“Ms. Chen?” It was Detective Bradley, and he was with another officer who wasn’t the other detective. “Detective Bradley and Officer Johnson. May we come in?” The detective was glowering at me, though it seemed a bit perfunctory. The officer, on the other hand, kept his face bland.
“This way.” I gestured for them to follow me into the living room where my parents and Rafe were sitting. I introduced everybody, then waited.
“Everybody here knows what you discovered?” Detective Bradley barked at me, his tone hard. When I nodded, he grunted in frustration. “You should have called us right away,” he said, struggling to keep his tone even. “The less people who know, the better.”
“We won’t tell anyone, Detective,” my mother said stiffly, her hackles bristling. Anyone attacking her cub had to answer to her.
“You better not,” Detective Bradley rumbled ominously. “This is police business, you know.” I couldn’t believe he actually said that, but he didn’t seem a man of great imagination. We all agreed not to mention what we’d found to anyone, and he had to be satisfied with that. He still looked disgruntled, but he let it go. “I’d like to speak to Ms. Chen alone,” Detective Bradley said, his eyes on the giant mouse head. “Officer Johnson will be taking notes for me.”
“Ok, but we’ll be right in the kitchen,” my mother said, frowning at the detective. Rafe glared at Detective Bradley as well before following my parents out of the room.
“Now, tell me what happened,” Detective Bradley said as Officer Johnson pulled out a pad and a pen. I invited them to sit down, which they did in the hardback chairs. I sat on the couch, then immediately wished I hadn’t. It put me at a serious disadvantage.
I plunged into my narrative with a bit of judicious editing. I told the detective what Mrs. Rodriguez had said to me and how I figured out what it meant. I assured him that there was nothing in the Daphne head, which was what led me to believe that Lydia had hidden whatever it was in my head. By this time, I had almost forgotten the officer taking notes and focused my concentration on Detective Bradley. After some hesitation, I told him about my conversation with Tommy and handed over the pictures. Detective Bradley leafed through them, expressionless, before passing them onto Officer Johnson. The latter wasn’t quite seasoned enough to keep his face blank as he looked through the pictures, but he’d probably acquire that in time.