An old friend was in the hospital, clinging to life.
September 7, 2013
A VG Serial: Dark Continent Continental
“Officer St. Germaine? This is Angus Carlyle in Austin. I was wondering if you could check on an elderly woman for me some time when it is convenient. She is on your beat and I am worried about her. She is not answering her phone, but she rarely, if ever, goes out anywhere. It is raising a red flag.” Angus had placed a call to New Orleans and St. Germaine was jotting down information at the other end.
“Sure. I’ll be glad to check this afternoon—I’ll get back to you when I know something about Ms. Dimitri.” Officer St. Germaine replied.
“Was that New Orleans, Angus? Skeeter asked, curious about Laroux, herself.
“Yeah, Officer St. Germaine is going to go over to her residence and nose around this afternoon, and see if he can find anything out.” It is highly unlikely, but maybe she is visiting relatives or something.”
“I doubt it. I don’t think she really has any. We are both going to go nuts until we get some answers on this weird series of events.”
“I wonder if we could get into that house in Dallas and look around.
“Angus….you’re kidding. How would we do that? Impossible. Sealed. Not our jurisdiction. Too many holds are barred, Angus.”
“Maybe Cooper will have some ideas if he ever calls back.”
* * *
“In the hospital, clinging to life?” Oh, I hate to hear that. Give me the name of the hospital, if you don’t mind. What else can you tell me? Thank you.”
Skeeter’s face had paled. “What is it, Angus? Who is clinging to life?”
“Laroux. Laroux Dimitri. St. Germaine went to her residence and didn’t get any answer. He checked around in the neighborhood and found out an ambulance had carried her to the hospital—congestive heart failure. She had one of those necklaces with a button you push for emergencies—or she would no longer be in this world. She has not done well. She has sort of given up, they say.”
“Ohhhhhhhh,” Skeeter groaned. “Let’s call up and send her something, okay?” Skeeter was slow getting the real words out. “It must be something very special.”
“What would appeal to her? What kind of flowers were growing around her house? I can’t remember anything.” Angus tried to offer suggestions.
“Ivy and vines is all I remember. A terrarium! She would like a terrarium with maybe one or two colorful blooms in it. And some little tiny figurines or gnomes hiding about. Some baby’s tears, mini palms.”
“I was thinking a cut arrangement with tarot cards in it, on picks. You know, ‘It’s in the cards for you to get better,’ but your idea is superb. I like it. And she can take it home with her if she gets that far along. Now we have to think of something clever to say.”
“If we could only get them to find a container, a big round, glass container, that resembles a crystal ball. That would be perfect—amazing.”
“Okay, Skeeter. I am going to put you in charge of that—you can explain it better to a florist. If you need my credit card, let me know.”
“I am going to call up the hospital in New Orleans where she is staying and find out if she is allowed anything, and I will ask them at the desk to recommend a florist that has a variety of top of the line products. Then, I’ll call them.”
“Good idea….oops, wait a minute, that’s my phone.” Angus answered it.
“Branford Cooper! Have you been behaving? What do you know, anything? I see. Somehow I expected that. I am trying to figure out a way to get into that house in Dallas. You know the one I’m talking about. Not our jurisdiction—and it’s sealed. Really? Okay. We are game.” Skeeter was staring deadly knitting needles at Angus. “If we can find a way to get out of here for a day or two. I’ll get back to you.”
Then Angus turned and said to Skeeter, “The guy they exhumed…. forgive me…it was a no-brainer.”
Skeeter was silent for a moment. “Yeah, I get it. It was a no-brainer. Funny—but not funny.”
“About that house in Dallas. Brad is being sent over there to officially re-sweep it for the FBI. We can tag along, if we behave ourselves. If we can figure out a way to get away from headquarters for awhile.”
“Oh boy. We can tag along,” Skeeter mumbled.
Chapters of Dark Continental by Sara Marie Hogg will be published on Saturday and Sunday.