The newspaper was wrong. I placed the folded page in my pocket, as I left the coffee shop. Gloria was dead when I arrived.
I found Gloria in bed, propped up by pillows, dressed in her favorite silk bathrobe. Everything seemed natural, except for a dark circle on the right cheekbone of her formerly flawless face. Nothing had been disturbed until I disturbed it. I packed a bag with some photos, plus the jewelry and cash that I found. Gloria had no living relatives, and I knew her longer than anyone. Besides, I figured that at least two dozen people had the key to her apartment. But I should have worn gloves, because taxi drivers are fingerprinted in this town.
Gloria could be annoying when she did not get her way. Was that why she was killed? I can’t think about her – must get rid of her bag. Are there cameras filming the lockers at the bus terminal? I will check the bag there, and mail myself the key.
Wait! I drove Gloria to see Mike Hammer many times. Gloria brought him a steak every day, while he stayed home after Velma’s suicide. Mike will know what to do. His building has a doorman, I can probably wait for him in the lobby.
But two large men blocked my path. The smaller fellow displayed a golden badge before speaking: “Mr. Smith? Please come with us.”