The Let's Play Archive

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

by 1234567890num

Part 137: The Reward

comfortable feeling of sleeping late into the morning rather than setting an alarm. So when he was rudely awakened by the piercing ring of the telephone, his feeling of comfort was interrupted and it put him in a rather bad mood.

On top of that, the ringing kept going on and on persistently, as if shouting at him to get out of bed.

Straining, he reached across and picked up the receiver from next to his pillow. "If you need me for something, can't it wait till later? Call me back when I'm awake." He spoke with a voice that would instantly wake up anyone listening. He went to hang up, but then he heard a booming voice on the other end, and he realised for the first time that it wasn't Rachel that had phoned him.

"Hyde, it's me!" It was the disagreeable voice of his boss, Ed. "Real classy of you, sleeping in this late. You not so ken on working for me again after all?"

Hearing Ed speak, Hyde immediately became completely alert. "Ed, wait!" He told Ed, as earnestly as he could, that he knew he shouldn't be sleeping in this late. He admitted he was getting lazy and needed to regain his focus.

In response Ed told Hyde, in his usual sardonic manner, about the condition for rehiring him. He explained that in order for it to seem worthwhile, Hyde would have to pass a test of his sales ability. "It's like this: I want you to try selling some of your current inventory to the local residents."

Both of them were well aware of how difficult it was to sell things to one's own

While Ed was on the phone, he thought he'd quickly check about one other matter. "I just wanted to ask you about that order sheet."

But Ed just told him that now wasn't the time to be thinking about other business. Hyde should focus on his real job, he said dismissively.

"You're right," said Hyde.

Ed sounded happy to hear it. He said to get in contact with him once he'd made some progress, and then passed the phone over to Rachel.

The first words out of her mouth were "I'm sure you'll sell plenty!" She asked Hyde if he was worried about Ed's test, and then gave him some serious advice. "It's all about spotting your chance. You've just got to find out what the people are after and give it to them."

Hyde couldn't help but smile to himself when he heard those words. It was the exact same advice that Ed had given him four years earlier, when he first became a salesman. Hyde knew exactly what reaction Rachel was expecting from him.

Rachel never minced words with him, and she always stood by him to the last. She was more important to him than anyone else.

"Mila's coming back from art college for the winter break," she said out of the blue.

*Mila Evans. So it's been a year...*

A memory stirred in his head of Mila's face reflected in his car's rear view mirror as it faced back towards Hotel Dusk. "How's Mila getting along with her studies?" he asked.

He had first met Mila a year ago, doing the same kind of "other business" Ed was talking about on the phone. He had stayed at a run-down hotel by the name of Hotel Dusk.

There was a long blank stretch in her memories. When she was a child she had got mixed up in something terrible and fallen into a coma, and she spent the next ten years lying on a hospital bed in a deep sleep.

Mila had no relatives to look after her. She was all alone. On the occassion that they first met at Hotel Dusk, they discovered the awful truth of her father's disappearance,

A vivid image of her face flashed in his mind.

"I think she's come home so she can see you again," said Rachel. After a promise that she would call him as soon as Mila arrived, she hung up.

Moving from his bed at last, Hyde went over to take a look at what he still had in his box of Red Crown inventory.

*There's some strong detergent, some wax, some adhesive...and what else...*

His face fell. It seemed doubtful that any of other residents would want to buy these products.

He was interrupted by the phone ringing again. He hestitated for a second before picking it up.

*I've got enough to deal with already...*

The voice he heard through the receiver was that of his mother, Jeanie. "Kyle, are you taking the day off work again?" She sounded quite concerned. She told him she had phoned Red Crown and they had said he wasn't there.

"Why are you calling work, anyway?" he asked, annoyed that she was making such a fuss.

Her response was an unexpected one. "I needed to speak to Ed about something. I got a call from the LAPD this morning; they've decided to re-open Chris's case."

Chris was the name of Kyle's father. Shew as referring to the investigation into his murder.

The case was being opened again.

It still all seemed a bit sudden, but she had thought it was worth letting Ed know about it. Ed had suggested that it might all be down to the mayoral candidate, Hugh Speck. He was a former LAPD officer himself and had apparently made it his mission to combat organised crime.

Jeanie had a reason for wanting to tell Ed in particular. Ed was an LAPD officer himself at the time Chris had died, and the two of them were good friends. Ed was also the one who had discovered Chris's body in the parking lot.

When the police department swiftly decided not to investigate the case any further, Ed was the only one who came to apologise and offer his condolences to Chris's wife and child.

"Kyle, do you actually want to know the truth behind what happened to your father?" Jeanie asked. Hyde knew what she meant: if this new investigation turned up any facts that shed some light on the whole incident, would he really want to know, all this time later?

He considered it for a moment and then answered in a measured tone. Even if the details revealed things he might not have wanted to know about his father, he felt it was his duty as a son to uncover the truth. His mother seemed satisfied with this response as she quietly ended the call.

It occurred to Hyde that the last time he and his mother had talked about his father's death had been quite some time ago. As he mulled over the subject, he was less concerned with why the case had been re-opened at this particular time, and more interested in whether his mother shared his desire to find out the truth no matter what.

But Jeanie was the type of person to wear her heart on her sleeve, especially around Kyle. Ultimately he decided that if she didn't want to find out, she would surely have told him so.

"Guess I should try and sell some of this crap," he said aloud to himself. It was time to take a stab at the challenge Ed had set him. But thinking of Ed just brought him back to his father's murder, and he started wondering about his mother's feelings again.

He did his best to shake it off. The important thing right now was getting his job back.

Hyde thought of Marie as a possibility, and decided that he would visit her in her room. However, she said that she wasn't feeling well, and she didn't come out to greet him. He decided it would be rude to bother her any further.

This salesman business was hard work, and he felt it now rather sharply. He thought he'd take a breather and headed down to Lucky's Café.

As soon as he got there, Sidney commented that he looked a little pale. Evidently the weight of this sales challenge was starting to show.

He didn't think Sidney's words were meant all that seriously, but either way he thought better of discussing his current work troubles. Instead he answered cheerfully, "I'll bet you're the only café owner in LA who notices how all his customers are feeling."

Sidney smiled as he replied, "Don't know what it is about today, but all my customers have been down in the dumps. I noticed the same thing with Marie earlier." He said that he had got Claire to go over and talk to her.

worried about, I'm always here to talk to."

She opened the door this time, perhaps glad that Hyde had shown such concern for her. "I'm always thinking about what would happen if someone broke in at night while I'm asleep." she admitted.

It was perfectly understandable for her to have these kinds of fears, especially after her room had been bugged like that. Hyde showed understanding and compassion, and recommended that she install a security lock on her door that could be double bolted. Naturally, he just happened to have one.

Marie was very grateful for his good advice and bought the security lock. "Thank you," she said as he gave the item to her.

*A sale!*

At the time she felt like she'd be glad enough if it eased her mind even a little, but she soon felt incredibly pleased that she had bought it. After a while, just having the extra lock on her door was helping her sleep soundly at night, untroubled by the

She had wanted that snow globe very much.

"A lot of people tend to forget the things they held dear when they were children," said Hyde. "Regardless of how cheap or expensive they were."

That prompted Marie to buy it straight away. Hyde wished her a slightly awkward "Merry Christmas!" as he took his payment. He wasn't good at those cheerful greetings.

Marie held the snow globe in the palms of her hands and shook it from side to side. Seeing the tiny flakes of snow flying this way and that

In all honestly, Hyde would generally have said he couldn't care less about hwo around him wanted what, but he had to ignore that part of himself. He figured he would be able to ask Tony directly, at least. Hyde wasn't the most comfortable talking to his neighbors, but at least there was one person there he could deal with.

"Tony, is there anything bothering you right now?"

Tony reacted to this sudden visit and equally sudden question by contorting his face into a puzzled expression and appearing to think more deeply than the question probably deserved. In the four years he had lived here, this was the first time Hyde had ever come to talk to him as early as this, asking this kind of question.

Hyde changed his tactic. "What were you doing before I got here?" he asked.

He answered that he had been thinking about practising the guitar, but had been given pause when he realised his guitar was in need of a good polish. If only he had some guitar wax, he said, he'd be able to wow them at the audition he had coming up.

A light went on in Hyde's head. "It just so happens that I have some wax right here. It's a brand new product that's guaranteed to put the shine back."

To tell the truth, Hyde actually knew very little about guitars, but he'd thought it was worth a try.

*I did it! I made a sale!* He gave a sigh of relief.

Later, Tony went to the audition with his newly polished guitar. Unfortunately

never one to draw these matters out.

Hyde breathed a sigh of relief. He could keep working there after all.

Ed ordered him to come back to the office right away, but despite his tenuous position, Hyde felt compelled to ask for a favour. "Please, let me stay here and work instead of coming back to the office." He explained that since he had accepted that order, he would greatly appreciate being able to work at home until he had fulfilled it.

Ed couldn't understand it. 25 years was a very long time -- no matter how hard he searched, was it really likely that this Scarlet Star would turn up?

But Hyde proposed that this was exactly why the order had come to him in particular. Whoever had sent it must believe that he was capable of getting to the bottom of it. "Plus, if I can locate the item on that order sheet, I have a feeling it'll reveal something about the events surrounding my dad's death."

He admitted it was just a hunch, but he was sure it couldn't be a coincidence that he had received this order just as his father's case was being re-opened. He begged Ed to let him see it through.

After a moment's pause, Ed finally relented. "From today onwards, that crummy apartment you call home is also your office!"

Ed inquired as to whether there was any information that would be useful to help him solve this mystery, and Hyde asked if he knew anything about Frank Raver.

"Frank Raver? The name rings a bell, but I can't put a face to him."

Hyde added some details: Frank was older than Ed and a former detective in the LAPD. He lived in the same building as Hyde, and despite being retired, he was investigating the unsolved murder case from 13 years ago, when Kathy McGrath, the wife of Hotel Cape West's owner, had been killed.

Ed couldn't promise anything, but he said he'd call in some favours to try and find out more about this guy.

When he got off the phone, he felt more at ease than he had in days. And now that he didn't have to worry so much about making sales to his neighbours, he finally noticed his stomach rumbling! As always, he headed to Lucky's Café. There were no other customers in sight, so he once again had the place all to himself.

Claire greeted him as enthusiastically as ever, but Hyde could tell that she was feeling slightly emotional since the café was soon going to be knocked down along with the rest of the building.

"Hi, Claire. What's today's

"Aren't you entering the prize draw, Mr Hyde?"

Hyde suddenly remembered the crossword puzzle, which he had stuffed in his pocket after solving it. He handed it to Sidney, who took one look and exclaimed, "It's all correct!" Sidney gave him an entry slip for the prize draw with an entry number of 053 written on it. It seemed that the winning number would be pinned up in the café on December 23rd. When Sidney explained that he was holding the prize draw so that there would be an air of excitement in the café one

"After 12 years of slogging at it here, I'd kind of hoped I'd never have to move. If you add that to the time I spent working at the hotel restaurant, it's 18 years in total." Sidney was finally letting out all these feelings that had been bottled up.

Hyde asked Sidney what the hotel was like, and Sidney showed him a photograph from that era. It was an exterior shot of the hotel from 13 years ago.

Sidney agreed to lend Hyde the photo for a while. "Hopefully both of us will have better luck in the new year."

Hearing those words as he walked out the door, Hyde decided on a whim that he would wander into town instead of going back to his apartment. Everything was decorated in the festive spirit, and throngs of people were doing their Christmas shopping. However, the hustle and bustle soon grew too much for him, and to get away from all the people he snuck into a tiny cinema on a back alley. It was a movie he had seen countless times before, and it held a special place in his heart.

It was a western about a mean-looking protagonist with a heart of gold saving a village from bandits. All the villagers loved him, and at the end the woman and child he'd grown close to wanted him to stay, but he knew he had to move on. The film's protagonist had an imposing presence as he strode away from that village, his head held high. When viewed in profile, the actor reminded Hyde of his father.

So many years later, it was impossible to know what, if anything, his father had been fighting against, but Hyde still had a vivid childhood memory of his father glaring out the window with the same expression on his face.

By the time he left the cinema, the sun was setting and the streets were bathed in a warm glow. He returned to Cape West with the surreal feeling one gets after watching a long film and then returning to the outside world.

When he arrived, he paused in front of the decrepit-looking building and stared

the place before at least once. "It's a shame you didn't remember my name," said Will, "especially since I know exactly who you are. You live in room 202. Mr Hyde, right?"

Hyde answered in the affirmative. He realised that it really was quite rude of him to have forgotten.

Will then proceeded to talk non-stop, as if Hyde was hanging on his every word. "I'm a salesman myself. I spend so much time away from here on business that it's no wonder most of the others in this building don't recognise me. Your're in roughly the same situation, aren't you?"

Hyde couldn't get a word in edgeways.

"I'd look forward to becoming a closer acquaintence with you," he went on, "but as you know, we're both about to leave this place. Looks like the most appropriate greeting would be along the lines of, it's a shame."

Finally Will asked his first genuine question. He was curious as to whether Hyde knew anything about why Mags was selling the building.

Hyde didn't have much to tell him. "She just said that it's tough for one woman alone to run a place like this. Not to mention the recent bout of trouble that's been happening."

Will dropped the subject and left shortly afterwards. Perhaps he was satisfied with that answer.

*He certainly likes the sound of his own voice.*

He stood and watched Will as he left, but he had to remind himself that this whole conversation would cease to matter once he moved out.

Suddenly, remembering the light he'd seen in the fourth floor window, he went up to investigate. When he got there he found there was indeed someone else inside; the fire door was open, and the door to room 405 was ajar and had light streaming out of it. He poked his nose into the room and saw a man standing there, facing away from him. Without even turning around, the man said, "Is that you, Mr Hyde?"

Dylan had figured that no one else was likely to be coming up there. "Which reminds me, you took a look around up on the fourth floor yesteryda, right, Mr Hyde?"

Hyde answered that he had only been into room 404.

Dylan cocked his head. "Hmm, I wonder who the culprit is then?"

"The culprit for what?"

Dylan explained the situation. Room 306's Will White had made a complaint, and Mags had asked Dylan to find out what was causing the problem.

*A complaint?*

According to Dylan, the complaint was about a sudden loud noise coming from the fourth floor that Will had heard in the middle of the night. It had seemingly been caused by a stand lamp falling over.

Dylan mentioned that he wasn't Will's biggest fan. He was too nitpicky and quick to anger. Hyde agreed; based on their one conversation to date he didn't seem to get on all that well with the man either.

"That's comforting," said Dylan.

Hyde was rather preplexed by Dylan's remark. Dylan clarified that he'd simply meant it was comforting that they both felt the same way and it wasn't just him being petty.

He also explained that he'd actually quite wanted to continue the conversation he'd been having with Hyde before.

"What was it you wanted to talk to me about?" asked Hyde.

Dylan said he'd been wanting to ask Hyde all about his time as a detective. Hyde said that he didn't really have anything exciting to share, but Dylan insisted that he wasn't the only one who was curious: Frank Raver from room 302 also wanted to know about Hyde's past.

*That old timer?*

Dylan explained that Frank had once asked him what kind of guy Hyde was, and he had told him everything he knew, including how he had left the NYPD four years ago after shooting his partner.

Hyde was not best pleased. He didn't like people spreading stories about his private life. Dylan appeared to have realised that he'd said too much and made a quick exit.

But as he did so, something quite unfortunate occurred. Dylan closed the door with such a bang that the ancient doorknob fell off, leaving Hyde stuck in room 405.

There was nothing he could do but frantically flick the light switch on and off as a makeshift signal.

*I just hope somebody notices...*

Eventually the door swung open and Dylan was standing there. "I saw the light flashing on the fourth floor and thought I'd come to investigate." Hyde could tell from Dylan's eyes that he was quite amused by the whole thing.

"When you closed the door

pager started beeping. He descended the staircase, but before he got to his room he bumped into Tony, who was laughing to himself in the corridor.


Hyde just thought, *What the...*

"You sly dog, Hyde!" said Tony, still grinning wickedly. "I went to see you in your room, but instead I caught a peek at some hot chick coming to visit you!"

This was news to him. "What kind of woman was it?"

Tony described her as being petite and slender with blonde hair. Apparently she was stood outside his room about 30 minutes earlier, but she had run off as soon as Tony opened his mouth.

Hyde ran back to his room as if his life depended on it. A note had been stuck on his door. It read:

"Missed you. I'll drop in another time. Mila"

He sighed. She had finally come to visit him, but he had missed her.

*I haven't had such great luck this evening.*

He took the note off the door and went inside. He was about to call Rachel when he noticed the light on the answer phone. He had a message.

"You must deliver the Scarlet Star to whoever's responsible for Kathy's death. For information on the reward, check under table B in Lucky's Café at 7:00 pm today."

*I'm supposed to deliver it to whoever's responsible for Kathy's death? What the hell is this, some sort of joke?*

The pager started beeping again. He felt like it was shouting at him for not responding sooner.

He diverted his attention from the message and gave Rachel a call. He told her that Mila had come to his room but he'd missed her. Rachel was surprised to her that she'd been there. "She must've gone straight to your place after arriving in LA."

Rachel said that she was just heading out to meet Mila now and passed the phone over to Ed. It seemed that Ed was the one who had paged him for a change.

He explained that he had got in contact with a former colleague of his in the LAPD -- the same one who had phoned Hyde's mother to let her know that the case was being re-opened. He'd told him that the police department was planning a major crackdown on organised crime next year, and that part of it would involve digging up any major unsolved cases from the past. The LAPD believed that the death of Hyde's father was somehow connected with a crime syndicate.

When his father's body had been discovered in a downtown parking lot 25 years earlier, it had already been at least two days since his death, and the body had been moved there from another location. However, there were no witnesses nor any clues left behind as to the identity of the killer. By searching the bag that was found on the scene they had determined that the victim was Chris Hyde, a man with no criminal record.

However, Ed's superior at the time had told him not to investigate the case any further, deeming such a minor incident to be a waste of police time.

And then Ed told Hyde precisely who that superior was: Hugh Speck, the very same mayoral candidate who was spearheading this fight against organised crime.

"I can't believe that it may have had some sort of connection to Nile. In fact, that connection has only just become apparent to me."

This was news to Hyde as well. He hadn't considered that the crime syndicate the incident was connected to might be NIle.

The events that had taken place at Hotel Dusk almost exactly one year ago came floating back to him.

*Bradley... Dad...*

Changing the subject, Hyde told Ed that he had found out, in a manner of speaking at least, who he was supposed to deliver the item requested on that order sheet to.

"Yeah? Well, who's the lucky person?"

I'm supposed to hand it to whoever was responsible for the murder that happened here 13 years ago. Kathy McGrath's murder!"

Hyde could hear Ed gasp on the other end of the line. "They want you to deliver the item to the murderer in an unsolved case?"

"That's what it sounds like."

Ed felt uneasy about this. He was certain that the client wanted Hyde to do more than just find this missing item, that Hyde was supposed to uncover the truth of what happened in the apartment building in the past. Of course, they still only had a vague idea of who had made the request.

"I'll call you if I find out anything about Frank Raver." Ed said finally before putting the phone down.

allotted time, Hyde had been there instead.

Hyde could verify the last part. He had definitely met Frank on the fourth floor.

Frank hadn't ended up meeting Tony at all that night. But then Tony had come to his room the next day, asked him to forget all about the previous day's events and said that Hyde was the one who had the tape.

"That man's thought processes are quite the puzzle, Mr Hyde." said Frank, glaring at him with a dark scowl.

Hyde commented, reasonably enough, that if he wanted to know what Tony was thinking, he would have to ask the man himself. Then Hyde admitted that he had taken the liberty of listening to the tape. Frank's expression remained exactly as it was; he must have assumed this already.

Hyde poked and prodded as much as he could to find out why Frank was investigating the events of 13 years ago, but Frank cut him off with, "Well tough. It has nothing to do with you." THen he started muttering, as if the rest was more for his own benefit than Hyde's. "It seems you haven't been able to rid yourself of your acute detective senses. Once you get the scent, you have to act. I saw the change in your eyes when you heard. This sense is more a curse than a blessing."

Then, admonishing Hyde not to interfere with his investigations any further, Frank gave Hyde a photograph of a funeral and explained that it was the funeral of the first person on the scene after a certain incident had occurred. "Be sure to avoid making contact with the people you see in this picture," he added.

Frank spoke with such force as to be almost threatening. Nonetheless, Hyde asked him one last question that he'd remembered on the spur of the moment. "What can you tell me about Condor?"

"You mean to say you don't know what Condor is?" replied Frank with a patronising smirk. Then he simply hammered his point home one last time. "Leave my investigation alone. That's all I have to say."

Then he was gone, leaving Hyde with the photograph. Hyde stared down at it. He recognised the people in it; they were Marie Rivet and Rex Foster. What could link them with the events of 13 years ago? No matter how much he thought about it, he couldn't make a connection.

Whose funeral was this a photo of? Frank had said that it was the first person on the scene after a particular incident. He couldn't stop those words repeating in his head, but at this point it was impossible for him to tell who Frank had meant.

*Oh, look at the time.*

The answer phone message had demanded that he go to Lucky's Café at 7 o'clock, and he intended to comply.

He stepped out into the corridor. When he did so, he could hear a man's voice coming from room 203. "That dress looked good on you." There was a pause where he couldn't hear the response. Then a woman's voice replied, "I had a great time yesterday."

After the voices stopped, someone came out of the room. It was Betty, giggling as she said, "I'll see you soon!"

The one she was speaking to turned out to be Rex of all people. "I'll wait at the same shop as before," he replied.

Once Rex had left and was safely out of sight, Hyde approached Betty. "I'm a little curious about the guy who left your room just now."

Betty answered that his name was Rex, and that he was a regular customer at her store.

"Are you and he an item or something?" Hyde asked her.

They were, Betty confirmed.

Hyde couldn't hold back from giving her a warning. This man was dangerous.

"You don't have to worry about me, Mr Hyde. I know how to choose my men. Rex has a strong personality, isn't afraid to spend his cash and knows how to treat a lady." Her expression told of confidence in her own choices as a woman. "He may be rough around the edges, but he's lonely and is a sucker for the soft touch. Trust me, Mr Hyde, I know what I'm getting myself into. I could wrap him around my little finger, but there's no way he could do the same to me."

"Lonely and a sucker for the soft touch, eh? Doesn't that describe you, Betty?"

Betty went back into her room without dignifying that comment with a response.

Hyde got to the café at last and took a closer look at the table mentioned in that message.

There was indeed a letter stuck to the bottom of table B. He opened it and found a newspaper clipping and a note that appeared to have been written on an old typewriter.

The note read: "The reward

where roughly two days before, and that he was moved to the parking lot soon after being murdered."

Hyde hadn't expected this. It was clearly an article about his own father's death.

*So the sender of this letter is trying to say that if I locate the Scarlet Star, I'll also be able to close the case surrounding my dad's death.*

Looking closely at the typewritten letter, he noticed that the "t"s were slightly higher on the page than all the other letters.

Hyde spotted Claire and went over to her. He asked her who had sat at table B that day, and she told him that only Charles and Dylan had done so. Hyde made a beeline for room 305 to pay Charles a visit.

Hyde skipped the pleasantries and asked Charles straight away if he had stuck that envelope under the table in the café.

Charles denied having anything to do with it and took offence to Hyde's accusatory tone. "Do you have any reason to doubt what I'm telling you?"

Hyde recalled what Rex had said to him: "You really do talk like a detective, Kyle."

He scrambled to make up the ground he was quickly losing. "No, it's not that at all. But do you mind if I ask just one more question? I'd really like to know if you saw who was sat at the table before you got there."

"It was Dylan," Charles replied.

Hyde made his way towards room 304 to see Dylan, but he was distracted by Will, who happened to be leaving room 306 at that exact moment.

"Well hi there, Mr Hyde! This is the last place I'd expect to bump into you. What's someone from the second floor doing up here on the third?" Will spoke as if they had little chats like this all the time.

Wishing that Will would simply go away, Hyde laboriously explained that he needed to talk to one of the third floor residents.

"Tell me," Will replied, "it wouldn't be Dylan from 304 that you'd come to see, would it?" Will then proceeded to make an accusation that came as a complete surprise to Hyde. He said that Dylan's role as a repairman for Mags was all a pretense, and he was using that trusted position to spy on the other residents' comings and goings. "I'd advise you to keep well away from him if you know what's good for you."

Will left Hyde in a state of bewilderment and descended the staircase. Dylan appeared from his room almost instantly, which gave the distinct impression that he had been listening in on Hyde and Will's conversation.

Or trying to, at least. He seemed awfully curious to pry the details out of Hyde.

"Dylan," asked Hyde, "were you trying to eavesdrop again?"

Dylan didn't take kindly to this line of questioning, and moments later he retreated to his room, dumbstruck. But Hyde still had questions he needed to ask, so he persisted and called out to Dylan through the door. However, still being disagreeable, Dylan neither replied nor opened the door. Hyde shouted again. "Dammit, dylan!"

His loud voice prompted an appearance from Frank. "Will you kindly keep the noise down!" he complained, poking his head out of his door. "You're just being a nuisance to everyone!"

"I've got business to take care of with Dylan, but he refuses to open the door."

Dylan had evidently been listening in on this conversation as well, since he finally now came out of his room again. Dylan gave Frank the excuse that he simply couldn't hear that Hyde was there because his buzzer was broken, then took Hyde to his room.

"Why did you suddenly decide to open the door and let me in?" Hyde was too curious not to ask.

Dylan provided a direct answer: he knew that Frank was a former detective, and he didn't want to raise the man's suspicions.

Hyde asked Dylan again if he was the one who had stuck the envelope to the underside of that table.

"No, it was there before I sat down," he said.

Showing an interest in the question itself, Dylan pressed for answers of his own. "Mr Hyde, why are you so curious to find out who put that letter there What's so important about the letter?"

But when Hyde played it down and said it was nothing to worry about, Dylan let slip an intriguing tidbit.

"I'm trying to say, did you receive a threatening letter as well?"


Hyde vaguely remembered thinking that somebody might have been in that position, but he couldn't put his finger on it. "Who's being threatened?"

And seeing the determination in Hyde's eyes, Dylan resigned himself and began to speak.

With a smug look about him, Dylan commented that he knew about plenty of the secrets in Mags's past. He insisted, however, that he had not sent Hyde any letters.

*Mags's secrets, huh?*

Threats, the past, secrets. In contrast to Hyde, Dylan spoke as if he thought this was all good fun.

"I'll tell you about Mrs Patrice's secrets," Dylan said, "On one condition though. You share with me what was in that letter you found."

"I'll think about it," said Hyde, dismissing Dylan's