Chapter 5: How Did You Know?

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Oops. I'd said his name out loud.

"Ah, um, no one—"

"Aren't you listening?" The woman waved a hand at me impatiently. "This is important. There's a stash of money and jewellery and rare coins in a hiding spot in my house and it's worth a lot of money, and if no one knows where it is, they'll clear out my house and sell it and no one will get it. Or maybe the new owners might find it. I can't let that happen. You have to tell him where it is."

Dr Calthorpe cleared his throat again. "Maddelyn? Are you okay?"

Did I tell him his grandmother was here and risk him thinking I've lost my mind? Do I ignore her?

I didn't think that was possible. She looked like she was going to dive across the desk and throttle me if I didn't help her.

I looked the doctor in the eye. "Can I be honest with you?"

"Yes, of course," he said, a slight frown creasing his brow.

"These delusions. They're not delusions. I can see the spirits of people who have passed away."

His brows crept upwards.

"The guy yesterday had just died and he was confused and upset."

"Get on with it, dear," she urged. I cut her a look.

His face hadn't changed. Was that a good sign? Probably not. I pushed on.

"And now there's someone else here. She says she's your grandmother."

His eyebrows slammed back down again. "That's impossible," he scoffed. "My grandmother is very much alive."

"Not anymore," she said. "Tell him my name is Ethel."

"She says her name is Ethel," I said.

"How did you know that? Have you been stalking me online or something?"

"No. She's here. She says she passed away this morning."

His face went pale. It took a few seconds for him to compose himself.

He straightened his back, his mouth a straight line. "Maddelyn, this isn't funny. Death is not something to joke about."

"Tell him you can prove it. I'll tell you some things only I would know."

"I'm not joking, Doc. I can prove it."

He folded his arms across his broad chest. "Okay. Prove it to me."

I looked at Ethel and raised my eyebrows.

"Tell him that my name is Ethel Margaret Calthorpe. I have two sisters and one half-brother."

I repeated what she'd said and his face paled some more. "You could have found out that information with some digging."

"Tell him that I was in love with Cary Grant when I was young... and I've always been too afraid to drive a car."

I told him.

"You could have asked someone else in my family."

"Okay. When he was little, we used to pick up fallen banksia flowers and gum nuts for him to play with because he loved the story of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie."

This one sounded like something he wouldn't have told anyone.

"My mother knows about that."

I frowned. "How do you suppose I was able to contact your mother while being locked up in here?"

"You could have help from someone... Your mother."


"Okay, okay," she said. "He has a large mole on the back of his left knee and a weird birthmark on his right shoulder that looks like a little bird. The last time he came to visit, we ate carrot cake and talked about my home town of Terrigal and how I miss the beach."

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