My cell phone hummed in my pocket, but I let it go. Undoubtedly, the Doc with the information I probably no longer needed. I went into the foyer to the marble table and picked up the kit and returned to the sitting room with it in hand. I unzipped the fine leather jacket and laid it open on the table. Tucked inside the black velveteen was the hand crafted cup on a silver chain, the testevin of the sommelier. The wine thief was there, too. One tool was missing however. One very sharp tool. A tool that would penetrate the ear canal and enter the brain, leaving a victim to die slowly but surely.
“Where is your knife, Ms. Escondido?”
“I have no idea, Detective.” She looked at the kit as though it might bite her. “It should be right there.”
“Mi Dios,” the maid uttered under her breath.
“Where is the corkscrew, Angelina?” I turned to her with my hand outstretched. She began to back out of the room again.
The young woman, only slightly less terrified of me than of her boss, crept forward, her right hand in her pocket. She pulled out a bloodied linen napkin and handed it to me.
I tore a page out of my notebook, cradled the messy package in my palm and carefully unfolded the napkin.
I wrapped it up and slipped it into my pocket. “Ms. Escondido, you’ll need to come with me.”
“I don’t have to go anywhere. I have no idea how Angelina got my knife. For all I know she was sleeping with that bastard. Maybe she killed him with it.”
The young woman looked at me, the fear in her eyes replaced with loathing. “I did not do this thing she says. She gave this to me when she came down the stairs. I did not even see what it is.”
“I’ll have you deported you ungrateful little bitch,” Stella hissed. Angelina’s back straightened as she untied her apron and let it fall to the floor.
“Can she do that to me? She promised to help me be American person. Can she make me go back?”
Immigration wasn’t my specialty, but I had friends in many places. I shook my head. “She’s not going to do anything to you, Angelina. Don’t worry.”
“Sure, let a killer walk away and pin it all on me, you two-bit Dick Tracy. I’m going to call my lawyer right now.”
“No, Stella. You can call him from the police station. Let’s go.”
I reached for her arm and snapped a cold steel cuff on her wrist. Her eyes widened and she jerked away from me. I saw it coming and stepped beside her, catching her other wrist in my hand. I began to recite her rights.
Rage-filled eyes blazed at me. “That egotistical bastard was going to cut me out of that prize-winning wine. Well, I showed him. I gave him what he begged for. ‘Screw me, baby, screw me’.”
I cuffed her hands behind her back and finished reading her the card. She raged on, all but foaming at the mouth.
After the squad car came and took her away, I checked my cell phone. Sure enough, it was the M.E.
I beat her to the punch line. “Here’s one for your files, Doc. The guy was screwed to death.”
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