I glanced at the Mickey Mouse clock on Gretchen’s desk. It was nine thirty in the morning, a half hour after Prescott’s: Antiques and Auctions’ regular start time, and my assistant wasn’t there. Gretchen, who was supposed to be back to work yesterday after a two-week Hawaiian vacation, and who, in four years, had never once been tardy, hadn’t shown up or even called. I was worried sick.
I thought again of the man, the stranger, who’d been trying to reach her. He’d called frequently while she was out of town, wouldn’t