Lute left the office through the hallway to the town hall and Niles locked up from the outside of the office. The walk to The Beacon blew brisk, yet pleasant, greeting some folks along the way.
He opened the door to The Beacon and stepped in.
Izzy stood over the shoulder of a young lady sitting at a computer screen. “Chief Quinn,” she said, “step on in my office and have a seat. I’ll be right with you.”
Niles sat on a coach. Beside him on an end table, a pile of past issues of The Beacon rested. He lifted half the stack off and looked at the top paper on the remaining stack. He removed that paper. The top headline read, “Jessica Webster Best Shot.” Beneath the headlined was a picture of Jessica holding a rifle and trophy crossed in front of her chest. A scope was attached to the rifle. The article went on to say she won Bellamy Island’s Best Shot Award for the fourth straight time.
Izzy returned to the office and Niles returned the papers to the stack.
“If you’re not from around here, old news can be interesting,” Niles said.
Izzy sat in a chair behind her desk stacked with various papers and loose forms. “Take what you want,” Izzy said, “Wallpaper a room if you like.”
“I wonder how many vain celebrities do that?” Niles said.
“What brings you this way?” Izzy said.
“Off the record,” Niles said.
“Sure,” Izzy said.
“You, probably more than most, have a pulse on the community,” Niles said, “especially when it comes to businesses.”
“We are always looking to run stories on them and they are always looking for ways to advertise without paying for it,” Izzy said. “And they want to legitimately advertise and we are aggressive to offer advertising.”
“I have a question,” Niles said, “when did Ye Olde Stomping Grounds come to town?”
Izzy turned slightly in her chair. She looked out the window. From her window she caught a full view of Ye Olde Stomping Grounds; it was directly across the street. “Hmm,” she said, “it seems to me, a little more than two years ago.”
Niles stood. “Thanks, Izzy.”
“You could have found that out from a hundred different people,” Izzy said.
“Yeah,” Niles said, “but only one works right across the street.”
“You’re priming the pump, aren’t you?” Izzy said.
“You, probably more than most, see who goes in and out of the place,” Niles said.
“Yeah,” Izzy said slowly as if a thought had been reeled through her mind like bait on a hook.
“Do you spend most of the day here?” Niles said.
“Unfortunately,” Izzy said.
“Would it be asking too much to write down plate numbers of out of state license?” Niles said.
“No,” Izzy said, “but why/”
“I have found at times it might be best not to reveal that,” Niles said standing. “Is it suffice to say I trust you and everything else adds up to plausible deny-ability?”
Izzy looked over the tops of her glasses. She pulled a blank sheet of paper from her desk drawer and wrote “Quinn” across the top and placed it back in the drawer. “If it’s left on my desktop it will end up lost or become an item in The Beacon.”
Niles smiled courteously and said, “Thanks,” and left the office.