“When was that?” I asked.
“A few weeks ago. Right at the beginning of June.”
“Aren’t you a little nervous alone in this house?”
Alicia put down her brandy snifter and reached into her purse, which sat beside her on the couch. “I have this,” she said, pulling out a small pistol. “And we have an excellent alarm system, so no, not really.”
“Well, who do you think it was who followed you?”
She put the gun away and reached for her brandy. “Emil thinks it has to do with the Bukh. There are people who really want it and assume because of the relationship he had with Victor that he knows where it is.”
Alicia looked at me out of eyes that had gone flat. “I can’t answer that question,” she said. “All I can say is what I’ve said before: he knows more than is safe.”
I left shortly after that, driving home in the dark of a late June evening in Austin, Texas. I imagined that the car behind me was in hot pursuit and stepped on the gas. Then I saw a cop car and slowed way down. I’d had a few strange things happen to me lately. My car had been egged in its parking place in front of the house. We live on a cul-de-sac where our neighbors are out on lawn chairs drinking wine while their small children run around playing chase and hopscotch, so that was weird: no one defaces cars in our neighborhood. And I’ve received threatening mail, such as this lovely note which was in an envelope addressed to ArtProfiler:
Ew. I didn’t show that one to my husband for fear he’d lean on me to give up on Victor Goodlove, and my research into the realms of alternative medicine. It didn’t matter how many threatening letters or pieces of hate mail I received. To me, finding Victor and the Bukh far outweighed the risk of a little damage to my car or my psyche, and I was willing to submit to discomfort and ridicule from unfriendly readers in the process.
To be continued…
Cover photo ~ https://www.flickr.com/photos/djamtala/6283756025