As Dorothy examined Kimi, she nodded in agreement. “And in a hurry, too.”
Paul watched expectantly as Dorothy chewed on her lower lip and kept glancing between the two dolls.
She faced him. “It looks like DSI has a new client. If you still want my help, that is.”
“You bet I do. Especially since I’ve had a last minute request to meet with Yashito this evening. Looks like the interest is still there.”
“You must be relieved. Let me make a call.”
She reached for her cell phone and tapped in some numbers. “Lucas. I might have some work for you if you’re interested.”
Paul listened as Dorothy explained to her cousin that she wanted to bring some samples for him to examine.
“Great...First thing tomorrow if that’s okay...See you then.”
“So Lucas can make use of the coroner’s facilities to help you out? That’s a good set up,” Paul said as the call ended.
“It’s a long story, but let’s just say that, because of help I’ve provided in the past, the coroner owes me a few favors. I just have to be careful not to wear out my welcome. Now then, I’d like to gather some samples. Can you pass me that bag over there?”
He admired her take charge attitude and handed over the bag, watching as she took out small plastic bags, scissors, and a marking pen. She quickly took samples of the fabric, hair, and even scraped some of Kimi’s “skin.” With tweezers, she extracted a small amount of the stuffing for another bag. Marking the bags and sealing them, she tucked them away into the carrier. When she looked up from her task, Paul smiled at her.
“Oh nothing, really. You just made me think back to my days in the military when I had to gather evidence. So much can depend on the fine details and, if evidence is mishandled, it can blow a case right out of the water.”
“No kidding. So do you approve of my methods?”
“I give you passing marks.”
“I’m much relieved,” she joked back. “This should be enough for Lucas to make a start. If you’re free, you’re more than welcome to tag along tomorrow when I drop these off.”
“I’d like that, thanks. How about a cup of coffee while we go over the contract?”
“Sounds good. What time’s your session with Yashito?”
“Seven thirty--they’re sending a car for me. Guess they want to make sure I’ll be there this time.” He inclined his head in the dolls’ direction. “Somehow these have to be connected to Yashito.”
“By the end of the meeting you should have some answers. But I agree, geisha dolls and a Japanese company? Can’t be a coincidence.”
Over coffee, Dorothy outlined details of the contract and the fees her company would charge. Paul didn’t begrudge the potential small fortune he could end up paying--he just wanted answers and the sooner the better.
“You mentioned earlier you’d do some more digging on Yashito. Is it too soon to ask if you’ve found out anything?”
“We’re working on it, and I’ll email you anything I find out. But let me guess, you’d really like this before your meeting.”
“I know, it’s very short notice, but you probably have resources not available to me, and if there’s anything not kosher, I’d sure like to know about it beforehand.”
Her smart phone at the ready, she sent a quick text message to HB. “If anyone can dig up new info, it’s my top agent. So leave it to us.”
“I’d like to drop off these samples early tomorrow. Is eight-thirty okay?” Dorothy finished the last of her coffee.
“My morning’s clear. Shall I meet you there?”
“Perfect,” she agreed as she gathered her things, “I’ll see you then. Oh, and don’t forget to set the alarm when I leave. I’ll have a new system installed within forty-eight hours.”
“I don’t suppose I need to be here to let anyone in?”
“No.” She laughed. “You don’t. I’ll be waiting to hear all about the meeting when we hook up tomorrow.”
She leaned over to pick up her car keys. Their eyes met briefly, and Paul felt a charge of excitement. He’d be glad to see her tomorrow. “Pleasure working with you. I’ll be sure to give you all the details. See you in the morning.”
As the door closed behind her, Paul reached up and set his alarm system.
© 2017 by Jamie Tremain