Bed & Breakfast Next to the Pink Roses Hotel (Chapter 5, page 2 of 3)


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Chapter 5

"They are. I showed them the copy before I came to talk to you."

"Oh. So I guess they must be quite… upset."

"Not at all. Mrs. Sloan's eccentricities weren't new to them. Besides, they seemed greatly relieved that I was there to take care of things."

"Yes. I got that impression when you arrived at the house."

"And grateful to you."

Kathy recalled Mrs. Martin's kind words. She stared at Jesse for a moment, not knowing what to say.

"You are not buying it, are you?" he unexpectedly remarked.

She didn't answer.

"You would think they ought to be somewhat suspicious."

They or himself? Both.

"Yes," she replied frankly. "To say the least."

Something in Jesse's face changed. As if a veil was being drawn back.

"They may be on Tuesday," he said.

"Why on Tuesday?"

"I really don't think they know what the properties on the island refer to. What's more, I don't think they have the slightest idea of how much money their sister had."

"What do you mean?"

"Mary Anne was always quite independent. She got married when she was nineteen, got a divorce, remarried at thirty-two and became a widow at thirty-eight."

"I didn't know she had been married twice."

"She didn't like to talk about her first marriage. The happiest years of her life were, according to her own words, the ones spent with her second husband, Mr. Frank Sloan.

Anyway, she didn't start to write until she was in her forties. By then, her parents were dead and her brother and sister many miles away from her. They got on well, but they weren't very close - Christmas cards, infrequent phone calls and even rarer visits. And they were all, as far as I have been able to observe in these eight years, extremely reserved. During the time I worked for Mrs. Sloan, they came to the house twice and their conversations were always so polite and tactful. You could never accuse them of being anything near nosy, I assure you. I guess it's a family trait. Which makes me think that they really had no idea of Mrs. Sloan's career as a novelist. They knew she wrote, but not that she was making heaps of money with it."

"Really?"

The waiter came and took the remains of their breakfast.

"You said you had come in regard to those properties on the island," said Kathy after they had asked for the bill. "What exactly do you need from me?"

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