A Killing in Antiques

A Killing in Antiques by Mary Moody

Book: A Killing in Antiques by Mary Moody Read Free Book Online
Authors: Mary Moody
quick hellos myself as I meandered over to a table occupied by two women. The one I knew, Mildred, sold and collected cut glass of the brilliant period. Exquisite stuff. A dish heaped with hash and home fries steamed on the plate in front of her. Both the hash and the home fries are served crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside at the Captain’s. It smelled wonderful.
    Mildred’s hair, currently maroon with pinkish roots, was exactly the same shade as the woman’s sitting across from her. Maybe it was the lighting in there. She introduced her companion as Muriel, her sister. Well, of course. I didn’t know Muriel, but as I took her in, I realized that I could have picked her out of a lineup. It was not just the matching hair and eyeglasses. The tilt of the head, the scarlet complexion, and the configuration of body mass also proclaimed their sisterhood.
    They could be twins, though no one said so. Muriel had a grilled cheese sandwich in front of her. She smiled, mumbled a quiet hello, and cast her eyes back down to the plate in front of her when Mildred introduced us. That made them different.
    Mildred, a retired schoolteacher, could have been the activities director on a cruise ship. She could have been a Realtor, or a radio talk show host. Muriel, in contrast, seemed somewhat inward. Before she retired, Mildred sold her glass from various antiques co-ops. After retirement she opened her wondrous jewel of a shop. It’s full of brilliant cut glass, which she accessorizes with a few unusual pieces of silver, and lights with sparkling crystal chandeliers. It’s a tiny but exquisite place. She calls it the Ice Palace.
    I said I’d had a poor day of buying, not up to my opening day standards, and that got us into a discussion of the day’s happenings.
    “The murder has us all off our feed,” Mildred said.
    She appeared to be having no trouble navigating heaping forkfuls of hash to her mouth as she spoke. I looked at her, puzzled. She looked back, rolled her eyes, and tilted her head toward Muriel. Muriel’s head was down, still concentrating on her plate. She was using her knife to scrape the toasty crust from the top of her sandwich. I had no idea what Mildred meant.
    “She’s feeling snarky,” Mildred said. “She’s upset because she thinks that I was the last person to see Monty alive.”
    Wow. “How do you figure that?”
    Muriel, still with her head down, was now cutting her sandwich into finger-sized strips. When she finished that, she turned her plate halfway around and began cutting the strips into cubes. She said nothing. So far she hadn’t taken a bite.
    “This morning at four o’clock, I had an appointment to look at a chandelier before anyone else,” Mildred said.
    “A hot prospect,” I said.
    She grinned. “I was on my tricycle wobbling my way toward Route 20, still half asleep in the dark, when I brushed by someone who said, ‘Watch it, Toots.’ The voice was unmistakable—it was Monty. We spoke briefly, and we both went our separate ways, and that was that.”
    “Did he say anything about where he was going, what he was doing?” I asked.
    “No, we only spoke for seconds.” She slapped her palms against the tabletop. “Nothing of substance. I wanted to be on time for that appointment. We said a quick hello, good-bye, and that’s what Muriel is so moody about. She thinks I should report that meaningless meeting to the police.”
    Mildred picked up her fork again, and Muriel sniffed. I turned her way; her eyes looked dry, her nose, too—maybe it was an editorial sniff.
    “That’s not much to report,” I said.
    “It’s nothing,” Mildred replied. “But if I went over to tell the police about it, I’m sure they’d want to make something of it.”
    Maybe Mildred was right. “Was Monty with anyone?” I asked.
    “No, and I’m sick to death of this discussion. We keep covering the same ground, but there’s nothing new to add. My sister doesn’t have enough to keep

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