would never work again, Knowlton claimed the company stole his ideas. It was kept pretty quiet by a pack of attorneys, but it made the business section of the newspapers. Knowlton didn't have a leg to stand on. No paperwork, no notes, nothing but his word, and no one believed him. Diedricks didn't back him up. Knowlton kept at it for a couple of years, then dropped out of sight. Left Portland, had a breakdown or something, and moved to Eugene with his wife and kids, dead broke. That was his son, Br ice, and daughter, Rita, that you met."
"Other employees must have seen them working together," Barbara said.
"They went to that cabin, or worked in Diedricks's house. There's a big spread in the hills southwest of Portland, sixty or seventy acres. The family said Knowlton was a draftsman, not a co-inventor. Then Joseph Kurtz finished a couple of the ideas Diedricks had been working on, and his name is on the patents along with Diedricks's. Knowlton was all the way out of it."
He pulled a notebook from his pocket and consulted it. "They're scouring the neighborhood around that Eighteenth Street apartment for a gun. A Luger. And they have a crew going up and down I-5 trying to find out where Kurtz bought gas, where she and the kid ate. Paying a lot of attention to the Astoria area. And, finally, Leonora Carnero made arrangements for a car rental at the same time she made plane reservations, a package deal. All she had to do here was sign papers, five minutes."
And that would put her in the apartment even earlier, Barbara thought, before Elizabeth called about an appointment possibly. If they found a gun, that would be it. How the gun got there — Elizabeth's or smuggled on board the plane by Leonora — would be irrelevant.
"Along about now you should be glad she isn't your client," Bailey said, closing his notebook, returning it to his pocket.
She nodded. She was glad. "There is still that green van and the guys who took off the minute they got the address," she said.
He shook his head. "I doubt it. Guys who do surveillance don't usually fill in for hit men on the side." He drained his cup, then opened his duffle bag to get his full reports. "Anything else?"
"Not for me. His show." Barbara jerked her thumb toward Frank.
"Let us know if they find a gun, or if they track down the child," Frank said. "Then we wait for developments."
Bailey left to hole up at home, he said, and wait for the snow to fall and then to melt.
As Frank put on his overcoat Barbara said, "I wish I knew what Elizabeth told Leonora. This thing will wind down and I'll never know a thing about what was going on."
"None of your business," Frank commented. "Leave it at that."
"It's the little boy," she said. "Where is he? If she didn't have pals here, didn't know anyone, here just once in her life, what could she have done with the boy? They're making a case that I'm the only one she could have talked to about him, and everything else apparently."
He nodded. It wasn't the child she should be concerned about at the moment, he thought. He fully expected Janowsky to demand a formal sworn statement from her, possibly even a deposition, and how well she would handle it could be a problem. He knew without a second thought that she would be a terrible witness for herself.
After Frank left, Barbara stood at the office window watching for snow, but it was still rain or sleet, no matter what her weather expert said. She remembered that as a child she had called sleet silver rain. Exactly right, she thought at the window. Shopping, she said under her breath. There wasn't a thing to do in the office that needed doing today, but there was shopping to be done. Decisively she stuffed Bailey's reports into her briefcase, then paused momentarily wondering why she had them and not Frank. No matter. She told Maria to take off.
"Go bake Christmas cookies or something. I'm closing shop for the rest of the day."
It felt like snow, she thought outside, and it smelled like
Michelle Paver, Geoff Taylor