Niles sat behind his desk for an hour mulling over what Steve told him about where Sam Petit died.
The phone rang.
“It’s Mildred. Never mind she’s right at the door.”
Lucinda walked in and Niles hung up the phone.
“You are a man on the move,” Lucinda said., “hard to track.”
Niles forced a smile. “Getting this department up and going and settling in has really kept me hopping. So what do you need, Lucinda?”
“You need a social life,” Lucinda said.
“Well,” Niles said, “I’m not a social person, never have been. It’s sort of a flaw in my personality. I’ve always been that way, never even went to my class prom.”
“Sounds like you may have some catching up to do,” Lucinda smiled feigning shyness.
“There’s not really a lot that goes on around here,” Niles said. He thought, “No matter what I say she’ll have an argument. I don’t see how I can win.”
“There’s plays at the Opera House,” Lucinda said. “
“I lived in New York City,” Niles said, “greatest plays in the world. I went to a couple – hated them.”
“Well what do you like to do?” Lucinda said.
“I’ve just never developed the knack for doing things,” Niles said.
“How long you been divorced?” Lucinda said.
“It’s been over 10 years,” Niles said.
“Well, that’s the problem,” Lucinda said. “You’ve been in one place so long you’ve stuck to the floor.”
“I appreciate you taking interest in me,” Niles said, “but I’m a complicated man, emotionally.”
Lucinda smiled. “I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean, but I like it. Look, you’ve been married, I’ve been married, we’ve both been around the block a couple times.” She moved around the desk to where Niles sat. She sat on the desk.
Niles smiled. He thought. “If not for the fact allies were needed no matter from where, I would escort her out of the office. It is becoming embarrassing and I don’t know how to handle this or what to do.”
The phone rang. He picked it up. “Brewster Harbor Police Department, Chief Quinn.”
“This is Mrs. Smith at the High School there is a terrible fight, can you get here as soon as possible!”
“Lucinda!” Niles panicked, “I got to lock up, fight at the high school.”
Niles sprung from behind the desk. He and Lucinda hustled out the door of the police station. He locked the door and without saying goodby jumped into the cruiser and sped from the driveway with his flashers on.
Two miles outside town he slowed, turned off the flashers, and pulled into a driveway. He punched a number. “Thanks, Mildred.”
“No problem, Chief,” Mildred said. “I could see out the window from up here and down through your window. She looked like a cougar perched on a high limb, getting ready to pounce on her prey.”
“Funny,” Niles said, “that’s exactly how it felt.”
“We got to work on a permanent solution,” Mildred said.
“Short of death and marriage, my options are few,” Niles said.
“I know the woman,” Mildred said, “and those aren’t options that would stop her.”