CHAPTER FOUR HUNDRED AND SIXTY-THREE
“Bethun Towers?” Ava asked.
“That’s right,” Seth said. “Where Di and Bud lived after Bud stopped traveling. It’s also where I went to learn jazz piano. From Bud, that is.”
“When was that?” Ava asked.
“Years? 1965 to 1969,” Seth said. “But Bud and Di both died around the end of the year, 1968. I was ten when I met them.”
“Go on,” Ava said. There was a jostling sound as Ava moved the phone. “Sorry, I was just given a note to ask you who Claire was and why Bernice was staying with her.”
“Claire is my longtime friend and the manager of my apartment building,” Seth said. “I’ve known her since I was ten years old. Her mother was very kind to me when I moved to New York to go to college. I was ten. I guess I’ve already said that. Uh … Claire and I met Big Daddy and Bernice at the same time that we met Bud and Di and Susan. R.J. knocked my front teeth out.”
Seth stopped talking for a moment. Familiar with interrogation, he wanted to give them time to come up with another question.
“Why is Bernice staying with Claire?” Ava asked.
“As you know, Big Daddy died last week,” Seth said. “Bernice had to move out of her apartment because the Feds took all, well most, of Big Daddy’s money and possessions. Bernice needed a place to stay and didn’t want to move in with her kids. They live in the suburbs, and Bernice has always lived in the city. We — that’s Claire and I — felt like it would be too hard for her to leave the city. Claire’s daughter is finishing her residency and is in the process of setting up her new apartment upstate. She’s only here like one or two nights a week. So, she moved into my apartment, the daughter that is, to give Claire an extra room. Bernice moved in with Claire for whatever it is — a week or two. We’ll have a vacant apartment at the end of the month. The building is something I bought when I was ten. Claire’s lived there all of her life so it’s hers too.
“Why is this a problem of yours?” Ava asked. “You’ve retired as a detective and write music or some such. Just quoting.”
“I am not longer employed by the Denver Police Department, that’s true,” Seth said. “I still help people who have mysteries to solve. I most recently worked on a puzzle for the director of the NIC — that’s the director of the National Intelligence Center. I also write symphonies sometimes and other things. Right now, I’m working on someone else’s music to make it fit a movie that’s already been filed. Well a couple of them.”
Ava didn’t respond.
“A series,” Seth said. “There’s five of them”
He had no idea why they were asking him these things. He shrugged.
“Why is this a problem of yours?” Ava asked, again.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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