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The Case of the Disappearing Wife (standard:mystery, 1650 words)
Author: kendall thomas Added: Feb 11 2002Views/Reads: 1453/816Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
"My wife disappears at this time every year. I want you to find out where she goes, McKay."
 



THE CASE OF THE DISAPPEARING WIFE 

by Will 

. 

~What was that  promise that she made -- 

Now I’m gonna love you till the heaven stops the rain -- 

I’m gonna love you till the stars fall from the sky -- 

for you and I~ 

[Touch Me:  Music and lyrics by The Doors] 

. 

“My wife disappears for about a week at this time every year.  I want
you to find out where she goes, McKay.” 

Harold Lambert was the tanned,  graying founder of a highly lucrative
software company.  We were in his office on the ninetieth floor of the  
Lambert Towers with a clear view of New Haven. 

“Why doncha just ask her?” I said, after pausing to light my second
Chesterfield from a crumbled pack with a kitchen match. 

Lambert raised his eyebrow slightly.  He was puffing on a Maduro that he
had earlier taken from an expensive teak humidor lined with Spanish 
cedar. 

“I have, but she has always been the independent sort and refuses to
answer.  Since, otherwise, we have the perfect marriage I have let it 
ride, so to speak, but it gnaws at me not knowing where she gets to.” 

And so the next day I found myself standing directly behind a very
young, attractive and blonde Mrs.  Clarisse Lambert in the ticket line 
of the airport. 

She had driven her Mercedes from home to a parking garage downtown then
called a taxi from a corner phone booth to take her to the airport.   
She had access any time she wanted to her husband’s private jet, yet 
she chose to fly commercial.   It was apparent she didn’t want anyone 
knowing her business, whatever it might be. 

I was standing directly behind her and heard her tell the ticket agent
that she wanted a flight to New Orleans, first class.  She paid in 
cash. I bought a first class ticket also and followed her onto the 
plane. 

Later, when we landed at  New Orleans International she hailed a taxi. 
I did the same and followed her to the Hotel Saint Marie in the French 
Quarter. It was Mardi Gras eve and without a reservation it was 
impossible to get a hotel room.  I gave the valet-parker at the Saint 
Marie, a black guy by the name of Harry, fifty bucks to sleep in his 
old Chevy.   For another fifty he promised to call me on my cell phone 
if Mrs. Lambert  left.    There was no need to flash him a photo; he 
had caught an eyeful of her when she got out of the taxi.  And one 
doesn’t forget a babe like Mrs. Lambert. 

The next morning there was a drizzle falling and the normal fifties had
plunged into the low forties.  I was standing on the sidewalk under the 
balcony of the  Saint Marie hunched up in my tweed overcoat.  I had 
just started on my third cigarette when I saw her come out the main 
entrance of the hotel wearing a yellow vinyl raincoat and bucket hat. I 
followed her down Toulouse to Decatur where she entered the Cafe du 
Monde across from Jackson Square, a stone’s throw from the Mississippi. 
  Despite the fact that it was Mardi Gras the place wasn’t crowded.  It 
was still early and the chilly air had kept people in. 

She took a table in the front by the rain-beaded windows that look out
onto Jackson Square.  I took a corner table nearby. She ordered the 
specialty:   beignets and cafe au lait.  I ordered a cafe. 



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