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“I understand this is a very hard time for you, Mrs. Ellis. I’d like to help you. Would a retainer of $100 be all right? I know you haven’t had any income since your ex-husband left you last year.”

“You might want to read my notes from earlier first,” Della interrupted, extending her steno pad.

She’s lying about her finances, it said. Her nails are freshly manicured and hemlines that long only came in this spring. Perhaps she’s lying about her husband as well?

“Will you excuse me for a minute, Mrs. Ellis? I need to consult with my secretary.”