The sign on the door said Pug Harris, P.I. I knocked and walked into the office again after hiring him a week ago. He was a barreled-chested big man and looked to be in his fifties. I took a chair and sat down. "Have you found my car," I whispered.
"No, sorry Miss Lewis, your car has disappeared. It's not anywhere in this town!"
"But it's got to be. You don't understand, I need to find it!" My voice shook and I slumped down in the chair.
"Miss Lewis, can't you turn it into your insurance company and get another one?"
"I guess I will have to soon," I answered.
"It's only a car, you know." He added
Of course, I couldn't tell him the real reason I needed to get this particular one back, that it had my million dollars hidden in the seat!
"Could you keep looking Mr. Harris," I asked? "Don't you have any more ideas?"
"Well, if you insist on spending more of your money, I can look forever!"
"Please," I begged.
"Okay, I might have another idea, but I can't promise anything," he hastened to add.
"What?" My hopes returned.
"It's just an inkling, Miss Lewis. I'll work on it and get in touch.
As Lindy left the office he shook his head at her insistance on continuing the search, but what the hell, business was slow and rent was due. He reached for the phone then and punched in a number.
My phone rang too as I came back to my motel room and Dade Lampart's familiar by now, voice came over the line.
"I'm going to take you for a ride, and I promise to get you back in time for work," he proclaimed. "And I'll be there in thirty minutes!"
Well, I couldn't help but be curious about the man's persistance. We'd been out to dinner several times and our dates always ended with a chaste kiss. Nothing more! Although I was holding back on getting intimately involved, I felt slightly rebuffed at his lack of action.
I dressed in a new taupe swirling skirt and matching overblouse and cinched it at the waist with a chain belt, added brown leather high heels and a matching bag. My hair had grown longer so I swept it up in a twist and added pewter chunky jewelry to my look.
Not bad, I said to the mirror as I checked myself over. Just then Dade arrived.
"Wow, what a knockout!" He eyed me up and down as he stood in the doorway. "I'm taking you out to my ranch today Lindy," he said then, "I want you to see my place."
And thirty minutes later he slowed at a crossing and turned under an archway that had "Silver Dollar" in black iron letters across the top. Gnarly oak trees lined the winding road, touching overhead and leading them through a green tunnel. White board fences lined the road and crawled as far as the eye could see. Palomino horses and Hereford cattle grazed lazily in the pastures.
Lordy, I sucked in my breath as we rolled up to a red brick mansion sprawled smartly among a manicured lawn. Off to the side of the house a patio filled with green and white striped furniture sat in groups around a Olympic sized pool. Magnolia trees and bougainvillea bushes lent fragrant laced breezes as we got out of the car.
"Dade, its beautiful," I managed to say awestruck at the lovely scene.
"Yup, its my paradise," he remarked casually, almost too much so,I thought.
And standing there, I was suddenly feeling out of my element, and I wondered, why was this man who apparently had every thing, pursuing me? Certainly, he could have his pick of the many Texas beauties I'd seen around Dallas, why me?