McDonald’s smile was a bit askew, as if he weren’t sure whether I was naive or up to something.
“It’s the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department Water Patrol,” he said. “No, they won’t bother you. Plenty of people go camping on their boats. Just remember to make sure you mount a white light that’s visible from any direction between sunset and sunrise.”
I pulled up a map of Lake Minnetonka on my smartphone. It was so damn big with so many miles of unbroken shoreline and so many places for a man to conceal a boat, not to mention just anchoring in the middle of a bay or inlet somewhere, hiding in plain sight. I didn’t even know where to begin looking for Navarre, although I figured it might actually be easier to sneak up on him after dark when I could concentrate my search on any white lights I saw flickering across the water. That would require a boat, though, and a pilot who knew the lake, because if I could get lost just trying to drive around it …
’Course, Navarre might also be moored in a slip at one of the many marinas, paying dockage fees for the day while he recharged his batteries and took on fresh water. It had been nearly a week since he took the So?adora out, and Jimmy McDonald said five days was the maximum. I could check on each and every marina in turn. Grunt work, I knew, but that’s what private investigators do.
You should apply for a license one of these days, my inner voice told me.
Yeah, I’ll get right on that.
Would Navarre have the balls to return to Irene Rogers’s dock? How ’bout Club Versailles? They would accommodate him if Mrs. R said so. Would she say so? Would they even bother to ask her? I called Mrs. Rogers. There was no answer, so I left a message. I called Sarah Neamy. She assured me that the So?adora was not currently tied up at one of the club’s slips.
Anne Rehmann. Rehmann Lake Place Real Estate. Did she have a dock with fresh water and electrical hookups? It seemed unlikely a real estate agent could afford it, given the lake’s exorbitant property values, although—taking prospects out on the water, I could see how that might be a powerful sales tool. Except she had been looking for Navarre, too. When I met her at Mrs. R’s house …
Wait a minute. The first time I saw Anne, after she startled me, she asked what was I doing and I said I was looking for Juan Carlos and she said he wasn’t there. How could she have known that? She couldn’t have known that unless … Maybe Anne already knew where he was. Maybe Navarre was at her place. Maybe he sent her to get some of the clothes and toilet gear that he left behind.
C’mon, McKenzie, my inner voice said.
Maybe, I told myself. Think about it. It was Anne’s idea that Navarre occupy Mrs. R’s house in the first place—isn’t that what Mrs. R said? It’s possible they have a relationship.
And wouldn’t that make Riley happy.
I called. Anne’s voice mail said she would be out of the office until early in the afternoon. However, my call was important to her, and if I left a message, she would return it as soon as possible. I hung up and found Anne’s address on my GPS. Her office was in Deephaven. I could be there in twenty-one minutes if I skipped lunch.
I skipped lunch.
Rehmann Lake Place Real Estate did have a dock on Lake Minnetonka that it shared with a half-dozen other businesses. It was narrow, made of treated redwood planks, and could accommodate three boats on either side. Only one boat was tied up there, though, an 18-foot speedboat with a 75-horsepower Mercury engine.
Oh, well, I told myself.
The office was located at one of the few spots on the lake where the road actually hugged the shoreline. The dock was on one side of the road, and a modest office park was on the other. I waited for traffic to clear and pulled into the parking lot. There were three two-story buildings arranged in a semicircle, all of them designed to resemble a Cape Cod cottage. Anne’s office was located on the top floor of the far-left cottage; there was an insurance office on the bottom. All of the cottages were painted white. It occurred to me that most of the structures I had seen on Lake Minnetonka were white, and I wondered if there was a lake association that dictated the color.
What if you wanted mauve? my inner voice asked.