“Should we call first?” I asked, removing Detective Boker’s card from my purse.
“Let’s just go,” said Kevin. “I’ll drive.”
We should have called first. It took us two hours to find the detective, exiting City Hall. He didn’t look all that pleased to see me but when I introduced Kevin, his eyes darkened with curiosity.
“What can I do for you?” he asked, directing us back into the building and toward a bench where we sat down and Kevin paced.
“I have some things I want to show you. But first, I need to clear up something my boss, my ex-boss accused me. He said I’d called you and told you he’d been in Abigail’s apartment with her. But that wasn’t me. I haven’t talked to you since Christmas Eve when you came by. That is the only time I’ve ever seen you or talked to you.”
“I got a call from a woman identifying herself as Nora Cahill a couple of days ago,” he said, pulling a small notepad from his jacket pocket. “Let’s see. Today’s the 30th, December 26. In the evening.” He tapped a finger against the notepad, closed and returned it to his pocket. “Are you saying that wasn’t you?”
“It wasn’t. I don’t know who it was.”
“I’m not sure it matters,” he said. “Are you here to tell me your boss lied?”
“Well, I’m not sure what he lied to you about. He claims he went into Abigail’s apartment at her request and fixed her window blind. That may be true. Sometimes when we’re walking around, people drag us in and, if something doesn’t take too long, we deal with it. Ken--- Mr. Eberhard, I mean, was inspecting the complex that day. He’s in the process of buying it, you know.”
The detective nodded. “That’s what he said.”
“And I’m sure he introduced himself to various people. Well, I know he did. Mrs. Mason said he shook her hand and of course, Mr. Lowe, who used to own it but lost it, would have met him. But I don’t see why Abigail would have known he was buying the complex just because he was wandering around, much less invited him in unless she knew him.”
“Couldn’t she have known about him from Stephen and Nan?” asked Kevin. “Or Mrs. Mason? Or even Tim?”
“I guess. But it didn’t make sense.”
“Show him the photographs,” said Kevin.
“Of course. Look at these,” I said, rummaging through the envelope for the snapshot of Abigail and Mr. Eberhard. “That’s her and that’s Ken. This picture was taken last summer. Clearly, they knew each other.”
“Looks like it,” said Boker, pushing his fedora further back on his head. “But it doesn’t prove he killed her. In fact, the post mortem was pretty clear. She did hit her head against the table. We dusted for fingerprints and found a thumb print beneath the edge. Just where it should be if she’d hit it and pushed herself up.” He mimed the motion.
“When did you dust for prints?” I asked.
“The 26th. Early.”
“When I was at Belle Vue all day.”
“And they didn’t tell you?” asked Kevin.
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Judith doesn’t want this to be about anything but a sad accident.”
“Which it is,” said Boker.
“But Eberhard did lie about knowing Abigail. He knew her a lot better than he said,” said Kevin.
“That’s true,” said Boker. “But not admitting you’ve had a relationship with a woman is a far cry from whatever it is you think he has done.”
“I think he left her there to –"
“To die? How could he possibly know she would die? She may have been fine when he left.”
“Even after a fall against a heavy glass table?” asked Kevin. “Didn’t he have a responsibility to help her? Call an ambulance? Make her call me?”
We both looked up at the escalating anguish in his voice.
“Someone should have done something, but no one did. Is that it?” Boker was not unsympathetic.
“She did try to call the office,” I said. “Kevin, I’m sorry I wasn’t there. I really am.”
“Is that why you’ve been poking around the townhouse?” asked Boker.
“The townhouse, her file at Arborgate. Her files at Belle Vue. She used to live there, you know. I suppose that’s how she met Ken.”
“And he’s not saying.” The detective stood. “Do you mind if I keep this?”
Kevin spoke first. “What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to think,” he said. “I’ll be in touch.”