“I don’t believe it”, she said as she sat at his table, shocked and quiet. “I was only gone for a couple of weeks. I actually just got in off the caravan this morning.”

“You didn’t wonder about the board on the door downstairs?” Wilson asked.

“I didn’t see it. I always come in through the back, especially when I have bags with me.”

“Did you know him well?” Wilson asked. Tooth had not mentioned a woman in his letter, quite the contrary. If he had someone living with him, why leave the shop to Wilson? Maybe this affair was a new development, after the will was set and the letter written?

“No, not really”, she replied. “I rent the space from him, rented the space from him, anyway. I’ve been here for a few months now. He said he has a string of tenants come through, people that want to rent out the room for a time. He likes the supplemental income as long as the tenants keep to themselves. We would talk from time to time, idle chit chat, but we never really got close.”

So that was it, then. Not a lover or friend, not family, just another professional relationship. They really were a lot alike.

Wilson had managed to find some tea and a kettle in the pantry of Tooth’s old place and had set about brewing a pot while he waited for the woman to clothe herself and come over. It started whistling so he got up and poured each of them a cup. She thanked him and held her head over the cup, letting the steam wash over her face as she tried took in the news. Even without the close bonds, it was hard to hear that someone you knew and interacted with on a daily basis was gone. Especially hearing that it was murder, and murder committed just downstairs.

He took a moment to watch her gather her thoughts, now that he could do so without feeling terribly intrusive. She looked young, or at least youngish, maybe in her late twenties, and attractive enough, if a bit on the skinny side. Her hair had come out of hiding and revealed itself to be long and brown, it looked like it would be wavy once it fully dried. Her nose was small, her eyes big, and currently a bit red, though if it was from the news or her trip he couldn’t say. He wondered if she was nice. He hadn’t had a lot of experience with women, he hadn’t had a lot of experience with people at all really, but especially the fairer sex, and here he was trying to figure out how to comfort a stranger over the loss of her landlord? He had no idea how this was supposed to go.

“What’s your name?” he asked her. “We haven’t been properly introduced, I realize.”

“Evelyn Howell,” she said, holding out her hand.

“Wilson Pool”, he offered shaking it.

“So Wilson,” she said, sitting back and sipping her tea. “Who are you in all of this? You haven’t told me why you have a key to my room.”


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