Archer was beginning to see the frustration that comes with being a private investigator. "So, we both agree that Danielle is the ticket. She's where we need to focus," he said, rubbing his forehead.
"Until we learn otherwise, I agree with you." I paused to take a deep breath. "There's a couple of things we can do," I continued. "One, we gather all the published info on Danielle and Hanna. There might be enough of a paper trail to give us a clue. If they had anything in common with each other and or with Mr. Duncan, we might have a direction to focus on."
After I paused a little too long, Archer said, "You said there were a couple of things we could do."
"Oh, yeah," I replied, nodding to him. "We need to talk to Mrs. Duncan again. Get her reaction to Hanna's murder. We also might get some info on Danielle from her that we couldn't get elsewhere - public records and so forth."
I called Mrs. Duncan, informing her of what had happened so far, leaving out certain details that I wanted to express in person. She agreed to come to the office that evening. There was still a good chunk of the day left, so we turned our attention to finding whatever we could about the girls.
We didn't find much. Hanna didn't seem to have a job at the time she died ... at least nothing official. Danielle worked as a waitress at a local diner. When Archer called the diner to inquire about her, the man on the phone told him that he hadn't seen her for a couple of days.
Archer switched the call to speaker phone while the man was talking, so I caught the last part of it.
"... and if you see her, tell her she is fired," the man said.
"Why?" Archer asked. "Did she do something?"
"No, more like not doing something ... as in come to work or even call to tell me what's up. I run a business here, you understand."
"Was she acting suspicious the last time you saw her?" Archer's question was a valid one. I just wasn't sure if it was the kind of question that he would get much information from.
"Well, she did break a bunch of coffee cups, which wasn't like her," the man replied, proving me wrong.
"What prompted her to do that?" Archer asked.
"A guy came into the diner and asked for one of her tables. When she saw him, that's when she dropped the cups. That was the last day she worked. She even left early."
Archer looked at me, and we both smiled.