This morning I slept in late and am pouring my first cup of coffee. I’ll be taking my netbook down to the recreation room, and will be writing on my cozy mystery.
So my brain is not working in post mode this morning. So here is an excerpt of the cozy mystery I am writing:
My heels clip-clopped on the sidewalk as I followed the blue line that marked the Kit Carson self-guided tour through Carson City. My clients followed behind me at a leisurely pace. If they wanted to see the historical district, then I would show them the historical district at my speed. An hour’s walk would take oh, fifteen minutes at this rate. I could hear him panting behind me. His wife and children were several paces behind.
“Miss, miss,” he panted. I kept walking. “Ms. Wright,” he said a little louder. “Karen,” he yelled.
I stopped and turned. Mr. Beasly, Mike, I corrected myself, the man wanted to be called by his first name, was leaned over taking deep breaths. His face was read from exertion. I could see that his small family was almost two blocks behind us.
I was in professional dress, navy-blue jacket, white blouse, pencil skirt and heels. His family was in shorts, T-shirts, and running shoes. I shouldn’t have been able to out-walk the four of them.
“Yes,” I tried to be calm, professional, even a little sweet even though I just wanted to tell them to take a hike. After all I was the real estate agent, and I was supposed to be showing them the scenic area so that they would be willing to buy the Bliss Mansion.
It would be a great commission for me and also kudos for the person who could sell that historical site. It had been on the market for years now since the housing market took a dive. I needed that money to keep my business running and food on the table.
“Could you slow down,” Mike asked. Good, I was remembering his name. I hadn’t lost all of my people skills.
I gave him a smile that made him jerk just a little. I toned it down.
“Maybe you should get a private tour guide from the Ghostwalk people,” I said, doing my best to sound sympathetic. “I know they show a few of the major houses like the Ferris mansion. They are the ones who were in the Ferris wheel business. Or you could dial that number I gave you.”
“We like the personal touch, miss,” Mike was getting his breath back. “Plus haven’t you lived here all your life?”
Okay, I wanted to hit the guy. It was a sore spot for me. I had wanted to travel, have the good life, and live in a historical mansion of my own. Had it worked out for me so far? If I said no, would you be surprised?
I cut off my rant in my mind and to the customer. This one would buy the Bliss Mansion if I had to tie him to the place and set it on fire. I answered Mike, “Yes, I lived here most of my life.” I pointed to the next block. “We are almost there,” I said. I hoped Mary Davis, our resident historical enactor, would be ready for these live firecrackers.
The Bliss Mansion, built with millionaire Duane Bliss’s money from lumber and railroad commerce, was a three story building across from the Governor’s mansion in Carson City, Nevada. It had been converted into a bed and breakfast with five guest suites and a private bath in each suite. It had been a prestigious home in its day. Even now, the owners kept it in excellent shape for a Victorian home in a city that’s biggest economy was government.
I stopped in front of the house, admiring the lawn and fountain, the long porch, and lilacs. The place was worth two million dollars more or less. I looked back at Mr. Beasley, his wife, and children. How could this man come up with the down payment to such a property? Maybe I was a little hasty in thinking that this man had the resources to buy it.
I looked at him with a jaundiced eye. His clothes were from a Wal-Mart line. His most expensive piece of clothing was his shoes. They were those running shoes that were supposed to float as you ran on them or some such nonsense.
His wife had a huge purse, but it wasn’t one of those designer brands. I would expect someone with a lot of disposable cash to have something designer on them. At the very least a Rolex watch. I shrugged. Even the smallest California home could go for thousands of dollars. Add some property to the cracker box house and they could have sold their previous home for a million more or less.
Or they could be lottery winners. If I won the lottery, I would buy a huge house, an RV, and maybe some better clothes. My clothes were serviceable and did look good for the job. My main indulgence was the high heels that almost looked like I bought at a high-end store.