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Wilmington, NC 10 - Much Ado About Murder

Wilmington, NC 10 - Much Ado About Murder

Titel: Wilmington, NC 10 - Much Ado About Murder
Autoren: Ellen Elizabeth Hunter
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with the gas leaking into it? A spark could have set off an explosion.”
    “I didn’t say they were smart,” Dalton said. “To think that I once thought Cheri was attractive. That was years ago when Thomas was a baby. I was much too old for her but fool that I was , I was flattered that she was willing to date me. I soon realized she was looking for someone to help her raise Thomas. I did take pity on them, and helped when I could. I let Thomas live in my house practically rent free.”
    “I’ve got three unanswered questions,” I said. “One. What happened to Simon’s guitar? Where is his family? And two, what was Greg Finley searching for? And three, who planted the real knife for the prop knife at the rehearsal? Do you know, Dalton?”
    Dalton considered. “I do know a little about that. After that scene out on my porch when Simon thought Taylor had stolen his guitar, he decided to hide it. I helped him hide it in my attic.”
    “But we saw Simon and Taylor together,” Jon said. “They looked like they were close. Very close.”
    “They were. I don’t know what got into Simon that day. As I’ve said before, I think the boy had some bi-polar issues. He was very possessive about that guitar. I suggested we put it someplace safe for a while. Unfortunately, he has no family. I sort of adopted him.”
    Dalton was a good person.
    “He was talented. He had a future in the theater, I believe. He was working on a libretto for our musical but that was slow going. That’s why we did not submit it, Cam.”
    “But where is it?” Jon asked. “We found Thomas in your music room, packing your papers in boxes. We stopped him. Was the libretto among those papers?”
    “It should have been,” Dalton answered. “I must confess I am a bit disorganized.”
    A bit? I wondered and suppressed a smile.
    “I’ve arranged to have the maid service at Brightmore come into my apartment every day and tidy up. That way things will never get out of control as they did at my house.”
    “But what about Greg Finley searching your attic?” Jon asked. “We found him up there, going through old trunks.”
    “Well, he was living in my house. He may have overheard Simon and me talking about hiding the guitar in the attic. Finley was short on cash. That’s why I let him use my spare room while he worked as TA’s guest director. He may have wanted the guitar to sell on eBay or to pawn. I’m only guessing.”
    “And the prop knife?” Melanie asked. “We were all there at the dress rehearsal when that accident happened.”
    “Not an accident, my dear Melanie,” Dalton responded. “That was Cheri’s doing. She was backstage that night.”
    “Yes,” I interjected. “We met her. Remember, Scarlett?”
    “Oh, yes. I won’t forget that scene. A very controlling woman.”
    “Actually, Thomas even told the police about that incident. Cheri exchanged the knives. She told Thomas what she was doing and how he should throw the knife down on the stage.”
    “But why?” I asked.
    “To make Thomas look like a hero. And to create further doubts about Simon’s stability.”
    Cam broke out the champagne. “Enough of that,” he said, popping corks and filling glasses. Raising our glasses, we toasted, “Here’s to Dalton.”
    Dalton said, “And here’s to Irving.”


    On New Year’s Day 2013, Jon and I toured our restored house, checking on the progress. Some walls had been stripped down to the studs. The partitions upstairs had been dismantled, the plumbing fixtures had been removed. The eight bathrooms were history. We would have three bathrooms upstairs, and a powder room on the first floor. Dalton’s music room would become a library again. We would move the piano into the front parlor. And we invited him to come play it any time he wished. Often, I hoped.
    “It’s going to be wonderful.” I squeezed Jon’s hand. “You’ve done a fantastic job with the design.”
    He turned to me and looked me fully in the face. “I’ll never forget the first time I saw you – as a woman, that is, all grown up. We were starting work on Reggie Campbell’s house. And you came in wearing a hard hat and a tool belt much too big for you. You looked so damned cute, I fell in love. Just like that.”
    “Well, you were older and smarter. It took me a little while. But now . . . what a life we have!”
    “And it’s only going to get better. This year will be better than last, and the year after that will be even
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