Fifth Bit

A bit about Miss Dreyfus, a reporter

Til’s conversation with Mr. Gaines halted because the door at the top of the stairs crashed open, and a woman came out, rather rushed. “Don’t worry, I have all I need to get started,” she said.

“Miss Dreyfus, if you write that story it will impede our investigations…” a man said, following her out onto the stair.

“Impede what? Impede your vigilantism and your despotic control of information?” Miss Dreyfus shouted over her shoulder. Her dark hair shook in its curls under a crimson hat. “People have a right to know what to fear in their city.”

“Miss Dreyfus,” the man began, but without much left of his will to stop her.

Hurrying across the waiting room, Miss Dreyfus caught sight of Til. He stood up, when the door had opened, in case it was Mr. Moncrieffe coming to fetch him. Now Til stood, feeling a bit windswept, and meeting the sharp look that Miss Dreyfus threw at him.

Miss Dreyfus seemed ready to ignore Til. Which would not, Til had to admit, have upset him too much. She had the whirling force of a building collapsing, and something of that appeal to Til.

Something seemed to occur to her, and she paused next to Til. “What is your name, sir?” she asked.

“Riggins,” Til said.

“Mr. Riggins, I hope that you do not have any interest in the truth,” Miss Dreyfus said. “It has no welcome place here.”

With that and a last glare at the person who had followed her from upstairs, Miss Dreyfus whirled her collapse out of the front door.

Feeling rather spent, Til sat down in the chair behind himself again. He felt a need to catch his breath.

“Congratulations, Mr. Riggins,” Mr. Gaines said. “You have met one of this city’s great women. May you have the strength to persevere.”



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