Thank you so much folks for joining me for yet another installment of Devil at Dusk!
I did not stay out to late the night before; I pretty much got all the information regarding Lenny that I needed to know, so there was no reason for me to stay out late. I made my way home, tucked myself in bed and several hours later my alarm went off. I got ready for the day, it was Thursday. Today was the day I was going to meet with Mrs. Rothschild in the morning at 10:30am and then later on in the day to meet with Mrs. Boggs.
I got into my car and left the cottage at 10:15am and I made it to Mrs. Rothschild’s house in 10 minutes. The house was a big old Victorian home with cupolas, stained glass windows, a huge wrap around porch with a porch swing and a gazebo in the back of the giant yard. She had quite a bit of property behind her house also. I went up to the front door and rang the doorbell. A very tall, thin, older gentleman came to the door; he had on a black suit with a white starched shirt. I introduced myself and he said he his name was Avery the butler and chauffeur for Mrs. Rothschild. I told him Mrs. Rothschild was expecting me at 10:30am. Avery asked me to take a seat and told me he would go get Mrs. Rothschild. A few moments later a very grandmotherly looking lady came into the parlor, she looked to be close to about 80 years old. She had on a high necked dress with a cameo broach pinned to the neck, a shawl and granny boots. Her steel grey hair was rolled up into a bun at the very top of her head. Not only did her house appear to be from the Victorian era so did her clothing too. It was a very charming look for her and it suited her well.
Avery was a few steps behind Mrs. Rothschild and she told him to make some tea and bring it to us. I introduced myself to Mrs. Rothschild; she told me she was very glad I was here. She has called upon me for my services because she strongly believes that someone who is among her staff has been stealing from her. She told me she had compiled a list of the missing items and the date she realized they had been missing. I asked her if I could take a look at that list, she got up and went to the roll top desk behind us. She took a key out of her pocket and unlocked the desk then pulled out a small note book, she handed it over to me. I took a look at the list and notated all of the items in my head: check book, very old jewelry that she had inherited from her grandmother which consisted of 2 rings and a pair of earrings, a necklace and a bracelet, a few pieces of silverware, and a couple of tea cups (fine china), a 50 dollar bill and two rare books. These items were all taken over the last 3 months.
Soon Avery came out with our tea plus he had a plate with small cookies, scones and biscuits. I took my note pad out and made notes about the missing items. I asked her to tell me about her employees, their names, their position there, how long they have been there and there approximate ages. Mrs. Rothschild began naming off employees: Avery Thomas Brown he is the butler and chauffeur, she guesses him to be about 60 years old, he has been there for about 25 years and is like a son. Next is the gardener Terry Jo Parson, he has been there for about 15 years and he is around 45 or 46 years old. The gardener’s son Bo Parson is his gardening assistant, he just started 4 months ago and he is 20 years old. The cook is Bessie Morton, she is around 50 years old and has been there for over 10 years. Mrs. Rothschild tells me she has two cleaning girls, Paris Le Roux who has been there for 6 months and is 19 and April Leigh Devlin, who has been there for almost 4 months and is 20 years old. She tells me that is all of her employees.
I folded up my note pad and put it away. Then I asked Mrs. Rothschild if I could come back by tomorrow- at the same time-to interview each of the employees and Mrs. Rothschild said yes you most certainly may. I told her that over the weekend I was going to head up to Chicago-where I was from- to tie up some loose ends. I was going to be gone for about a week and that I would touch base with her as soon as I got back into town. Then I discussed my retaining fee with her (which she paid), I had her fill out the appropriate paperwork and sign it. Then I thanked her very much for her time and I was on my way.
Next up I would head over to the office to type up a report and to stop over at Mrs. Boggs’ house.
To be continued….
Stay tuned next week for the next installment of Devil at Dusk!