A Secret Grave 56: T-R-O-U-B-L-E

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I didn’t have a particularly good feeling about my ongoing investigation into Victor’s disappearance either, but I was determined to continue. Partly because I’m so goddamn inquisitive, and partly because – I have to be honest – I was getting a little thrill out of poking my nose into something potentially dark and dangerous. Caroline, for instance, with her mysterious smile and evasive manner.

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caroline-sad-ps

Caroline, immediately after seeing Victor’s portrait at the party

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I hadn’t seen her in the two months that had passed since my party. Her son, Mercer, told me she was in Bolivia caring for her ailing father. I didn’t totally buy that story. I mean it’s nice that she’s with her father, but I believe she traveled there for other, more selfish reasons.  According to Mercer, it’s Caroline’s habit to take off for Bolivia whenever there’s trouble and to her, after learning I knew the secret of her son’s paternity from my portraits at the party, I, N-i-c-o-l-e,  spelled T-R-O-U-B-L-E.  Big time.

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the-three-boys

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She’d also taken off for Bolivia right around the time of Victor’s disappearance in 2006. I know this from Mercer who told me he had a vivid memory of being flown unexpectedly to La Paz to celebrate his grandfather’s eighty-fifth birthday in June, 2006, and then spending the entire rest of the year there, unhappily separated from his father and dog in Austin. As they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, ain’t no such thing as a co-inky-dinkie, but what to do with such information?

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caroline-dangerous

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Sure as hell makes me not want to be alone with Caroline any time soon. What had she done to Victor, I wondered. Had she gone to meet him at Kerbey Lane, or had she sent someone else for the cello – someone who’d waylaid him in the parking lot, driven him out to the woods and shot him? My studio was built right around then, mid-June 2006, a convenient place to dispose of a body if you knew the lay of the land. The police would almost certainly be interested in this story, but that would mean, as Peter had suggested, digging up my studio and I didn’t want what had started as a farce, an artist’s whimsical inquiry into possible wrongdoing, to turn into a yellow tape crime scene investigation.

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studio-crime-tape

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Better to keep a low profile, perhaps put this whole story on the back burner for awhile.

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To be continued…

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