“Noye sent me. He said you had his key. He wants me to take care of his cat.”
“You mean Abner?”
“That’s right.” Something was bothering me. “Listen, do you think it’s safe to let the little girl answer the door by herself and leave it wide open for a stranger?”
“Abner said it was a safe neighborhood.”
“He told me he was in jail.”
“A misunderstanding. Soon to be cleared up.”
She went off to get the key, again leaving the door wide open. It gave the girl plenty of time to stare.
“How do I know he sent you here?” she said when she came back with the key.
“So you leave your door wide open but you’re worried about Noye’s key.”
“I just don’t want to make a mistake.”
“Have any other friends come by asking about cats?”
“There you go.” I took real notice of her for the first time. Tall, slender, with a horsy kind of face. She looked so familiar I asked her name.
I nodded. “Abigail, Abner,” I said. “You’re Noye’s sister.”
“I thought you lived in Colorado.”
“We moved here a couple of months ago.”
“Noye didn’t tell me,” I said. “Don’t you want to take care of the cat?”
“I’m so allergic I can’t even go in his apartment.”
“Maybe that’s why he got them. Wants to keep you close, but not too close.”
“You know him well,” she said.
“I have some experience in keeping my distance.”
The next time I went to feed the cat, Abigail was on the roof.
“What are you doing?” I said.
“Adjusting the satellite dish. Tell me how the picture is.”
I looked in the door at the television.
“Fuzzy,” I said. “How did you get up there? I don’t see a ladder.”
“How about now?”
“Perfect. How are you going to get down?”
She walked to the edge of the roof, sat, and dropped lightly to the