Nadine entered the room once more, but this time with the maid right behind her. “Detective,” Nadine said, “this is our maid, Vicky.”
Lilah took George’s lead and stood up once the maid entered the room. She looked the maid up and down trying to get a good read on her before they started talking.
Vicky was on the younger side. She stood taller than Nadine, despite her boss wearing three-inch heels. Her make-up was heavy on her face and her expression claimed boredom.
When George stretched out his hand to her, Nadine stepped aside and Vicky took a step back. George remained where he was waiting, but Lilah had a feeling she wasn’t going to willingly cooperate.
“Well, the pleasure’s mine.” George finally said bringing his arm back down by his side.
Vicky glared at him and Lilah narrowed her eyes at her. George must have suspected her of something, otherwise he wouldn’t have wanted to talk to her. She had a feeling Vicky knew that as well. The only thing was, Lilah couldn’t tell if Vicky was being defensive because she was nervous or if it was because she knew she was about to get caught.
“Could I have a moment alone with the detective, please?” Vicky asked politely to her boss.
“Oh,” Nadine looked over at George, who nodded. After a disappointed sigh, Nadine ushered her kids out of the room and followed closely behind them.
When they were out of earshot, Vicky snapped her attention back to George and Lilah. “Well, get to it. I don’t have all day.”
“Surely you know what I’m about to say.” George replied.
Vicky folded her arms across her chest and held her chin up high. “Whatever you have to say isn’t true. And, I want a lawyer present if I’m going to talk to you.”
“You want a witness, yet you just kicked your boss out of the room?” George commented.
“Oh, please. Nadine can’t help me.” Vicky looked him up and down looking disgusted.
“And why would you need the help?”
“Because you’re asking too many questions,”
“We’ve barely begun.”
There was a sudden standstill. Vicky didn’t have a good enough comeback and George remained calm under pressure as always. Lilah found herself relaxing her shoulders. Vicky didn’t seem to be much of a threat despite her clearly having something to hide.
Vicky drew in a sharp breath. “I want a lawyer first.”
“If you want a lawyer, then I’m to assume you have something to hide.” George remarked.
Vicky narrowed her eyes. She opened her mouth to say something, but Nadine entered the room.
“I’m sorry to interrupt,” she said looking at Vicky, “but there’s a couple of police officers here.” She turned to look at George. “An Officer Florence? He said you called him.”
“Ah, perfect timing. Send him in.” George smiled.
“What’s your brother doing here?” Lilah whispered.
“I texted him. This case is about to be over.” George whispered back.
Nadine stepped to the side and Barney entered the room. He put his hands on his hips and stared at George expectantly.
“Ms. Vicky would like a lawyer before she says anything. Which is perfect since we’ll have to take her down to the station anyway.”
Vicky glared at George again and Barney sighed. “Is this your disappearing and reappearing car case?”
George nodded. “I had a hunch that Vicky had something to do with it, but then, while we were talking to Nadine’s children, I saw Vicky outside the window talking to a woman over the fence in the garden.”
Lilah looked to her left. She didn’t pay too much attention to outside the window, but sure enough, there was the garden. And no one was around there now.
“I had a hunch that I recognized the woman. Vicky, who were you talking to?” George asked.
“My… sister.” She reluctantly replied once Nadine stared her down.
“Does she work here?”
“Why was she here?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“Well,” George continued, “why did you guys have to talk in hushed tones over the fence where no one could see you? Why didn’t she come in?”
“Yes, why didn’t she? You know she’s welcome anytime.” Nadine added. Vicky stared at Nadine, but didn’t respond.
“She didn’t want you guys to recognize her right away.” George said. “She was the woman in the video with your car.”
Nadine chuckled. “We all know her very well. There’s no way she stole the car and brought it back.”
“Because she had to boyfriends, husband, friend, whatever you want to call him do it. None of you recognize him, so it would be easy for Vicky and her sister to cover for him.” George explained.
Nadine held her hand up as though she was a young kid in school. “But our gardener…”
“Hasn’t been seen since the car was taken, correct?” George asked.
Nadine pressed her lips together.
“You forgot to tell me about the gardener the first time I spoke to you.” George said to Vicky. “I thought it was strange Lilah had notes about her and I didn’t. Now it’s becoming clear why you guys really took the car. You couldn’t do it because you’d be missed. Your sister couldn’t do it because everyone, including the kids, recognize her.
“You had your sister’s friend get friendly with the kids to trick them into letting him in the garage. It looked like a stranger broke in to steal from a rich family.” George explained.
“Why?” Barney asked.
George sighed looking at his brother. “Well, that’s where I pass this case off to you. It seems to me that this has turned into a missing person’s case… possibly homicide.”
Barney sighed shaking his head. He looked at Vicky and took out his handcuffs.