April 29, 1924: evening

When Cati arrived at her apartment, she dropped her purse on the settee in the front room and sat down heavily beside it. After a moment, she reached into the fabric bag and rustled around until she found her cigarettes and matches. She sat and smoked and stared absently at a stray piece of black lint on the cream-colored rug beneath her feet.

She was trying not to think.

She lit a second cigarette and picked up the receiver of the telephone on the side table. "Emma, love!" she said with whole-hearted false cheer. "Join me at the Cellar tonight!"

Cati finished her cigarette and reached into her purse again. This time her hand emerged with a flask, from which she took a healthy swig of gin. Grabbing her purse, she returned the silver container to its place as she hurried down the hall to her bedroom.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a figure move across the kitchen door. "Hello, Magda," she called out to her housekeeper. "I'm only here a moment. I'll be going out with Emma shortly."

Cati took her pistol out from where she kept it in her lingerie drawer. She slipped it into her purse beside the slim cigarette case, the little book of matches, and the tarnished flask. There was a sealed tube in there, too, with an odd, mercurial fluid collected in the bottom.

Putting its existence out of her mind, she turned and headed out to catch a cab.

April 29, 1924

Cati searched on top of her vanity and then dug through her purse. She couldn't remember where she had put her favorite lipstick. She had been more distracted than usual in the last few days.

The night before, Cati had finally called Jacqueline Whitcombe. She gave Mags' sister her condolences, but apart from that, Cati hadn't known what else to say. Truth be told, Cati hadn't been very close to Mags, and she didn't much like Jacqueline either. She felt a certain amount of obligation to reach out to Mags' family, however, due to the fact that she'd somehow gotten involved in chasing after her companion and her killer.

She had also called, in part, to make herself feel better. It hadn't worked.

Cati finally found the little golden tube under a discarded pair of stockings on the corner of the vanity. She leaned over the vanity's surface to peer at herself in the mirror and smeared the color on her lips. Satisfied, she headed out to hail a cab to Henri's shop.

April 23, 1924: evening

When Cati arrived at Huey's shop, there were several other customers ahead of her. Cati waited, impatiently, until the others had been helped. Many of them were folks she recognized from the neighborhood, though no one she knew by name. She kept herself busy by mentally critiquing the older ladies' choices in fashion.

She looked at the clock hanging on the wall above the shop door. She wondered how the fellows were faring in their search for information. She thought, too, about poor Mags, who, while she had possessed an often quite irritating and self-focused demeanor, clearly did not deserve to meet her end at such a young age. It was probably best, Cati decided, if one did not get involved in matters of the occult.

Too late.

After what seemed to Cati to be an incredibly long time, she was finally able to get to the counter. "Hi there, Huey," she said. "Are my photos ready?"