Stanley Yokell is a retired professional engineer who lives in Boulder, Colorado. Like many Colorado residents, he has had a full life of outdoor activities. His published books include The Ship, a book about a landing ship tank that served in the Pacific during World War II; The Ride, (written under the pen name S. Israel), about a solo coast-to-coast bicycle trip the author took to celebrate his 59th birthday; Dog Stories, about the important canine friends in his life; House of Mirrors, an erotic novella; Sex, Love and Erotic, an anthology, both written under the pen name S. Israel; A Happy Life, an autobiography; Old People, an anthology of stories related to the elderly; The Body in the Park, the third in a trilogy of murder mysteries; 2084 The Secularist Revolution, a science fiction book about religious and political power and the effects of a universal language translating device and a universal text translation program. His technical books, all published by McGraw-Hill, are A Working Guide to Shell-and-Tube Heat Exchangers, Tubular Heat Exchanger Inspection, Maintenance & Repair; and Closed Feedwater Heaters for Power Generation: A Working Guide.
The Murder On The Mall
The Mystery Of The Death Of The Pornographer
by Stanley Yokell
The Murder On The Mall
The Mystery Of The Death Of The Pornographer
by Stanley Yokell
Published Mar 30, 2015
Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
The Murder On The Mall
The Murder on the Mall is the second book in a trilogy that features Marie Quizno, the Detective Chief of the fictional town of Big Rock, Colorado. Early one Autumn morning the Big Rock police find the body of Eddy Hickok on the lawn that borders the brick-paved mall in front of the county building. His injuries indicate that he was brutally beaten to death. Marie Quizno, Big Rock’s Chief of Detectives investigates. She discovers that the victim was a pornographer who had induced Sharon, the teen age daughter of Amy and Matt Wilson, to perform in a video at the Baddyflicks studio. A man comes forward who witnessed the arson that burned down the Baddyflicks studio. Marie traces the arson to Wilson using the witness’s description of three of the license numbers on his jeep. She is convinced that Wilson was the man who beat Hickok to death. Realizing that she doesn’t have sufficient evidence to convict Wilson of Hickok’s murder, she arranges with District Attorney Martin A. Smart to prosecute him for the lesser crime of arson that she believes she can substantiate. Wilson is tried. The jury’s surprise decision is a well-received shock to the population of Big Rock.
Jock Hickok and Angela Carpenter met at a London orphanage. When they reached the age of release from state control they took up life together without the formality of marriage. With Jock’s help Angela founded Baddyflicks International to make and distribute adult films. Angela gathered a group of attractive working-women from the not yet gentrified streets of London’s Soho. She selected young, virile, unemployed men eager to make a few pounds any way they could. Angela and Jock were not above acting in their films, sometimes with each other, and sometimes with the young men and women they hired. Before the start of each production, they had each actor sign a document attesting that his or her age met the legal standard for consensual sex. They worked with a doctor who examined the actors to be sure they were not infected with sexually transmitted diseases. To deal with viewers who might be put off viewing men using condoms, Baddyflicks provided birth control pills and diaphragms, pessarys, and anti-pregnancy foams to the adult actresses who preferred them. Trouble arose when Jock gave in to his interest in underage, barely pubescent youngsters and made a film with 12-year- old Gladys Fulsome. Angela paid a substantial sum to the Fulsomes so they would not bring a complaint to the authorities when they discovered what had taken place. But not trusting that payment would ensure silence, and having no family ties, they left London for Big Rock, Colorado on the recommendation of friends who had lived there and who assured them that many university students would be willing actors in their films. Big Rock had undergone a construction boom and the overbuilding had left warehouses unoccupied and inexpensive to rent. They rented a modest sized, stand-alone warehouse at the east end of town on the extension of Ruby Street and equipped it for their purposes. To avoid snooping eyes they darkened the windows, covered them with dense blinds, and shot the movies at night. They continued their practices of certifying actors’ adulthood and conducting medical examinations before production. Although Jock agreed to refrain from further activities with the underaged, his interest took a different turn and he made contact with a filmmaker whose forte was making child pornography films. Jock arranged to distribute the films in the United States to a select audience interested in child pornography. He trusted to honor among thieves that he would be paid his share of the profits. Although this was a lucrative, if somewhat hazardous, side business for Jock, his principal interest was in viewing such films and he accumulated a large trove of DVDs with child pornography content. Baddyflicks American operation’s success brought wealth, and the Hickoks built a large house on Shady Lane in North Big Rock where they lived as Mr. and Mrs. Hickok. They furnished it in Danish Modern style, with built in bookcases in the living room and all the conveniences that wealth could bring, including a fish pond with a fountain and foliage that ensured privacy. Either through a moment of passion or carelessness Angela became pregnant. Although they weren’t sure who the father was, since Angela had acted in some of the recent films, they decided against abortion on the high moral ground that abortion is equivalent to murder. Nine months later the baby, who they named Eddie, was born. Having no other family, they indulged him unreasonably and excused any misbehavior as “Boys will be boys.” To shield Eddie from knowing the source of their wealth they had a large safe installed in a room built adjacent to their three-car garage. They padlocked the door. That’s where Jock kept his trove of kiddie porn and Angela kept copies of the movies they made and other adult films she enjoyed watching. They also stored various illegal substances they smoked inside the room, along with paraphernalia for some they occasionally injected. They also had the drawer of the night table adjacent to their bed, where they kept sex toys, fitted with a lock so their son could not gain access to it. Eddie grew up in this sheltered environment. They had the illusion that they were raising him as the epitome of a child of respectable parents who fit comfortably into the community, but an illusion it was. Eddie was not interested in little league baseball or playing in any of the various soccer leagues for children. He had other interests. When he was of middle school age, they came home unexpectedly one Saturday to find Eddie in their bedroom with their neighbor’s unclothed five-year-old daughter, Marilyn Swift, showing her his boyish sexual excitement. They hurried him out of the room and Angela quickly dressed the little girl and took her home. She told Mrs. Swift, “Isn’t it sweet how fond Eddie is of Marilyn?” Eddie’s career in North Big Rock High followed a pattern that was troublesome to the school authorities. Angela and Jock put it up to “Boys will be boys.” Since they were frequent smokers of marijuana it did not disturb them when they smelled Eddie smoking the weed. As Eddie’s senior year approached they urged him to apply for admission to the university, but he put it off. By now they had a website at www.baddyflicks.com where they marketed adult films, pay per view access to their films, and sex toys. The operation of the website was far more lucrative than just producing and selling adult films. One Sunday afternoon, Angela and Jock came home unexpectedly from a trip to Rocky Mountain National park to find that Eddie had picked the lock on the door of the private room and had opened the safe. He was sitting in the living room in a state of arousal watching one of Jock’s kiddie porn movies. Jock and Angela were furious and it led to their first serious confrontation with their son. “You guys watch this stuff,” he said, “and why can’t I?” Jock’s answer was “Because I say so.” Angela screamed, “How can you be so disrespectful? We’ve given you everything—a car for your birthday, the best notebook computer, on the market, an Apple cellphone, everything—and this is how you do?” Jock said, “You’re going to straighten out right now,” and stormed out. Next day there was a new, double lock on the room and the combination to the safe was changed. When Eddie asked for walking around money, Jock turned away and gave him nothing. Eddie was bitter about his parents’ hypocrisy. He said to himself What bastards. Who needs them? I’ll fix them. To follow his plan to fix them he changed his ways. To his parents’ delight he behaved, for a time, like a model son. Jock told Angela, “See what a little discipline will do?” When Angela and Jock were working on a shoot in the warehouse one night, Eddie took a dozen sleeping pills out of Angela’s medicine cabinet. On the weekend that Jock and Angela again planned to visit Rocky Mountain National Park, Eddie crushed up the sleeping pills and dissolved them in his parents’ push button juice dispenser. He brought it out to the car. “I fixed this for you, Mom and Dad,” he said, “Aren’t you coming with us?” Angela asked. “Got to study,” he said, “I’m gonna fill out the application to the university.” Jock fell asleep at the wheel and Eddie was an orphan that night. He cried bitterly at the service before his parents’ cremation. Shortly after his 18th birthday he dropped out of school, saying that he couldn’t deal with his grief. It did not take long for the precocious Eddie to take full control of his parents’ business. The Colorado foothills town of Big Rock is noted for its brick-paved mall that begins on the eastern end of Ruby Street and ends just before Ruby Street becomes an asphalt-paved, tree-lined street of restored old homes with a few small, funky stores and a few small businesses. The Ruby Street Mall is a major attraction for tourists visiting Colorado and the parents of students who attend the university. Jugglers, mimes, musicians, and other performers show off their skills to appreciative crowds, who compensate them by dropping coins and currency in hats or open violin cases. The Ruby Street Mall is often home to concerts sponsored by various organizations, street fairs, and other excitements. Rock City’s finest patrol the Mall with good humor, but are rigorous in seeing to it that small-changers are not aggressive, and that some young ne’er-do-wells keep apart from the more sedate visitors to the mall. Residents of Big Rock can easily tell the difference between their neighbors and visitors by the girth of their waistlines, size of their backsides, and their patronage of the ice-cream and candy stores. The many benches and resting places in shady and sunny locations and the beds of flowers are an additional attraction to visitors. Big Rock accommodates the elderly in several retirement facilities such as Plato House and its sister facility, Briar Rose Big Rock is populated by the young and fit along with not-so-young, middle- aged people who aspire to the fitness of the young. Many of the latter came to Big Rock to study at the university and remained because of the beautiful surroundings and free and easy culture. The nearby foothills are filled with steep slopes and crags that attract rock climbers. Like most public schools in Colorado, the Big Rock fall term begins in August. When the first day of school let out on Monday, three South Big Rock high school girls—Sharon Wilson, Sally Springer, and Labelle Vistin— and two North Big Rock high school girls—Winnie Frist and Annie Shuster—went to the Seven-Eleven on Arapahoe Avenue in response to an ad that announced a new machine for shaved ice-syrupy drinks. Labelle was one of the few African American girls in the school. She and Sharon were best friends. Both girls were pretty, slim, and animated. They had played soccer on the same teams and had joined the South Big Rock cheerleading squad. People would admire the two lovely youngsters when they saw them together. Sharon’s peaches and cream complexion, naturally blonde hair, and deep blue eyes and Labelle’s lovely skin color and flashing black eyes emphasized their differences. Both were good friends with Sally Shuster. Eddie Hickok sat on the bench outside the Seven Eleven, sipping coffee from a plastic container. He eyed the girls, taking special note of the blond, blue-eyed Sharon Wilson and the sparkling black eyes and lovely color of Labelle’s skin and their slim, graceful figures and budding maturity. Eddie took a drag on the joint he was smoking and spoke to them, “Hi,” he said, “school let out?” “Yeah,” Sharon responded, “it’s a drag being in school while it’s still summer.” “Which school is yours?” he asked. “South Big Rock’s our school,” she answered, “We’re best friends.” Pointing to Winnie Frist and Annie Shuster she said, “Those girls are from North Big Rock. I wish I was still on vacation like you.” “I’m not on vacation,” Hickok said, “I work nights. I make movies at a studio out on the east end of Ruby Street.” “Do you make documentaries for PBS?” Labelle asked. He laughed, “No,” he said, “just commercial films. We’re always looking for new young actresses.” He said to them, “You two might just fit in one of our films. We could use a blond, blue- eyed pretty girl like you, together with a beautiful African-American girl like you. It could make a great scene.” Sharon had often dreamed of becoming an actress and starring in love stories. “Would you really put us in one of your films?” she asked. “If you can get out tonight, I’ll be glad to try you out,” he responded. The girls’ faces fell. “My mom and dad think I need to study cause my grades fell off last year,” Sharon said. Labelle said, “My dad won’t give me permission to go out after dinner unless it’s with my mom or him.” “Too bad,” he said to Labelle, “I could make a great scene with the two of you.” Sharon thought a bit and said, “I could tell my mom and dad that I’m going to Karen’s to study and sleepover. Could I be in a scene without Labelle? How would I get to your studio?” “Give me your address. I’ll park my car across the street so when you leave for your friend’s house I can pick you up,” he said. “Cool,” Sharon said. Labelle looked envious and distressed. Excitedly Sharon squealed. “I’m going to be in a movie.” Very quickly the other girls were asking Hickok if they could act in his films too. “Well, I’ll need to get your names, addresses, and cell phone numbers and ask you some questions,” he told them, taking out a memo pad and pen. He noted down the five girls’ names and the answers to his questions. That night he picked up Sharon and drove her to the Baddyflicks studio. The Big Rock town council had converted Ruby Street from one that was lined with stores that served the remnants of the mining community and a restaurant with cuisine that reflected miners’ appetites to a gentrified mall of hokey and expensive stores and restaurants of kinds that miners would never have dreamed of patronizing. On a hot Tuesday afternoon during the last week of August, Stanley and Edith Israel, residents of Plato House, drove to the west end of Ruby Street. Stanley parked his car and they held hands as they set out for a walk on the Ruby Street Mall. They went there to see the beautiful beds of flowers that they knew would soon be gone once the cool September weather set in. They were just getting started at the west end of the mall traveling east, when a woman accosted them. She had a gap in her front upper teeth, a sun- burnt nose with some skin problems, sad eyes, and wore a nondescript dress. She mumbled something. Israel said, “Please speak louder and more clearly. I’m very hard of hearing.” She mumbled again. Finally he caught on to what she was saying, “I’m Sheila Cartwright and I’m hungry. Can you give me a dollar for some fried onions?” Being well fed, Israel felt guilty about a poor person telling him she was hungry. “I’ll buy you some food. Just tell me where you’d like to eat,” he said to her. Cartwright said, “I came from California for a job. I can get fried onions at the Rock City Bar.” She started to walk east, faster than Israel’s wife Edie could walk. “We’re old and can’t keep up with you. Slow down and we’ll go into the bar with you,” he said. She did—just barely. He took out a $20 bill, handed it to bartender Mack Murphy, and said, “Give me $15 change back and give this lady whatever five dollars will buy in the way of food.” Murphy looked at Israel. “You sure you want to encourage this?” he asked, "a hamburger?" Israel nodded. “I don’t want a hamburger. Just some fried onions,” Cartwright said. Murphy shrugged. He said, “That will be $2.15. “OK,” Israel answered, “See what other food she wants that fits the remainder of the five.” “I need money for the bus fare to the shelter,” Cartwright objected. Israel sighed, “Bartender, give her the rest of the money from the five dollars.” “OK, boss,” Murphy said. She dug into a worn purse. “I had a roach in here. I need a smoke,” she said. Edith looked appalled. She turned to Stanley, “Why is she looking in her purse for a disgusting cockroach?” she asked. He kissed her on the forehead. “Sweetheart, you are such a sweet innocent. She’s not looking for a cockroach. Roach is street talk for the remnants of a marijuana cigarette.” Murphy told Cartwright, “Lady, Rock City is a no-smoke town. If you want to light up one of those funny cigarettes, you gotta do it outside. But you better watch out for the uniforms.” Israel turned to Cartwright. “I know the rules at the shelter, and if you show up high, they’re gonna boot your booty out,” he said. “I really need some crack,” she muttered, “but this is all I’ve got.” “Oh, you don’t want to do crack,” he said. “Can’t help it, I’m hooked,” she responded. Israel was still working as a consultant from an office in his apartment at Plato House. He dug into his wallet and took out a business card and wrote on the back of it. “Sheila,” he said, “if you want to get help to straighten out, call Doctor Josh Ginsburg at the number I wrote on the back of my card. He is an old friend who is retired and spends his time helping people straighten out. Give him a call.” She took the card, slipped it into her purse, and sat down at the bar to eat her onion rings. Murphy wiped the bar. He said more to himself than to Israel, “Takes all kinds and I seen them all.” The old couple walked slowly on, hand in hand, marveling at the numbers of mostly young people strolling on the mall in various costumes, from short shorts to long skirts. There were many tattoos and beards and various kinds of musical instruments being played, with the occasional biker breaking the law by riding on the mall. Edie asked, “What day is today? Is it Saturday?” “Tuesday, sweetheart” he answered. “Why are these people here? Shouldn’t they be working?” she asked. “Honey, it’s been like that ever since the mall was constructed,” he answered, “and I don’t know how these people get the time to spend their time on the mall. I guess most people don’t work the long hours I always did, so we’re not used to seeing people not working during the middle of a week day.” They walked on. As they walked slowly east they came upon the Falafel Queen restaurant. Falafel is a combination of chickpeas, onions, flour, and spices, rolled into balls and deep fried in cooking oil. Israel hadn’t had falafel since he was in The Hague around ten years ago to present a short course on heat transfer. A smile broke out on his face. “Hon,” he said to Edie, “Do you know anything about this place?” “If I did, I’ve forgotten it,” she answered, “I don’t remember much of anything anymore.” “Remember when we went to Israel and we were the guest of a young Arab in Jericho?” he asked her. “Oh, that was so long ago. Yes, I remember,” She said, “We sat in a garden and had a salad.” “Do you remember that we had falafel in Tel Aviv, and again in Jericho?” he asked her. “Sort of,” she said. “Well at the time you remarked that the Palestinians and the Jews could at least agree on what tastes good,” he said. She smiled, “Yes, I remember that.” He explained, “Well, when we got back home, one day I decided to walk over to the Ruby Street Mall from my office and get some lunch. I didn’t know what I wanted so I strolled down the mall. When I saw the sign in English, Hebrew, and Arabic on the window of the Falafel Queen I decided to have some falafel and a piece of the lamb they call shwarma. So I went in and stood in line to order. “While I was waiting I started to talk to one of the owners. I asked him if he came from Israel. Before he had a chance to answer his partner shouted, ‘Palestine!’ and they began a loud argument with the Israeli partner calling his Arab partner a raghead and the Arab partner calling the Israeli an occupier. I thought they were going to kill each other until they both began to laugh. So I asked them what all the fuss was about. All the other customers standing in line were listening.” “Did they explain?” she asked. “The Israeli guy—his name is Avraham ben Moshe—and the Arab guy—his name is Ibrahim bin Musa—kept interrupting each other, telling me that they’re Israeli-Palestinian partners and they came here to get away from the fighting. They said they had been friends since they were kids playing soccer together and when ben Moshe got out of the army they decided to come here together. They have the same name except one is in Hebrew and the other is in Arabic. They put on that act so people will remember the Falafel Queen and come back again.” Edie said, “Wouldn’t it be nice if more Arabs and Israelis were friends?” “Maybe it will happen someday,” he replied. He had a sudden urge to have some falafel. They went in to the Falafel Queen. Ben Moshe and bin Ibrahim were too busy cooking and serving for any conversation. Edie stood at his side as he ordered. There was a sudden crash. He grabbed Edie, terrified that she would be knocked down. On the floor was a big, young man. Israel put his arm under him and helped him up. “I Eddie Hickok and I sick,” the man said. Israel helped Hickok sit down and gave him some water. He said, “Eddie, do you want me to call a doctor?” “No doctor,” Hickok said, “he’ll take away my needle.” Israel took another business card out of his wallet and wrote Dr. Ginsburg’s phone number on it. He slid it into the pocket of Hickok’s obviously expensive shirt and said, “I’ve got a friend who’s a retired doctor. He helps people get clean. If you want to get clean, you call Doctor Josh Ginsburg. I wrote his name and number on the back of the card I stuck in your shirt pocket.” He said to his wife, “I don’t think Josh is going to thank me for the favors I’m sending him today.” He waited while the falafel cooked. There was another loud crash. Hickok was again on the floor with the chair he had been sitting on and the table overturned. Mindy Smith, the young cashier, asked Israel, “Should I call the Police?” He answered, “It might be a good idea to call 911 instead.” Bin Musa took Hickok into the back of the Falafel Queen. Stanley and Edith went out to sit at a table where he munched the falafel. It wasn’t as good as he had remembered. He said to her, “At this age, hardly anything is as good as I remember it.” Edith was tired, and after Stanley bought her a frozen yogurt they walked back to where the car was parked and drove back to Plato House. The next morning he picked up the Big Rock Daily that he had delivered to his doorstep each morning. He and Edith went down to breakfast. He slipped the paper out of its plastic wrapper. The headline on the front page screamed, Man Found on Ruby Street Mall Beaten to Death. The short story, reported by Jack Armstrong, read, The Big Rock police are investigating a gruesome find on the Ruby Street Mall. A man identified as Eddie Hickok, a resident of North Big Rock, was found on the grass in front of the county courthouse, the apparent victim of a brutal beating. Marie Quizno, Big Rock’s chief of detectives, is conducting the investigation. The police have withheld any details of their investigation. This reporter is following the story. The Big Rock Daily will provide more information about the alleged murder as it becomes available. It is our understanding that the county coroner is examining the body at the morgue. It fell to Marie Quizno, Big Rock’s Chief of Detectives, to investigate the murder of Eddie Hickok. Investigating a murder is in many ways akin to lifting a boulder to see what lies underneath it: things hidden under the boulder come to light, and the creatures that live there scurry to find other shelter. Marie’s first action was to go to the morgue with Detective Alan Miller. He had been promoted after Detective Joe Hobson, who had worked on the Plato House case with Marie, was elected county sheriff. The morgue personnel had removed and bagged Hickok’s clothing and possessions. The detectives began an examination. Hickok’s crocodile-skin wallet held his driver’s license and the registration for a BMW. It held a couple of credit cards and $132 in cash. There was a leather key purse with a bunch of keys and a small address book. Miller looked at the keys; one was obviously a key to the ignition of the car while two others were etched, one with the word “front” and the other “back.” He assumed they were to the doors of Hickok’s house. One looked like the key to a safe-deposit box. He said to Quizno, “Well, Marie, it wasn’t robbery. His credit cards are in his wallet and there’s cash too. We’ve got the keys to his house, his car, and what looks like a safe-deposit box key and an address book. We’ll have to check to see which bank and go for a court order to get access to the safe-deposit box.” He came across Israel’s business card. “Hello,” he said, “Marie, here’s a familiar name. Wasn’t this guy one of the residents you interviewed when you were on the Plato House case?” She took the card and examined it, then turned it over and saw Dr. Ginsburg’s name and phone number had been scrawled on it. “We’ll have to talk to Israel again,” she said. Ginsburg’s name rang a bell in her mind. “Alan, isn’t Ginsburg the retired doc who spends his time getting users clean?” “Yeah, I think I think he’s a volunteer with the drug rehab folks,” he said. Coroner Mortimer Thanatos came out of the autopsy room. Marie asked him, “Mort, have you established cause of death?” Thanatos responded, “The cause was trauma to the head. His face was beaten to a pulp. I’ll let you know if there is any substance of interest when we get stomach contents and blood analysis done.” “Why beat up a user who’s high?” Marie asked, thinking the victim might have had drugs in his system. “I don’t do reasons for what happens to the deceased before they shuffle off this mortal coil,” Thanatos answered. Marie Quizno was capable of masking her competence behind a gentle, polite manner—so much so that people meeting her for the first time were shocked that such a sweet, young woman was Big Rock’s chief of detectives. Her manner was calculated to put people at ease. It was so effective, that she often learned things from the people she interviewed that they did not realize they were communicating. A student of body language, Marie could quickly separate nervousness from fear, and had a nose for detecting deception. She turned to Miller. “Alan we’ve got more than just a nighttime street fight and assault resulting in death on our hands. There had to be a reason for the beating. Let’s start with Israel,” she said. “OK, Chief,” Alan answered, “but he was pretty close-mouthed about what he knew when we were investigating the Plato House killing.” “He was trying to keep a guy out of trouble with the IRS,” she said, “I was pissed, but I understood that he wasn’t trying to be obstructive, just helping his friend.” “Generosity becomes you,” Miller said, “I’d have wrapped him on the knuckles. It took two interviews to get anything out of him. And then, when we got him to the meeting of the victim’s clients and you put it to him that withholding information is criminal, he gave you a smart ass, ‘so bring charges,’ didn’t he?” “Yeah, let’s find out why his card was in the victim’s pocket,” she said. She took out her cell phone and dialed Israel’s number. “This is Stan,” he answered. “Mr. Israel, this is detective Marie Quizno,” she said, “I’m investigating the beating and death of a man on the Ruby Street Mall. We found your business card in his pocket. I’d like to talk with you about it.” “I read about it in the daily rag,” he said, “It’s too bad to see a young man go like that. I can tell you why he had my card right now, if you want,” he responded. “I think it would be just as easy for me to drive over to the Plato House, if you’d be kind enough to make yourself available,” Quizno said. “OK, but remember, my girlfriend is fragile, and I don’t want her upset,” he said. He often referred to his beloved wife either as his girlfriend or his sweetheart. “Was she with you when you gave the victim your card?” she asked. “Yes, but she has probably forgotten the whole incident by now,” he said. “When is a good time for me to come by?” she asked, “I remember that you are still working.” “Too dumb to quit,” he answered, “come whenever it’s convenient for you, except lunchtime. My clients can wait for the work when Rock City’s chief of detectives needs to talk with me.” She detected a note of sarcasm. “Tomorrow at ten,” she said. “See you then,” he said.