"I'm sorry," Isabella apologized as soon as she returned to the phone, "but I just can't find it."
"Drat!" Aunt Tallulah said, which was the closest she ever came to cursing. "Now I'm going to have to return to the Strokes mansion and compose the entire list all over again. The auction is less than two weeks away and I know every antique dealer in western Massachusetts is going to be bidding on that estate sale. First, though, I've got to persuade the bank to loan me the money by getting a second mortgage on the shop. How is the inventory coming?"
"Fine," Isabella told a small lie. "I'm almost done with the jewelry."
"All right, finish up, and I should be there in about an hour or so. Hopefully, Anna will come too. We'll lock up and put the alarm on. Thank God tomorrow is Saturday. By the end of the day, the three of us should have completed all the inventory. You did put out the CLOSED sign on the door, didn't you?"
"And no one tried to come in, did they?"
"No." The truth was that, even when the small boutique, which specialized in romantic presents, was open for business, people weren't exactly pounding down the door.
"All right, I'll see you in a little bit then."