That theory was reinforced when I examined the bedroom. The king-sized canopied bed was perfectly made; the coverlet was so smooth it looked as if it had been ironed. Across from the bed was a polished bureau. Eight watches with brand names like Hublot, Omega, Glashütte, and Breguet were carefully arranged across the top according to the color of their wristbands. The drawers contained mostly socks, boxers, handkerchiefs, and short-sleeve polo shirts made by Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and Fight Club, all immaculately folded. In the bottom drawer there was an orange sweatshirt with the name Macalester College emblazoned in fading blue letters across the front; its cuffs and neckline were frayed. It looked as if it had been worn every day for the past ten years, and if it hadn’t been so neatly stored away I might have thought there was hope for Mr. Navarre yet.
The walk-in closet had more of the same. High-end suits, costly sports jackets, dress slacks, casual pants, jeans, dress shirts—all on wooden hangers, all arranged by color, and all with approximately two inches of space between them as if Navarre were frightened that they would somehow contaminate each other if they should ever touch. Dress shoes, boots, sneakers, and Top-Siders were just as precisely organized and set on the floor against the far wall of the closet, the back heel of each hard against the molding. Above the shoes were shelves filled with dozens of folded dress shirts; the shirts were also arranged by color. None of them looked as if they had ever been worn before. In fact, the only thing I discovered that seemed to have any age to it at all was a creased and scuffed gray leather satchel with the silver initials CBE riveted to the side. I assumed the initials indicated the name of the manufacturer, yet I wrote them down in a small spiral notebook I carried just the same.
I moved to the rooms to the left of the staircase. There I found a fourth bathroom. This one featured a large walk-in shower and a whirlpool bath. Fluffy white towels, each impeccably folded and smelling as if it had been washed with lemon-scented soap five minutes ago, were stacked on a white shelf. A door between the shower and bath led to a fully equipped exercise room that smelled of applewood. There was another white shelf with more white towels.
I left the exercise room and followed the corridor to an office. Riley Brodin had said that Navarre was an entrepreneur. If so, he conducted all of this business without the use of paper. Or computers either, for that matter, although I did find a couple of cable outlets in the walls and a router. I searched the room and discovered only two things that interested me. The first was an empty silver—and I mean real silver—picture frame lying facedown on the desktop. It was the only thing in the room that seemed askew. The second was a seven-year-old yearbook. Like the sweatshirt, it was from Macalester College, an expensive, private liberal arts school in St. Paul.
I tried the trick of opening the book and letting it fall to see what page it landed on. That didn’t work unless Navarre spent a lot of time reliving a speech Walter Mondale had delivered to the student body. I searched for his name and came up empty. I tried Riley Brodin and discovered her name and photo listed under “Freshmen.” Her hair was longer then and dark brown, and her expression was so damned serious it made me smile.
Just for giggles, I checked for a name that fit the initials CBE, but there were no matches to either students or teachers.
I left the book as I found it and continued down the corridor until I discovered a room that was empty except for a Celestron NexStar telescope set near a large window. Careful not to jostle it, I peered through the eyepiece. The telescope was trained on a large estate on the far side of Crystal Bay. Like Navarre’s place, the estate was predominantly white and built to recall the architecture of the antebellum South; there were six Greek-like columns flanking the front door. The house commanded a bluff that overlooked a couple hundred feet of shoreline. There was a dock with slips for four boats; one of them had to be at least sixty feet long. A purple flag flew from a high pole at the end of the dock, and I thought it might carry the emblem of the Minnesota Vikings or maybe even Northwestern University, but no, it was just a purple flag.
I studied the estate the way Navarre must have. All in all, it made his place look like a starter home in the suburbs. It was because I was so occupied that I didn’t hear her until she shouted, “What are you doing here?”
I must have leapt three feet into the air. When I came back down, I spun to face the woman. I took two steps backward and one to the side. My hand went to the spot behind my right hip where I would have holstered my gun if I had thought to bring it.
She stood in the doorway. Her fists were pressed against her hips. Her hair was reddish blond, her eyes were hazel, and she had an ample bosom that she accentuated beneath a crisp white shirt and dark blue blazer. Her skirt matched her jacket and ended a tasteful half inch above her knees. Her face was artfully made up to look younger than it actually was. I might not have noticed except she was trying awfully hard to appear assertive if not downright stern. Still, I could detect just a hint of alarm behind her eyes.
“I’m a friend of Navarre’s,” I said. “Who are you?”
“What are you doing here?” she repeated.
“Looking for Navarre.”
“He’s not here.”
“I can see that. Who are you?”
“How did you get in?”
I reached into my jacket pocket. The woman’s body tensed and then visibly relaxed when I withdrew the key and held it up for her to see. “Juan Carlos gave me a key.” The use of Navarre’s first name seemed to mollify her a bit.