After the Tampa Tribune hit town, spreading the news about Daniel's disappearance, Becca hurried downstairs and found her grandmother in the kitchen. Becca wanted to know what she thought about the article.
Natalie picked up the paper. "They don't have much to go on." She brushed a wisp of hair from her forehead. "The dock master thinks the boat took off sometime the morning after Daniel disappeared." She folded the newspaper. "But he can't be sure."
"They radioed it?"
"Couldn't reach it."
"Still, it's a chance."
Natalie shook her head. "It's nonsense." She clicked her fingernails against the counter tiles.
"Right, his Queen's Party." Becca plucked a grape from the bunch and rolled it in her palm. Each year, the new queen was elected by the krewe members. This year, it was Melanie Peebles. She'd just turned twenty-two and was a recent graduate from Florida State University. Becca plopped the grape into her mouth and chewed it thoughtfully. "But what do the police think?" she asked.
Natalie slid off the stool. "Well, Chief Salazar was here first thing this morning." She wobbled to the fridge. "Said he had a few leads to check out."
Natalie whirled around. "Where'd you hear that?"
Becca pointed to the Taylors' house.
"What does that Yankee Doodle know?" she huffed. "I told her it was blanks." Natalie grabbed a carton of eggs from the fridge and set them on the counter. She cracked two eggs into a bowl, grumbling all along. "Daniel was just cleaning it, for mercy's sake. What's wrong with that?" Then she muttered something under her breath.
Natalie looked up, startled. "Scrambled or over easy?"
"Scrambled," Becca said. "I can make them."
"Oh no! Eat your fruit." Natalie whisked the eggs, her face growing redder with every beat. She zeroed in on Becca. "How'd you get so skinny anyway?" she prodded. "You don't have that starving disease, do you? I hear it's epidemic among singers and movie stars."
Becca hugged her bare arms across her middle. If Nattie only knew. "I'm not a star," she said. "In fact, I lost my job. I need to borrow some money."
Why was Natalie so upset when she knew Becca had overheard the next door neighbor, Ruby Taylor, talking about the gunshots she'd heard blasting from the Westcott Mansion two nights before the Queen's Party? What was she trying to hide?