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"Mr. Fernandez, what are you leading up to?" asked Rebecca.

"I was hoping you could tell me," smiled Jose.

"There's no big mystery, really," stammered Rebecca, "I quit for personal reasons. I was hoping to save it as a surprise; my parents don't know about it yet." Mr. Newton dropped the newspaper to the floor.

"Mother!" he called, "Rebecca has news for us!" There was no need for him to call her, for Mrs. Newton had been listening to the interview from the kitchen and was already standing beside her husband.

"Go on, Love. What news?" coaxed Mrs. Newton.

"Mom and Dad," Rebecca nervously began, "I'm going to have a baby. I'm going to have Peter's baby." Mrs. Newton broke into tears and hugged her daughter. Mr. Newton walked over to the fireplace and picked up the framed picture that had a loving preeminence on the mantle. Jose disappointedly turned off the tape recorder. This was a dead end. Rebecca saw the picture in her father's hands and broke out into uncontrollable sobs. Mrs. Newton hugged Rebecca tightly.

"I don't understand," asked Jose, turning to Mr. Newton, "isn't she happy?" Mr. Newton wiped the tears from his eyes.

"It's a bittersweet moment. Peter died last month in a car accident," Mr. Newton said, pointing to the picture in his other hand.

"Peter? Who was Peter?" asked Jose, forgetting to extend sympathy or condolence.

"Why, Peter was our son and Rebecca's husband," answered Mr. Newton, indignantly. Jose patted the pockets of his jacket, searching for a notepad. "Peter was such a happy person," continued Mr. Newton, "he could light up a room with his smile." Jose scribbled something down on the note pad and tore off the page.

"Mr. Newton," I would like to ask your daughter-in-law a few more questions, when she feels up to it." Jose handed him the note. "That's my telephone number. Please see that she gets it?" Mr. Newton took the note and nodded. Jose showed himself to the door and got into his car. Something in his gut told him Rebecca was hiding something. But what? He opened the manilla envelope tucked under his seat. All the research he had done for the past three months had been stuffed into it, including a cassette tape. Jose listened to the tape again. The cassette contained a recording of the anonymous phone call that had kicked off his investigation, over three months before.
end of chapter
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