Upon my arrival at the precinct. I cleared my mailbox of things that were either the stuff of administrative uselessness or the stuff that simply makes up the clutter of life. for the most part, this was a weekly exercise in moving paper from the mail slot to the large garbage can that lived by the mailboxes. That fact alone says a great deal.
Sgt. O'Toole shared with me a joke about a priest, a rabbi and a circus elephant. Wasn't half bad, really I confess that tickled a chuckle or two out of me, and a couple more later by just thinking about it again. Of course, I could hear O'Toole give it a belly laugh every single time he told it to whoever happened to be passing by his desk.
It took a call to Mrs. O'Hara's secretary, Alyss, to get the number of that mysterious aunt and uncle down in New Orleans that Mollie mentioned in her last note. I found out that the aunt and uncle were on Mrs. O'Hara's side of the family, to be specific, her sister who had married a fellow with a French sounding name, LeBlanc, Roger and Kathryn LeBlanc.
It took three operators to finally to get that telephone in New Orleans to start ringing. Mrs. LeBlanc, a nice enough lady, still shocked by the loss of her niece, was a bit puzzled about the reason for my phone call.
"Mrs. LeBlanc, you were mentioned in a note that Mollie wrote not long before her death."
"Really. I hadn't seen Mollie in years."
I continued, "She said that she was getting ready to go down and stay with you awhile."
"I had no idea."
"Mrs. LeBlanc, are you saying that she had made no arrangements to do so?"
"We hadn't heard a word from Mollie. To be sure, she could have stayed with as long as she wanted, but as far as we knew, I was merely her distant Aunt Katherine. Oh, I'd send her a card on her birthday and at Christmas but that's the extent of it."
"Did she send you any letters, Mrs. Le Blanc?"
"No, not that I remember. Mollie's mother usually kept us up on the family news."
I left my number with her in case she thought of anything else, but I really wasn't expecting much else. But it did stir in me one of those hunches of mine.
"Thank you, Mrs. LeBlanc. And again I am so sorry about your loss."
After hanging up, I searched for that note out of the evidence file and prepared to make a trek over to the O'Hara house.