“Her car?” I asked, idiotically.
“I can’t find her keys!” cried Susan, now dumping the contents of the leather shoulder bag onto the couch.
“I haven’t seen her car in days,” whispered Mrs. Mason, leading the way out the front door. I followed, scanning the available parking on Biscayne. Abigail, and the other residents in this section of townhouses, usually parked along the side of the building, where spots were easy to come by. Abigail’s little car was often in the first or second spot, but not always. If she drove home from a trip late, she might have to go further down into guest parking.
“I’ll take a look around later,” I said, repeating my thoughts to Mrs. Mason. “Tim may have seen it. And, who knows, if it’s not here, it could be at the airport or in the shop. I don’t think we have to panic Susan.”
“She’s very nervy,” said Mrs. Mason.
“She’s earned it,” I said. “She’s all alone now.”
Mrs. Mason, tilting the vodka bottle so that its blue glass played in the light, mused on this. “You know,” she said, “I left this bottle behind about a month ago. She’d brought it home from one of her trips and wanted me to have it. I’d come over to complain and she offered me a drink. She was a nice girl, a polite girl.”
“I thought so, too. A pleaser.”
“But I left without it, which I regretted. It’s not easy to find the imported stuff.”
“Uh huh,” I said. Vodka was fast replacing gin as the spirit of choice among drinkers, but I was not a drinker.
“She didn’t drink vodka, you know. She said it made her sick.” Mrs. Mason held the bottle up, as if calculating the remainder. “I wonder who drank this besides me?”
“I don’t see any keys in here!” Susan, standing at the front door jamming one key after another unsuccessfully into the locks, was close to hysterical. “Nothing for the car and just these house keys and they don’t belong to this apartment. Where are they?”