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She started walking ahead, leading him past the stables.

The old family graveyard had the right aura. There were several vaults dedicated to the family, and there were plots with large angels and obelisks, memorials to other family members.

“A lot of people found a last resting place here,” Tyler commented.

“They often had big families back then. Sophia and Tobias Dandridge had seven children, and those children went off and had more children, and that was over two hundred years ago, so…”

A small brick wall, about three feet high, surrounded the burying ground. There was a little picket fence at the entry, and stones had been laid out as walkways.

“I take it you’re looking for Lucy first?” Allison asked Tyler.

“Yes, I’d like to see her grave. But I’m guessing it’s in the chapellike vault over there—center, toward the rear. The one that says Tarleton.”

“Yes, she’s in there. Lucy, her father, her mother, her father’s parents, one aunt who never married and an uncle who’d been an Episcopal priest,” Allison told him. “A few of the family who came before Angus are there, too, but the vault was constructed while the Revolution was being waged, so the others were reentombed. At least I assume so.”

They skirted angels and cherubs and two smaller vaults to reach the largest and finest of the vaults, which was guarded by a metal gate and a wooden door. Allison thought Tyler was surprised when she pulled open the gate.

“It’s not locked?”

“No. It’s actually a nice little chapel, as well. It has an altar, a few benches and a stained-glass window in back. Lucy’s uncle James is buried under the altar. There’s a pretty monument to her aunt Cecilia toward the front, and we believe she’s buried there. You’ll see monuments on the other walls, and those are to Angus’s parents and a few other family members. And Lucy, Angus and Susannah—Lucy’s mother—are in marble tombs just behind the altar, beneath the stained-glass window. They’re really striking—reminiscent of Renaissance tombs.”

Allison wasn’t sure why, but when she entered the vault, she bypassed the old stone benches and walked around the altar to come to the middle of the tombs at the rear. Light was streaming through the cut-glass windows high above, casting dancing rays upon the effigies of the three Tarleton family members.

Lucy was in the middle. Sculpted out of marble, she seemed beautifully at peace. Her long hair crowned her head and face; she held a bouquet of flowers in her hands. Her mother’s tomb was similar—flowers seemed to be the object of choice for the sculptor when it came to women—while Angus was holding a book.

“Wow, impressive tombs. They must be the only ones like this in the city.”

“I haven’t seen many like them. Seriously, they look as if they belong in Notre Dame or Westminster Abbey.”

“Exceptionally fine.”

“Were you expecting to find Lucy rotting away in a shroud, entombed in a wall?” Allison asked him, a note of teasing reproach in her voice.

“Honestly? Yes. Not that it really matters what becomes of the body once we’re gone. Unless, of course, you do remain behind and have to watch,” he said thoughtfully. “Has she ever been disinterred?”

“Goodness, no! That would be akin to blasphemy.”

“I’m just curious. We take for granted that the history that came down to us was true—that Lord Bradley killed her.”

“So far, there hasn’t been much reason to doubt it. From all accounts, the Tarleton family was a loving one. The history comes from Sophia and her husband, Tobias Dandridge. They loved Lucy, they were patriots—and there was no reason for them to lie about what happened,” Allison said. “We might not have completely firm and unimpeachable evidence, but I’ve always believed their version. I’m not sure why you think it’s a lie.”

“I’m not saying that. I’m just questioning the telling of this particular tale.”


“For one thing, the paintings of Lord Brian Bradley. They’re so different.”

“Two different artists.”

Tyler shrugged. “Speaking of different artists—where is Tobias Dandridge?”

Allison told him, “Outside, to your right facing the house. It’s a pretty little vault, too, but more like you’d expect. It’s a typical small mausoleum.”

They went outside the Dandridge vault and followed a little pebbled path around the graveyard’s various sections. Allison always found it sad to see the Colonial- and Victorian-era markers for children. So many died so young.

The Dandridge vault had a bronze plaque above it that trumpeted the family name. It was about the same size as the Tarleton vault, but the rows of etched markers outside announced many more names.

“Lots more Dandridges,” Tyler said.

“Well, the Tarleton family name died out with Angus,” Allison reminded him.

They didn’t enter the tomb; here the gate and door were locked. There was nothing for tourists to see.

“Back there. I’ll show you where Robert the dog is buried,” Allison told him.

There were a number of markers for pets. One of them, recently imbedded, was dedicated to Bibi the cat.

“She was here when I was a teenager,” Allison said. “The guides fed her. Everyone loved her. And here, just a few feet away—there’s Robert.”

A very handsome stone statue of a dog had been carved to sit atop the grave. The hound must have been close to two hundred pounds.

“He must have been something to wrestle with,” Tyler commented.

“I imagine that’s why he was killed.”

“Was he shot, stabbed—taken down with a rifle butt or a bayonet?” Tyler asked.

“I don’t know. You can read the memorial stone—we have a group from the university that comes out to clean and repair these all the time. It says, ‘Robert, a fine patriot who died in defense of his beloved mistress, Lucy Tarleton.’”

Tyler paused to read the memorial and then he looked up at her.

“Do you ever feel Lucy out here, or any of the family? Anything, like even the brush of a cold nose against your fingers?”

“No,” she said a little harshly. Had she ever felt such a thing? She wasn’t sure.

She’d never believed in ghosts before. If she had felt something, she would’ve thought that the chill of winter was coming on....

“No,” she repeated, suddenly eager to leave the graveyard. “Well, let’s go back to the house. It is heading toward fall, you know. It’s getting cool.”

“You’re welcome to my jacket,” he said, starting to shed it.

“Thanks. But let’s just go back.”

She walked ahead of him, hurrying toward the house. As she neared it, she glanced up—and nearly tripped.

She caught herself. And froze.

There was someone upstairs, looking out Lucy’s window. Allison told herself that it might be Jane. Or maybe Kelsey had returned.

But she knew better; she’d seen the image on screen.

It was frighteningly like looking in a mirror.

For a moment, it seemed as if Lucy Tarleton had defied the ages and stared down at her, sadness and yearning on her face.

And then she faded as if she’d never been, and Allison wondered again what might be real to a sixth sense or on a different dimension, and what might be a trick of her tortured mind.

“What is it?” Tyler asked her.

“Nothing,” she said. But as she entered the house, she felt something touch her fingers.

Like the cold, wet nose of a very large dog.


Tyler realized that Allison had hung back, but when he reached the foyer and the bank of screens again, she was right behind him.

“Where is everyone?” he asked Sean.

“Logan has gone off with Kelsey to continue searching through old records, and Kat’s at the morgue. Jane is still working in the salon.”

“We’re going up to the attic,” Tyler said. “I could be wrong. But I believe there’s something in the research papers—or maybe in papers that were stolen—that may be the clue to all this.”

Sean nodded.

Allison touched Tyler’s arm. “Should we go to the morgue first?” she asked him.

Tyler hesitated. “Can you take it?”

She looked at him with clear, level eyes. “I can take anything, I think.”

He raised his brows.

She shrugged with a half smile. “A ghost, phantoms on a screen…what’s one more ghost?” she asked dryly.

“All right—if you’re sure that’s what you want to do.”

“I’m sure. I knew Sarah best.”

“The autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow,” Sean told them. “Logan was hoping that—”

“He was hoping that Sarah remained behind,” Allison said. “Right? And that’s the thing. She may speak to me where she wouldn’t speak to others.”

“Fine. We’ll go,” Tyler said.

To his surprise, Allison seemed calm and rational during their drive.

The morgue was a comprehensive and up-to-date facility. As they walked to the entry, he saw that she’d turned a little pale.

“You’re sure you’re all right to do this?” he asked.

She offered him a weak smile. “I’ve never been here. This is my city, and in all these years, I’ve never been here.”

“Not many people make a habit of hanging out at the medical examiner’s offices,” he said.

As they continued into the building, Tyler called Jane. She told him not to worry. Adam Harrison had greased the wheels and there’d be no difficulty getting them in.

The medical pathologist who’d been given Julian Mitchell’s case was also on Sarah’s; that had been arranged by Adam. Her name was Dr. Ana Grant, and she came with Kat to meet them in the vestibule. Slim with short graying hair and an easy manner, she spoke in a well-modulated voice that held empathy as well as professionalism.