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City Girl

Last time....


  “You-you know that Asian lady we saw?” 


 “Uh-huh.” 


 “I-I saw her at th-e restaurant. She was talking on her cellphone to someone named Duane!” 


 I skimmed my memory. Duane. The name seemed familiar. Then I remembered.  When the drunkard had come to my doorstep, he had said...


“Just call me Nick or Duane.”
 
 

OK. What? Could this be a random coincidence, or was it really him? If so, how did he tie in to this mystery? A dozen thoughts raced through my head, and left more questions to the already unanswered ones. I needed answers, and fast.

"Hey? You still there?" Jake's voice broke my reverie.
 "Yeah," And then I related to him my experience with Nick or whatever-his-name was.

   "Wow. Sounds crazy. But listen, I just got an idea, what if the people who kidnapped Martha, 
the Asian lady, and Nick or Dominic is all in cahoots?" 

 I mulled over that strange and remote possibility for a second, when a new thought came to me. 

 "No!" I screamed without thinking.

  "What?"

 "Jake, we're a bunch of idiots!" 

   He looked hurt for a second, and then asked, "What do you mean?" 

  "We are going to trail the Asian lady. Perhaps she'll lead us straight to where Martha is hidden." I suggested. 

 "Brilliant!" Jake acknowledged, and we left back to the Cafe; thoughts of food vanished. 

  I practically ran for all I was worth down the hill and burst into Cae's Cozy Cafe, breathless.            
Apparently I had not made too much of a ruckus for all the customers were still talking softly over the slightly played music. I glanced furtively around the room for a woman in the same outfit I had seen earlier. 

 Bingo! In the far corner a young woman sat with her phone pressed to her ear. I wondered how I would get close enough to eavesdrop without making myself seen.  Then an idea came to me. If I would purchase a small snack and walk to one of the side booths at the back of the room, and if I could get one close to her perhaps I could hear her, yet she wouldn’t see me because my back would be turned to her. Maybe, just maybe... I mused silently. 

Then, finally I worked up my courage and strode confidently over to the clerk.

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