“We should go to the hospital,” I say urgently. We gather our stuff, forgetting about our brainstorming session. It’s more important we reach the Jensons and Paris before anyone else does. As we’re rushing down the front steps, Inspector Robinson is walking up them. She is wearing a taupe pantsuit that flatters her figure nicely.
“The Three Musketeers,” Inspector Robinson says, an edge to her voice. “Just the trio I want to see. Let’s go back up to your apartment, shall we?” Despite being couched in question form, it is an order, and we all know it. We shuffle upstairs without saying anything.
“Can I get you anything, Inspector?” My mother asks as we enter the apartment. Before Inspector Robinson can answer, my mom is up and in the kitchen. Lyle and I look at the inspector, but she remains silent. I realize that she is waiting for my mother to return, so I don’t start a conversation. She will tell us what she wants to know, when she wants to tell us, and no amount of coercion will persuade her to do differently. The silence is taut, but not uncomfortable. Although the inspector is radiating anger, I don’t think it’s directed towards us. Of course, I could be mistaken, in which case, we are in for a long night. I look at Lyle who is staring at nothing in particular. I look at Inspector Robinson who is perusing her notes. I open my mouth to say something, then shut it quickly. Now is not the time for me to be nosy or smart-assed or to use any of the half-dozen of my usual responses. There is one question I need to ask the inspector, however, and I voice it.
“Inspector Robinson?” I make sure my voice isn’t tentative because I don’t want to sound like a beta dog rolling over to have my stomach scratched. The inspector looks up at me and waits for me to continue. “Do you think Paris is still in danger?”
“I do,” Inspector Robinson says immediately. “Him, you, your mother, Mr. Kingston. Possibly Ms. Meadows’ other children. Less likely her husband or the Jensons.”