“Gloria, I have some things I need to talk to you about, and I really need you to be honest with me.”
“Ok, Emma.” She pointed at a table that was hidden in the back of the restaurant. “Follow me.” They got situated, and each ordered something to drink before conversing. Finally they were truly alone, and Gloria was all ears.
“Please tell me about the days leading up to my birth. I want to know who Mickey is. He visited me again this morning, and Gloria, he is very real. He’s staying at the hotel.”
“Well, I’m not the one to get the most information from, Emma, but I’ll try. Let’s see, I arrived at Wind River with Ben that year. I was only planning on staying for a few days, but things changed when I learned that Mr. Templeton was planning on taking control of Sticks to turn it into a luxury hotel. Quinton was the owner of Sticks then, that is, he and Katie.” Gloria searched her brain, trying to remember when Mickey showed up. “I believe that Mickey was staying at Sticks even when Ben and I arrived, but I didn’t see him for months. He kept himself out of the lime light for some time. Maybe he saw Ben more, but I wouldn’t know about that. Oh, wait. I do remember when he started showing up in public, it was the street play. Katie came up with the idea of a street play and Mickey played the main character. Yes, that’s it. During that time, he was around a lot. Katie and Mori really fell for his charm, so they let him play a John Wayne type sheriff. It was during that time that he and Ben went out fishing a lot. I’d see them sitting in front of Ben’s little trailer down by the river, and I swear, I saw them fighting a lot. I mean, they seemed angry with each other, but no physical stuff. I couldn’t tell you what they were saying. Oh, and when Christmas came that year, Mickey was part of the group that scammed Quinton.” Her thoughts drifted for a moment, “It damn near killed Quinton, but he deserved it. I wasn’t there. I had already married Templeton, and Mori couldn’t stand me, but it was a Christmas Eve party they had at the bar. Just the six of them, Mickey being one of them. They exchanged presents that night, Ben had held back his present to Quinton until last. It was a quit claim deed for him to sign the business over to Katie. You knew that she was part owner from the beginning, but this made her sole owner, and left Quinton a sorry mess.”
“I never heard this part of the story, why would he sign such a thing?”
They had something on him, Emma. I don’t know what it was, but I can assure you, it must have been big. Quinton wasn’t exactly a good person, so it could have been any of a dozen or so things.” She put her head down for a moment, and when she looked up, there was a tear running down her face. “Quinton is the one who murdered my husband.
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