Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 35

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

Anne scrambled for her door. “No way. I’m coming too.” What was she saying? She wanted to stay as far away from Rick Armstrong as she could.

Erik glared at her his arms crossed. “I don’t have time to argue about this.”

“No, what you don’t have time for is to search the entire station by yourself. We don’t have to argue, you know. Just be reasonable.”

The muscle in his jaw ticked, but at last he motioned her forward. “When we get in, you head to the left and I’ll take the right.”

She nodded.

He held the door open for her. “And don’t do anything stupid.”

“Like making condescending remarks to the people I’m working with?” Anne shot over her shoulder. She didn’t wait to hear his response but swept to the left of the door, her gaze scouring the sparse population of travelers.

The trouble with Armstrong was that aside from his beard, he looked perfectly average. Unless she saw his face, she wasn’t certain she would recognize him. On the other hand it ought to be fairly easy to spot a fellow with an inordinate interest in the ladies’ room.

She wracked her brain to see whether she had specified the location of the hiding place. It had been in her interests to be as vague as possible, so she didn’t think she had. It had been so crazy at the time she couldn’t be sure, however.

She had to think. What would Rick do in such circumstances? He seemed the kind of person more inclined to think than act. He had left the heavy lifting to his employees for the most part, only stepping in when he had no choice. Maybe she was going about her search all wrong.

Forget about splitting the station in half. There weren’t very many women in the cavernous station. It wouldn’t take long to canvass them and find out if they had been approached and asked to go in the ladies’ room and retrieve some documents.

Swallowing her reservations about approaching strangers, Anne headed straight for the first female she saw. A glitzily made up number in a sequin studded dress and ankle breaking high heels.

The woman blew out a long, sensuous strand of smoke before replying. “Naw, honey. I haven’t talked to nobody all night. This place is deader than a tent revival for my kind of work tonight.”

Anne thanked her hurriedly and rushed on. She couldn’t waste time being shocked. She stopped two more women who denied being approached by anyone.

She had to find Rick Armstrong. Good grief, what if he meant to hop a train somewhere as soon as he found that there were no documents awaiting him? She swallowed hard. He’d be gone for good. Why oh why had she ever thought of such a lousy lie in the first place?

She accosted a tired looking woman in a rumpled suit and asked her question.

“Way what is this? Are you two working some kind of con? Leave me alone before I call the police.”

Panting, Anne shook her head. “No. It’s not like that at all. The man is a criminal, he’s looking for—please, can you just tell me where he is?”

Something in her frantic manner must have struck a chord with the woman. She pointed toward a brown coated man heading away from them. It could be Armstrong.

Anne flung a thank you over her shoulder as she sprinted away.

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