Book: Ask the Right Question

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But I couldn’t sleep. It had been quite a day. If I’d been in a passive mood I would have been depressed. As it was I watched the cracks in the ceiling, to see if they were going to move. I studied them for faces, and then for animals. I heard voices in the office. I heard voices in the hall. I saw Chivian laughing at me. And I saw those chicken pox scars and wondered how many kids she had.

It occurred to me that it was very strange that Leander Crystal had bought the house Mrs. Forebush now lived in over a year before she needed it. Especially with Estes alive. Also that he had refitted it in such detail, down to locks on the doors. If he had bought it in anticipation of Mrs. Forebush needing it, why those particular fittings. Why seclusive shrubs? And why twin beds?

Why indeed. Especially if he had been doing it to rent the house. To an alien who did not register in January of—what year?

I got out of bed and consulted my notes. In January of 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959. I returned to bed.

Presumably in 1954 she either registered or entered the country giving 413 East Fiftieth Street as her address. Her last address known to the Immigration Department.

So it had to be. That after Leander bought the house, he rented it to this unknown alien. With twin beds, yet.

This I found of considerable interest. This is not how fortunes of two million dollars are built back up to ten million. So clearly the goal of operation was not profit. In the same period of time he had found money to pay to Jacques Chaulet and to Chivian. So why? A decent question. If not for money, then what for, love?

Hmmmmm. An indecent question.

I got out of bed again and called Miller.

But the off chance that he was still at the station was off. I considered for a moment calling him at home, but not even I would do that. And besides he couldn’t help me at home. I wanted him to get information from the Immigration Department, or would it be Justice Department now, about this alien, unnamed. It would keep though. Until tomorrow. What’s another day?

I had more trouble keeping until tomorrow. I was excited. I found a lot of animals in the cracks before I got to sleep.

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