I called my employer first, of course.
I reported to her in detail, although I confess that I withheld the fact that Elsa and I had made a few minor — very minor — adjustments to the original plan for the evening. That fact would come out eventually, I knew, but I decided that this information was not essential at the moment.
I was using the living room phone, and fortunately I was alone, except for Elsa.
My employer listened, asked a couple of questions, drew thoughtfully on her pipe, and then said, ”Call Rhonda. If she’s going to travel to the island tonight, I wouldn’t mind going also. Otherwise, I’ll see you in the morning. Comporto-se.” She hung up.
I called police headquarters next. I was patched through to Rhonda, who seemed to be at home.
“Good evening, sheriff,” I said. “I thought you would want to know that there have been some developments in the Heron Island case.”
There was a pause, then she said, “Please tell me about them.”
“I’m at Heron House. Kimberly Daniels attacked Elsa Peabody with a knife, threatening to kill her. Elsa is fine. During the attack, Kim said that she — Kim — had killed Mary Sanders, and she thought Elsa knew something incriminating about it. Elsa and I both heard the confession. Kim said that she killed Mary in revenge for Manfred’s murder, which she blamed on Mary.”
Rhonda digested this. Elsa ran her fingers through her mass of red hair, looking in the direction of the kitchen. Now that the danger was over, she seemed to be trying to find a way to think about what had happened.
I’d seen that look before.
Before and during the confrontation with Kim, Elsa and I had been very much on the same page. Now, there was somewhat more distance between us, since she was inside the events and I was outside, both because the people involved were her friends and not mine, and because I had been through this before, more than once, and she hadn’t.
“I know you’re at Heron House,” Rhonda said. “The house is under observation. Where is Miss Daniels now?”
“Handcuffed to the bed frame in Elsa’s room. She’s not talking.”
“Is anybody injured?”
“Hang on.” She put me on hold for a moment. “Deputies will be there in a couple of minutes. Please turn Miss Daniels over to them.” She sighed. “Please come to headquarters in the morning, to make a statement. I…”
“I can ask Miss Peabody to drive me there,” I said. “Once the road is open.”
There was a knock at the front door and Elsa went to open it.
“I’ll need her statement, too, obviously,” Rhonda said.
As Elsa opened the door, Li poked her head down the stairs and asked sleepily, “What’s going on down there?” I could see Becky behind her.