Chapter 10 Woodrow Kent: Patron of the Arts

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Victoria was waiting in front of Woodrow Kent's front door as Riggs came up the driveway. As he approached, she raised a finger to her lips and signaled him to be quiet. On the deck above them, there must have been an open window because they could hear a man talking on the telephone.

"No, I don't," he said shortly. "I can see what looks like a Hornet and a Plymouth parked on the road so I imagine they are talking to Dr. and Mrs. Forester. The crime happened by their house after all..... Yes, but my mother wasn't home, she was up here at the time. I don't see how they can.... Well, try not to worry about it. Yes... Yes, of course... goodbye." They could hear the telephone being set back on its base and a moment later the door above them slid closed.

"What are you doing here?" Riggs said softly.

"I'm snooping," Victoria whispered.

"That's my job."

"And I'm helping you." She moved toward the garage and Riggs held her arm to stop her.

"First of all, I can't keep you out of the newspapers," he explained. "And secondly, this can't be official."

"It's never been official," Victoria said. "But Winifred Forester is my oldest and dearest friend and I have to get this mess wrapped up as quickly as possible so that she, and everyone else, can move on with their lives."

"For the record, you are saying that you want to help me investigate?"

"I've already started."

"And you know that I'm not begging, blackmailing, or threatening you," Riggs clarified. "Because I was sure you said very recently, that you were through with detective work. Murders aren't your cup of tea, I'm on my own, and all that. And didn't you also swear something on your mother's grave?"

"Look, Riggs, I'm not enjoying this but I have to solve this murder for Winifred's sake. As soon as you arrest the murderer, I'll run back to my office and you'll never see me again."

"Is that a threat or a promise?"

Victoria ignored his question. "Besides, I've already figured out several things that could help you."

Riggs shook his head. "Well, it's no good telling the reporters that you're not a private eye when you go around investigating murders. They're going to write about you in the paper again."

"That is why we have to work quickly," Victoria explained. "Now, do you want hear what I've discovered or should I solve the case without you?"

Riggs he leaned against the house and lifted the front brim of his fedora so it slipped back on his head. "Okay, what have you got?"

"And you'll have to tell me everything you know too," she qualified. "That's how collaborations work."

"I'm a public official," Riggs objected.

"Don't worry, when I solve the case, you'll publicly get the official credit."

"I don't want credit, I want justice," Riggs objected. "But you've got to promise to tell me everything."

Victoria held up her hand. "I swear on my mother's grave." She then quickly explained what Hattie had told.

Riggs listened carefully and made notes of certain details. When she got to the part about Clyde Newcastle, Riggs frowned. "I interviewed the husband last night, he didn't seem bitter enough to murder his ex-wife although maybe he was consumed with artistic passion or something like that."

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