April at the Antique Alley

April at the Antique Alley by Bill McGrath

Book: April at the Antique Alley by Bill McGrath Read Free Book Online
Authors: Bill McGrath
right there in Lola’s house. Jill would plug in her laptop, and I would first label each box with a number, and then we would open each box and record the contents with either a paragraph on Jill’s spreadsheet, or a couple of digital pictures, or both.
    Our plans did not work out at all though because when we got to Lola’s house we found that someone had visited in the last couple of hours. The front door was still locked and did work with the key but when we walked through the door we found the roll top desk torn to pieces. It looked like someone had attacked it with a sledge hammer or perhaps a heavy ax. They had not bothered anything else in the house but had completely busted up the desk. Immediately I knew they were looking for the drugs we had pulled out of the desk I had bought from Lola.
    Whoever did this would have known that the drugs were in a desk that was dropped off at Lola’s store. They had already broken into Lola’s store to find them, but I had inadvertently bought the desk. However, the bad guy wouldn’t have known that. We had found the drugs but the bad guy would still expect them to be available. Having not found the desk at Lola’s store and not having any knowledge of where the desk had gotten to, he would have then looked at the card file he had lifted from Lola’s store and used it to look for the drugs. He had already interrogated and killed the last two customers Lola had seen that day. He had found the next two customers on the list under police protection. He had already searched my home for the desk. In desperation he had now also searched Lola’s house on the outside chance that she had brought the desk home with her. He would have found a roll top desk at Lola’s house and not believing his good luck he would
     
    have immediately tried to recover the drugs from the desk. I imagined he was quite ticked off to not find the drugs in the desk. By now he would be desperate.
    The timing though really bothered me. He had broken into Lola’s store the night she bought the desk expecting to easily collect the drugs. He had not found the desk there and stolen the card inventory and immediately gone to work on the customers from that day including me. He had then taken a couple of days off and right after Jill and I visited Lola’s house he had then attacked her house.
    I did not think he had taken a couple of days off because he was overworked. I expected rather that he had either heard where Lola lived through one of the people Jill or I had communicated with or perhaps he was simply following us. In either case we were in danger and here, isolated in Lola’s house, might be the perfect place for him to show up and again use Satan’s Path to try to find his stash of illegal narcotics. I have a permit to carry a side arm, and I own six pistols, but usually I do not carry a weapon with me. Jill and I hopped into my trusty Taurus and scampered back to Irving where, in the comfort and safety of my home, we loaded up my guns and each picked one to keep with us at all times until this mystery completed.
    I dialed Detective Samuels’ number and by this time he was actually back at his desk. I reported to him what we had just found. I was actually on the phone with him several minutes. He agreed that having someone break into her house and do only damage to the desk, and a desk that happened to look a lot like another desk Lola had owned that we found stuffed with white powder, could not have been a chance coincidence. We also talked about the timing. If the perpetrator had known Lola’s address or been able to easily find it, he would have searched Lola’s house long before Jill and I had gotten to it the first time. Therefore it only made sense that he had followed us or heard from someone we had talked to about it.
    Samuels did let me know that preliminary testing had been completed on the drugs we had found in my desk and it turned out to be Mexican Heroine which is a low grade but

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