Moon Signs, p.13Helen Haught Fanick
We helped Ivy make turkey sandwiches while the vegetable soup heated. When we brought trays of food to the lobby, I could hear a noise from upstairs. It sounded like a drill, but who would be using a drill on a snowy Sunday evening? I walked over to the desk. “What’s going on upstairs?”
“Stefan’s installing a peephole in his door,” Maggie murmured. “He got the tools from the shed last night, but it was too late for drilling then. He didn’t want to wake anyone.”
So, he knew he was in danger before we talked to him. Otherwise, why would he be installing a peephole in his door after being here for three years with no peephole? Somehow, I thought there was a lot more going on than Andrea and I were aware of, but I didn’t think Maggie was about to reveal any secrets. And I was glad that explained his disappearance out the back door last night. He was going to the shed to find the drill. “When he’s through, buzz him and tell him food’s ready. We’ll eat when he comes down.”
Ivy had gone to get David and Asbury, so Andrea was alone at the fireplace. “Stefan’s installing a peephole in his door,” I told her. “I’ll bet he was in his room last night, but he didn’t want to open the door without knowing who was there.”
The others came back in after stomping off the snow at the back door, so Andrea didn’t have a chance to say anything. Asbury and David brought folding chairs from the kitchen and completed a circle with them at the fireplace. Then Stefan came downstairs and said something to Maggie at the desk. As usual, I couldn’t hear. “Come and eat,” I called to them.
None of the other guests had taken advantage of the offer of free food. Were they in their rooms, or out roaming somewhere in the snow? Maggie and Stefan got soft drinks from the machine in the alcove for themselves and David. Andrea, Tillie and I brought coffee from the kitchen, and we all dug in. When we finished, Andrea and I helped Ivy clean up, then she went to the house with Asbury and David, reminding of school tomorrow if the roads were clear.
By the time we got back to the lobby, Stefan had disappeared. Andrea, Maggie and I sat down by the fireplace. I was sitting there wondering how I could pry some more information from Maggie when we heard a noise at the front door. It sounded like someone else stomping snow.
The door opened and a woman walked in. She threw back her hood, and as she got closer I could see she was a striking blond. She came to the couch and sat beside Maggie. She unzipped her coat, a gorgeous red number with a fur-lined hood, but left it on.
“Hi Eva,” Maggie said. “This is Eva Weiss. These are my aunts, Andrea Flynn and Kathleen Williamson. Eva’s staying just down the road.”
She stood up and shook our hands. “I’m very glad to meet you.” She remained standing and turned to Maggie. “Is Stefan in?”
“Sure. I’ll ring him.”
“Don’t bother. I’ll go on up. I want to offer my condolences on the death of Olga. I just heard about it.” She went to the stairs and started up.
Somehow, I suspected she wanted to offer a whole lot more than her condolences. Her bright blue eyes had a sparkle that said, “My husband’s away and I want to play!”
“I wonder where her husband is,” I whispered after I heard her knock and a door open and close. Stefan had made the first use of his peephole.
Maggie was looking grim. “I heard he had to return to Germany on business. He left a couple of weeks ago, and I’m not sure when he’s coming back.”
Andrea didn’t look all that happy herself. “Does she visit Stefan often?”
“She’s done it a few times,” Maggie said. “I think she does it just to irritate me, and believe me, it does.”
“Take it easy,” I said. “She’s married, and it’s undoubtedly innocent.” I wasn’t at all sure this was true, but Maggie looked like she needed some consoling.
She sat back, looking as if she were embarrassed by letting us know Eva got to her. Would this be the time to question her more closely about her relationship with Stefan? There was too much tension in the air, and I decided against it.
“Did we tell you that we saw Eva walking on the highway on the evening Olga was killed? As we were returning from the lodge, we saw her turn into the driveway of the house down the road. Then we came in and found Olga.”
“I didn’t know that,” Maggie whispered. Her eyes were wide. “Are you thinking she might have killed Olga?”
“It’s only one of many possibilities,” Andrea said. “If Franklin Stuart’s death is connected, what reason would she have to kill him? For that matter, what reason would she have to kill Olga?”
We heard the door open upstairs, and then saw Eva coming down with Stefan at her side. Well, she hadn’t stayed long, and that should make Maggie feel better. She came over and told us goodbye, and Stefan walked her to the door. He came back and sat by Maggie.
“Have you known Ms. Weiss long?” Andrea asked.
“For years. She and her husband went to school with me. It was quite a surprise when they showed up here in the Canaan Valley. They had decided, like we did, that it would be a good place to spend some time.”
I’m not sure why this bit of news gave me a chill. Probably because there was obviously so much going on around here, and Andrea and I were out of the loop.
Moon Signs by Helen Haught Fanick / Mystery & Detective have rating 3.8 out of 5 / Based on34 votes