The Thief of Souls

The blonde returned, smiling, looking happy to be with Lane.  I resisted the urge to come to her aid and stop her from drinking the coke.  Lane intended to drug her, and then what, I had no idea.

After several sips of the coke, the drug had the desired effect.  The girl appeared drowsy at first, before slumping over sideways on her side of the booth, just as my waitress delivered a tuna melt and freshened my coffee.  I took a bite and watched as Lane’s chauffeur entered the restaurant and strode up to his booth.  He sat next to the girl, pulled her toward him so her head rested on his shoulder while Lane got up and went over to the cashier.  As he paid his check, he gestured back to the booth, apparently informing the clerk that his girlfriend had taken ill and therefore, they had to leave.

After returning to his booth, Lane and the chauffeur immediately lifted the girl out and unsteadily onto her feet.  Though dazed, she was able to walk with them out of the restaurant to the Mercedes.  I watched as they unceremoniously dumped her into the back seat.  I quickly got up and paid my bill.

I followed the Mercedes back to the Rostow mansion and waited for a time in my observation nook, undecided what to do.   The drugged blonde girl was now an unwilling guest of in the Rostow/Lane mansion.  I could report this to the police, and they might even believe me and pay a visit, but what would that solve?

Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands by going across to the mansion and breaking in if need be.

First, I opened the glove compartment and pulled out a small silver 8 millimeter revolver which in my twenty years as a private investigator, I had never once used.   With the revolver safely tucked in the inside pocket of my jacket, I got out of the car and trotted across the street to the mansion to a line of brush before the small open lawn at the side of the house.  Crouching there, I spotted a light on from a basement window and the movement of shadows.  The rest of the mansion was dark, eerily still.

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