By Dell Shannon, Elizabeth Linington
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The floor was dirtier than that in the first room. There was a table about a foot square by the window, and in a chair beside it a woman sat looking dully at a can of beer in one hand. She was a fat, dark young woman in pink pants and a flowered top; both were soiled and spotted. Her back to them, they could see the ingrained dirt on her neck. Two children, three or four, were tugging at her other arm: children in dirty rags of nondescript clothing. They were both crying. "Mrs. " said Glasser. She looked around slowly.
Mendoza smote his forehead. "¡Mea culpa! We'll ask. But barring that—and even if so—she wouldn't be on foot here at that hour of night. She was in a car. And a woman of her age never goes out without a handbag. The sweet young girls, yes—the billfold in the jeans—but not this woman. " They called in, but Farrell was alone in the office except for Wanda. She came over amiably, another pair of eyes, and in the next hour they covered every foot of the park like bloodhounds, pushing under bushes; but no handbag turned up.
It was now in the police garage being gone over by the lab men. "Not to tell you your business," said Masters diffidently, "but we kind of wondered—maybe one of them used to work as a guard at the store. " "It is a thought," said Grace. That, of course, had occurred to them. Lee was looking around the big office, at the two detectives, with interest. Only Glasser was there, bent over his typewriter. " Of necessity, after long suffering, Landers had learned to bear his cross philosophically. He just had the kind of face that would look about twenty until he was a grandfather, and he had to live with it.