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|The Case of the Disappearing Wife (standard:mystery, 1650 words)|
|Author: kendall thomas||Added: Feb 11 2002||Views/Reads: 1429/806||Story 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. Click here to read the rest of this story (120 more lines)
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