And I had just begun to write Savannah's story when...another of those detectives came to see me.
Quite unintentionally, Sid's aristocratic nose went into the air and he sniffed once, twice,as if the very odor from the stranger had penetrated the perfection of his apartment. Verylikely the imagined odor was some cheap after shave or cologne the detective had pickedup at the Five and Dime store, and as with most men of his status, had used most of the bottle in the hopes of attracting the opposite sex to his scent. They were suchanimals....No, cavemen. This one -- just from Sid's glimpse of the cut of the off-the-rack suit hanging off a muscular form -- had barely evolved out of the cave. Rough-hewn yes;a high school or college football player in a past life, most likely, but the word 'cheap'came to mind again, and he nearly snickered. Sid knew the type all too well.
I had him wait.
I could watch him through the half-open door.
The suit: probably Sears, Roebuck or Montgomery Ward. The fedora: typical of a copwith its' shades of Gable, Bogart and other "manly" Hollywood stars. Sid imagined hecould smell the stench of the cologne, overpowering his bath oils, the freshness of thetowels warming on the heated rack, the very class of what he considered his own littleroyal Privy Chamber. Based on what he had seen from the other policemen, he wassurprised this one was not still walking on all fours! But no...there was somethingmore....He noticed....What the devil was the Neanderthal doing? The baroque grandfather clock – the pendulum keeping a steady rhythm – had chimed the half-hour.
I noted that his attention was fixed upon my clock.
And it was not stupid curiosity, Sid realized. It was a sense of study, as if the man wasanalyzing the very perfection of the Mona Lisa itself!
There was only one other in existence...and that was in Savannah's apartment...
In the very room where she was murdered.
But now he felt the need to call out. The man, the cop, had from time to time paused before Sid’s jade Buddha, or wall-mounted African tribal masks, but most of all, the glasscabinets containing the costly pieces which were the pride of his
. But nowthe Faberge egg had the man’s attention, then taking a second step, he stopped again, hisface moving closer as something else caught his eye. Sid took a deep breath as the policeman picked up one of his beloved vases, a small piece yes, but one of the prizes of the carefully built Eastern portion of his envied collection. If anything should happen toit…“Careful there! That stuff is priceless.”