The morning I drove down from San Francisco, the weather was foul. A curtain of cold rain fell from a gun metal grey sky. I'd set up a meeting with Sheriff Hartley in Carmel to discuss the Ellen Court situation. I didn't expect much cooperation from him but it was worth a try. A way to begin. When I pulled up in front of Hartley's office, the sky had begun to clear and the sun was breaking through. I hoped it was a good omen.
As I headed for the Cort estate along the seventeen mile drive, acres of lush cyprus and tall pine loomed over me. The ocean below bellowed and roared, smashing into the coastline spilling white foam along the sand. There's no doubt this rugged peninsular country could give the French Riviera tough competition. But on this afternoon, my mind really wasn't on the scenery. I kept thinking about the girl who had been murdered the night before, trying to tie what I knew about her into the story Ellen told me. I had a gut hunch the two were connected. How, I don't know. But I was going to have to find out!