Are you ok, Mrs. Davenport?”
“Good evening, Mrs. Davenport,” Blackfoot said through the locked screen door.
The fact she hadn’t immediately invited him in after answering her front door spoke volumes. Trina was inside he was sure but he said nothing.
“I don’t know how good it is, Detective Blackfoot, but I guess I’ll have to take it,” Mrs. Davenport said emphasizing his new title.
“By the way, congratulations on the promotion,” she said her dark eyes inspecting him from head to toe.
Blackfoot ducked his head, “thank you ma’am.“ Mrs. Davenport nodded.
“So you getting too big for my diner these days,” she said. “I haven’t seen you at my counter in a while.”
“No ma’am, I’ve just been busy, but I plan to remedy that real soon,” Blackfoot said. “Can’t anyone make turkey pot pie like you, that’s for sure.”
Mrs. Davenport smiled, but Blackfoot didn’t let himself relax. Regardless of their history, he was here on business and knew better than to get too familiar with her.
“So what do I owe this visit to,” she said her dark brown eyes locked on his.
With the obligatory pleasantries out the way, Blackfoot knew now the real dance began. She was a true Southern woman, not too be sweet talked, but he wasn’t going to leave without talking to Trina this time. He just had to convince Mrs. Davenport.
Everyone knew of the rocky history the elder woman had with her two daughters, but regardless Blackfoot also knew how loyal Mrs. Davenport was to her girls. She was a strict disciplinarian but she’d closed ranks around them before, and he wouldn’t doubt she’d do it again.
However, this time Blackfoot believed her daughter had gotten into some hot water even Mrs. Davenport might not be able to cool down. He just had to get her to see that.
“I’m sorry to say I’m primarily here on business,” Blackfoot said allowing his face to soften but remained alert.
“Primarily,” she said.
“Well, you know I’m always happy to see you,” Blackfoot couldn’t help but laugh when the older woman rolled her eyes glad to hear her laugh with him. “You heard about what happened at the bookstore yesterday?”
Blackfoot watched the older woman’s face for a reaction, but there was none. Either Mrs. Davenport had an excellent poker face, or Trina hadn’t told her yet.
He wasn’t surprised by that, but he was shocked that no one at the diner had passed on the information.
It was a small town after all and gossip even of the garden variety got passed around like lightning. She shook her head, and whether she knew or didn’t know her face didn’t tell it.
“Why don’t you refresh my memory, son,” Mrs. Davenport said with shrewd eyes. Blackfoot cleared his throat choosing his words carefully.
“Well I was hoping to talk to Trina. I think she might be in some trouble.”
“When is that girl not in trouble,” Mrs. Davenport said dryly. T
“Well, she was mugged, but it seems that someone took a shot at her before that.” Blackfoot watched the older woman’s face carefully looking for any cracks, and he finally got one.
“Shot?” the older woman said one arm reaching for the door frame. Blackfoot reached for the door, but dropped his hand when he remembered it was still locked.
“Are you alright Mrs. Davenport?” She took a couple of deep breaths before speaking again.
“Lord, what that girl done gotten into now,” she said. Her exhale lead to a coughing spell that was so violent it made Blackfoot’s chest hurt in sympathy. When she quieted down, she flipped the switch on the door and waved for Blackfoot to enter.
“I don’t know what’s going on just yet, that’s what I was hoping she might be able to help us out with,” Blackfoot said once the older woman was breathing more easily.
“She might be in real trouble this time. At the very least I need a statement about the incident,” Blackfoot said hoping Mrs. Davenport would see the importance of his speaking to her daughter.
“Have you heard from her, seen her,” Blackfoot said the concern in his voice genuine, but he knew the answer already.
“I’ll get us something to drink,” she said over her shoulder as she walked towards the back of the house.
The Davenport house was one of the oldest ones on the block, but the family had kept it well maintained. Blackfoot believed it was one of the reasons the street remained in such good condition. No one wanted to have Mrs. Davenport knocking on their door with an admonishment about a poorly maintained yard which she’d been known to do. She could have moved out to one of the newer subdivisions years ago, but she hadn’t. Choosing to remain in the same house she’d raised her daughters in.
Blackfoot followed the woman into the warm, brightly lit kitchen. He noticed the expensive furniture and neatly decorated rooms he passed. Her home was as impeccable as he remembered it. She’d redecorated since he’d last visited, but the vibe was still the same. It reminded him a lot of his grandparent’s home when they were alive.
Comfortable and warm with oversized furniture that could have been brand new or as old as he was. Either way it made him want to sit down and stay for a while.
“Hey there Blackfoot,” Leena said walking through the kitchen with Zuri trailing behind her. Blackfoot spoke to both of them, but when they kept walking, he turned his attention back to Mrs. Davenport.
He knew better than to waste his time. They weren’t going to say any more than what Mrs. Davenport allowed them to say anyways. To try would just piss her off, so he sat down. He grinned when the older woman set a piece of red velvet cake in front of him.
“Oh you didn’t have to,” Blackfoot started, but the words died on his lips with one look from Mrs. Davenport.
Her look was kind, but he knew it would be rude to refuse the offering. Besides it was his favorite as he was sure she still remembered from his patrol days. Back then he spent almost every lunch break he could in her restaurant.
The only difference now was he wasn’t patrolling any more. His waistband couldn’t afford to eat at Davenport’s the way he had when he was younger.
He picked up the heavy fork she placed next to his plate on a paper napkin. Blackfoot took a big bite before he spoke again.
“Just as I remembered,” Blackfoot said licking the thick white frosting off his lips.
“So Trina was at the bookstore you say. Yesterday? My Trina?”
“And she was mugged, you say?”
“Yes ma’am,” refusing to let her “you say” get to him. He had an entire store of witnesses to back what he said, but he kept it to himself.
“Well, if she was mugged then why you here asking about her. Shouldn’t you be out trying to catch the folks who did it?” Blackfoot took another bite of his cake trying not to let his temper get the best of him.
Her interrogation abilities were good, but his were pretty good too.
“Yes ma’am,” he said finishing his last bite. He pushed the plate away to give her his full attention. “Her attackers,” he said, “are in custody already. But your daughter had some injuries,” Blackfoot emphasized, “that caused her to be admitted to the hospital last night.”
“The hospital?” Mrs. Davenport said. The shock on her face was genuine. “Oh sweet Jesus.”
“Yes, ma’am. She was admitted last night, but before I could question her this morning she left. She left the hospital against the doctor’s orders- which she’s within her right to do, but according to the doctor prior to her being mugged your daughter was shot. She suffered a head injury.”
“Oh my God,” Mrs. Davenport said one hand rising to cover her mouth.
“Yes ma’am,” Blackfoot said as it became clearer that the woman really had no clue as to her daughter’s current situation.
He couldn’t help but feel sympathetic to her situation, but he had no choice but to ask her again, “have you heard or seen from your daughter in the past few days?” He watched the woman for a reaction, unsure of what he was looking for, but the older woman gave away nothing.
“No, no I haven’t,” she said before dropping her hands to her side. Her eyes never wavered from Blackfoot’s. “We didn’t even know she was in town.”
“When was the last time you heard from your daughter?”
“Goodness, I’m not sure,” Mrs. Davenport said pushing away from the counter.
“It’s been at least a month, I think Mama,” Leena said walking back into the kitchen to stand next to Blackfoot.
She grabbed an apple from the bowl glancing at Blackfoot as she wiped it off. He’d known her since she was a little girl, but he couldn’t say he knew anything about her now other than she couldn’t stand Trina.
The two had notorious fights at home and in public, one time he could remember the police had been called. Still it was just as he suspected. Regardless of how they felt about each other, the Davenports were not a family that would turn on one another. Blackfoot respected that, but it didn’t make his job any easier. He looked between the two women nodding as he stood.
He’d gotten his answer. He was disappointed by it, but it wasn’t like he could force them to tell the truth. Liza could be less than twenty feet from him, but unless he had a warrant, and the police chief’s okay he couldn’t do anything about it. He dug in his pocket and pulled out his card holder handing a card to Mrs. Davenport.
“Well, I’ll be following up with you if I hear anything, but please feel free to give me a call if you hear from Trina. We’d really like to talk with her.”
After excusing himself, Blackfoot walked out the front door to his car and climbed in. The temperature was dropping, but it wasn’t what had him chilled to the bone. He was certain Trina was inside. but the Davenports had shut him down. He didn’t know what mess Trina had gotten herself into, but apparently her family was sticking by her.
All he could do was follow-up on a couple of leads he had until the Davenports were ready to talk. He just hoped they did so before it was too late to save Trina from whatever mess she’d gotten herself into.