I was on my third spoonful of the leftover chowder when the video call came in. Ira and Jen had set me up with the tech, so I took it on my laptop. Kate’s face appeared, though it kept bouncing because she was walking around.
“I see you,” I said.
“Yeah, I can see—are you eating the leftover clam chowder?”
“Yep. Good stuff. Thanks.”
“This is so unfair. You’re eating the food I hauled all the way from Boston, and I’m . . . here!” She turned the phone around to show me the icy rocks of South Dakota’s badlands in winter.
“You definitely didn’t pay me enough to endure that.”
“Whatever. So what am I looking for?”
“Why do you people think that I just have all the answers? I have no idea what you’re looking for. The thing that’s odd or different. You’re at the exact place he was when he got whammied?”
She swung the camera back to her face. “More or less, I think?”
I sighed. “The answer would be no, then. Get to the exact spot. Look around. Especially look under that snow and ice.” I ate another spoonful of chowder.
“Does it look like I packed a snow shovel?”
I didn’t look. I just blew on another spoonful of chowder. “No, but I bet with those fancy wind powers you could make like a good snow blower.”
“All right, yes, I could do that. Fine. I’ll call back, soon.”
“Take your time, I don’t want the chowder to get cold.”