Unlike a lot of other places in Munsterville, Revolutionary Medicines closed at ten on Sundays. It had been a few hours since DeMarte had first talked to Virgil Clapp but as the owner of the business, he was sure the man was still there. He wanted to have another chat. Whatever the man was hiding needed to come out.
DeMarte parked in the lot in front of the shop, the brightly lit front door calling to him like he was a moth.
The bell above the door jingled when DeMarte opened it and like a retail magic trick, a young man appeared from a backroom. He stopped when he saw DeMarte, looking him up and down with suspicion.
“Can I help you?” he asked.
DeMarte noted the less than friendly tone.
“I’m Detective DeMarte. I’m looking for Virgil Clapp or Revolution Dude as he’s called now.”
“Dude,” the young man hollered, not taking his eyes off DeMarte. “You got a visitor.”
Revolution Dude came out of the backroom, glaring as soon as he saw DeMarte.
“Can I help you?” he asked as he walked behind the counter to stand next to his employee.
“Friendly staff you have here,” DeMarte said, indicating to the man with the stone face.
“Never had any complaints about Burt,” Revolution Dude said.
“I bet not.”
“What do you need, Detective?” Revolution Dude asked. “Another one of my cousins dead?”
“Should they be?”
“We’re all getting up there.”
The two men had a momentary stare down. DeMarte just smiled. He loved these kinds of challenges.
“I came back to ask you a few clarifying questions about your cousin,” DeMarte said, approaching the counter casually.
DeMarte appreciated this little cat and mouse that ol’ Virgil was trying to do, but it really wasn’t fair for the man to be playing with an expert.
“How about both of them?” DeMarte said.
Revolution Dude stared at the detective for a second and then looked at Burt.
“Go ahead and take off for the night, Burt,” he said. “I can handle the last few hours alone. Aurora Dream will be here in the morning to open.”
“Right,” Burt said.
He moved out from behind the counter, glaring at Detective DeMarte for the duration of his walk to the front door. The bell over the door tinkled a jolly notice of his less-than-jolly exit.
“Is there a reason why you’re pestering me about my cousins?” Revolution Dude asked, getting DeMarte’s attention. He turned to him with his patented, pleasant smile.
“There is always a reason why I ask questions. I’m a detective. That’s what I do.”
“I see you didn’t bring your other detective with you.”
“He’s working other leads.”
Mr. Dude snorted. “I bet.”
The temperature of the shop rose a degree or two in the moment of heated silence.
“What are you not telling me about your cousins?” DeMarte asked.
“Who said I’m not telling you something about my cousins?”
“You are.” DeMarte smirked. “I could tell by the way you answered a few of the questions I asked this afternoon. You were a little too quick with your denials.”
“So? I don’t need to think about a question I know the answer to.”
“No?” DeMarte chuckled. “It’s funny how the questions you knew the answers to so quickly involved both Mr. Gorski and Mr. McKinney.”
Revolution Dude said nothing.
“Now, here’s what I think,” DeMarte said, taking a little stroll around the shop as he spoke. It really was a marvel of the sixties. The shelves were lined with all sorts of essential oils and other such natural medicines. DeMarte wondered if any of them could be used in a nefarious way. Maybe Mr. McKinney fell over because he was poisoned. “I think that something transpired between you and your other two cousins. Something that you don’t think is anyone else’s business, but maybe it is. Something you don’t want anyone else to know. Definitely not me.” DeMarte indicated to himself and smiled. “It may not be something illegal. It may not have anything to do with Lister McKinney ending up dead in his garage. But I bet it does. And that means it’s something I need to know.”
DeMarte ceased his strolling, ending up nearly opposite the former Virgil Clapp at the other side of the small shop. Revolution Dude looked at him for a solid minute, staring hard at him. But DeMarte was a professional. He wasn’t going to break the gaze; he wasn’t going to break under the gaze.
“Both you and Otis Gorski said that you both went to Lister McKinney’s house back in February. Now, from what I’ve gathered talking to both of you, this isn’t the sort of thing that happens very often. It must have been a special occasion. So, what was it? What was so important that the cousins had to get together to discuss it?”
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