IN CHARLOTTE’S APARTMENT, her answering machine is blinking red. We listen: “Hallo there, Ms.Smart. This is Detective Hartunian. Want you to know that in our preliminary check on the bottles, we found prints that, of course, belong to Ms. Hazelton, but also to Wally Burt. Mr. Burt is in our system because a few years back he was arrested for blocking the street when a political dignitary he didn’t like was in town. Doesn’t tell us anything except that he touched those containers. Oh, and remember, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. Ha ha! That’s not right. Don’t do anything you shouldn’t do.”
“Well,” Charlotte says. “So, Wally visited Claire. And more than likely, he helped her by administering some of the pills. As Hartunian says, we cannot impose any intent on his actions, since it could all be naively done.”
“It is remarkable to me that Claire never told me anything about Wally,” Meredith says, a clear sense of insult in her voice. “A man whose café she regularly frequented with you, Charlotte, and who came to her apartment to help her.”
“As I have said, I knew Claire as a very private person. I would guess that her life choices made her pull in for protection,” Charlotte says, as she lays her damp overcoat onto an old-fashioned radiator along the window. “Here,” she adds and reaches for our coats, “let me dry out yours as well. Nice rain, but it can give a chill.”
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