automatic." She put a light tone in her voice and said, "Well, you can't commit adultery after October first unless you remarry. But don't get married before you get your decree or it's bigamy. Saw you on the news. Sounds like a fascinating case. Be well."

She said, "I reached Emma at her florist shop, and she's on her way to the Peconic Historical Society house."

Interesting. All I'm trying to do is help, and I'm getting home-towned by the local old boys.

Right. Robin, by the way, was a Manhattan assistant district attorney once, which is how I met her. We were on the same side. She switched sides and took a high-paying job with a big-name defense attorney who liked her style in court. He may have liked more than her style, but aside from that, our marriage became a conflict of interest. I mean, I'm trying to put scumbags in the slammer, and the woman I'm sleeping with is trying to keep them in business. The last straw was when she took the case of a high-level drug guy who, aside from his American problems, was wanted in Colombia for icing a judge. I mean, Jeez, lady, I know somebody has to do it, and the money is terrific, but I was feeling matrimonially challenged. So I told her, "It's me or your job," to which she replied, "Maybe you should change your job" and she meant it-her firm needed a private investigator and she wanted me to take the job. I pictured doing PI work for her and her idiot boss. Maybe getting their coffee between cases. Right. Divorce, please.

Well, I'm not sure it does, Mrs. Wiley. I was just curious about-

Pregnant? asked Agnes."

I didn't see a wedding ring, observed Agnes.

I told her it concerned the Gordon murders.

I didn't see a wedding ring, observed Agnes.

Thank you. I think she hung up before I did.

Presently, I found the gift shop-Gift Shoppe-which had once been a summer kitchen, I think, and I went in. The lights were off, but sunlight came in through the windows.

Apparently Mr. Fredric Tobin had been at the Gordons' on at least one occasion. Yet, he didn't seem to recall his June visit. But maybe it wasn't him. Maybe it was another brown-bearded man in a white Porsche.

The house, as I said, was large, circa about 1850s, typical of the home of a rich merchant or sea captain. The foyer was big, and to the left was a large sitting room, to the right was the dining room. The place was all antiques, of course, mostly junk if you want my opinion, but probably worth a bunch of buckos. I didn't see or hear anyone in the house, so I wandered about from room to room. It wasn't actually a museum in the sense of exhibits; it was just a decorated period house. I couldn't see anything sinister about the place, no paintings of burning churches on the walls, no black candles, no needlepoint pentagrams or black cats, and the kitchen had no bubbling witch's cauldron.

Aside from these little career conflicts, we were actually in love once. Anyway, October first. Then she is officially ex, and I lose the opportunity to be an adulterer or a bigamist. Life just isn't fair sometimes.

Over the causeway and onto Main Road, heading back toward the hamlet of Cutchogue. I called Margaret Wiley.

I went to the front door, and there was a yellow Post-it near the knocker that said, "Mr. Corey, please let yourself in."

Remember, don't talk to anyone except Chief Maxwell, me, and Detective Penrose.

Remember, don't talk to anyone except Chief Maxwell, me, and Detective Penrose.

Thank you. I think she hung up before I did.

Mr. Murphy asked, "Where is she?" 'Detective Penrose? She's home with morning sickness."

Presently, I found the gift shop-Gift Shoppe-which had once been a summer kitchen, I think, and I went in. The lights were off, but sunlight came in through the windows.

I wasn't sure why I was here, but something had drawn me here. On the other hand, I think I had geriatric overload, and the thought of talking to one more septuagenarian was more than I could handle. I should have opened the bottle of Tobin wine and chugged it before meeting Mrs. Whitestone.

Remember, don't talk to anyone except Chief Maxwell, me, and Detective Penrose.

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