Chapter 9 Mrs. Kent, Widow & Mother, with Nothing to Hide

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Riggs noticed Victoria's baby blue Hudson Hornet parked in front of the Foresters' home. For not being involved in the investigation, she was spending a lot of time in the neighborhood.

He put on his Brown fedora and surveyed the pristine neighborhood, high on the hill with a sweeping view of Elliot Bay and Seattle's downtown. In the overcast daylight, no one would ever guess there had been a brutal murder here not 15 hours ago.

On the left, Mrs. Kent's two story colonial house was symmetrical and grand. There was a garage at the back of her house, and her yard was surrounded by a short picket fence—which was low enough to jump over—and a series of rose bushes. The Foresters' carport was in their back yard and while their driveway ended at the carport, the Kents' driveway continued through the trees to the grand house above. Riggs wondered if he actually dislike modern architecture or just the fact that he couldn't afford it.

A raindrop landed on his shoulder as he squared his hat and strolled over to Mrs. Kent's home.

On the front porch he encountered symmetrical topiaries on each side of the door and a dog's bark announced his presence before he had a chance to ring the shiny brass button. Unlike her son's doorbell, Mrs. Kent's chimed with a traditional ding-dong. A moment later, the lady herself, dressed in a fuchsia pink suit, opened the door. The dog in question was a large black poodle, intricately groomed, with a diamond studded collar. Mrs. Kent led the dog and the inspector into her living room and invited them to sit. Both Riggs and the dog sat.

The room was decorated with upholstered chairs and billowy curtains printed with large pink flowers. The pillows on the sofa were pink, ruffled, and accented with fabric buttons and tassels. The lamps were polished brass with ivory silk scalloped shades.

Riggs and the dog waited patiently while Mrs. Kent settled herself into a plush sofa. Her lipstick was fresh and her perfume smelled of roses. The bold scent filled the room. The dog moved closer to her.

"I hope you don't mind dogs, Inspector Riggs. I've always loved them. I used to have smaller ones, mostly cocker spaniels. But since my husband passed away, I decided that it was time for a big dog. Annie takes up more space so my house doesn't feel as empty."

Riggs smiled. "She seems like a nice dog."

"Oh, Annie may not be a champion but she a lovely companion." Mrs. Kent petted the dog affectionately. Then she picked up a little brass bell from the coffee table and rang it while simultaneously shouting, "Oh, Hilda! Hilda."

A moment later a tall, disinterested woman in a tidy apron appeared in the doorway. She was hauling a massive shiny metal vacuum cleaner.

"Hilda, you'll have to do the hoovering later," Mrs. Kent explained sympathetically. "You see, Inspector Riggs is here from the police department and we have important things to discuss about that dreadful incident that happened last night."

Hilda failed to look impressed. She gave a single nod and she was about to trudge away again when Mrs. Kent stopped her. "Oh and Hilda, could you be so kind as to make some coffee and maybe a few sandwiches?"

Hilda murmured something and left, abandoning the hoover. With the housekeeper properly dispatched, Mrs. Kent turned her full attention back to her visitor. "Oh, I am devastated about what happened last night!" she began enthusiastically. "I suppose you are absolutely certain that the woman you found was Loretta? Bernard said it was her but it must have been very dark outside."

"Ms. Lake and Mr. Newcastle also confirmed that it," Riggs informed her.

Mrs. Kent gently bit her lip and said, "So, her husband knows. How terrible for him."

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