By Mary Jean Kelso
Historical Romance, 191 pages
Cover art by Richard Stroud
“Now, there’s a problem here,” Cassie continued with her voice in a higher pitch. “Artifacts have begun missing. I feel terrible because it started happening right after I arrived. It has gotten serious. Lynne, I’ve been arrested!”
“Arrested?” Lynne gasped.
“I didn’t do it!” Cassie protested.
“I believe you, Cassie,” Lynne assured her.
“Well, the museum officials don’t! They think they caught me with the goods in my hands. I found some of the pieces, some arrowheads, on the floor. I was replacing them in their case when Security jumped out of the darkness at the museum. I know it looked bad—and no one would believe I wasn’t stealing them.”
“Are you in jail?” Lynne asked with shock.
“No. Not now. My attorney convinced the judge they didn’t have enough evidence to put me on trial—yet. So, he was able to get me home on my own recognizance. At least, until they see if they think they can make a case. I can’t leave town. I’m basically confined to the house what with my breathing problem and now this!”
“How can I help?”
“You’re so good at these sorts of things. You found Frank last summer,” Cassie stated. “I thought, well, I thought, maybe you could come down and help find out who the real thief is. Maybe you’ll have some idea how to get me out of this mess! Maybe you can do it before they decide to take me to court?”
Lynne thought for a moment before answering. She knew, if there was any way at all for her to help, she would have to. It was not in Lynne’s nature to let a friend, or someone close to a friend, down. And, although she wasn’t that connected to Cassie, she was Vicki’s friend.
“School’s basically out and I’ve been looking for a summer job,” Lynne answered, breaking her sentence off as she tried to calculate a way to rescue Cassie. “But, I’ve also thought about checking out the campus in Reno as well.”
Deep in concentration, Lynne rubbed the back of her neck. She pulled her fingers through her long blond hair from behind to relieve the tightness she felt where the strands stuck against her skin. How could she manage to go to Carson City and help Cassie when she knew she needed a job to supplement her school fund for the coming year?
“I don’t have much money, but I could pay your expenses and a small wage,” Cassie offered eagerly. “I can’t afford to hire a high-priced detective and the police are convinced I did it. I don’t think they’re even looking for anyone else. My attorney got me out of jail and no court date is set, yet. But, I fear we’ve only got a short time before they do come up with enough circumstantial evidence to at least try me. My attorney said they may even form a Grand Jury! Lynne, you know I’m not a felon.”
“I don’t believe that you would do it at all, Cassie! Vicki is my friend and so are you! You know I really wouldn’t want to take your money, Cassie. But, why didn’t you call me sooner, before it went this far?”