Hanne was back at the window In truth she had been there most of the afternoon.
As the sun drifted into late afternoon and on into evening, and as Hanne's cup of tea was now clay cold, the activity in the square was winding down.
Joe had been back at his 'office' for about an hour, his liquid lunch over. The expensive looking car had pulled up close to Joe's pitch and now Kirsten Kjaer was standing talking to her... "husband, I guess ". Hanne murmured with the binoculars fixed to her eyes.
Hanne thought about the Kjaer-Spivey family. Kirsten was tall and beautiful, she clearly had expensive tastes. With her exotic Oriental looks, those wonderful brown eyes, her sensual figure.
Hanne figured that Kirsten could have had her choice in men. So why did she pick Joe Spivey of all people? Gold-digger? Possibly. But Gold-diggers are usually the last people to settle down and start a family with their procured 'sugar-daddy'.
Usually even the fattest wallet became boring after a long while. Just take as much as you can then move on. But the child? Hanne figured the kid must be three years old. And the way Kirsten talked, laughed and occasionally held or touched Joe gently on the face or arm.
There was clearly a lot of affection in her demeanour. As for Joe. Hanne could tell Joe returned her affection, albeit in a 'Joe ' kind of way. He was not the most demonstrative kind of guy when it came to showing his emotions.
But Hanne could see them, right there. It takes the most skilled of people-watcher to see them, but the fleeting signs were certainly there. Joe Spivey loved his 'wife'.
And for sure, Hanne could tell Joe would safeguard his daughter with all means at his disposal, like a loyal Mastiff. She somehow go the feeling that Joe had found, or been given something more dear to him than his disgustingly huge fortune. .
Hanne took the glasses from her eyes as sighed " My God Joe, You are full of surprises". Hanne took an absent minded sip of tea and winced at how cold it had become. She figured she must have been watching out of the window for far longer than she realised.
She brought the glasses back to her eyes and changed her focus and attention to Silja, who was crossing the plaza, pushing the stroller with one hand and holding on to the child's hand with the other. They were heading towards Anneka's parents.
Anneka strained ahead impatiently but Silja held on to her, they were both giggling. Hanne found herself smiling behind the binoculars. It seemed her incendiary brat of a step-sister had actually found her niche, her vocation, if you will. Hanne even felt a twinge of pride.
But only a twinge. "I'm really going to have to call Poppa... " Hanne felt a pang of guilt she had not yet taken time to call their father even though she had been back in New Flagstaff for four days now.
But there in the afternoon sun was her sister. The secret that couldn't be let out. Not even Dwight, her faithful right hand man, knew the truth about the relationship Hanne had with the dreadlocked ex-teenage tearaway below.
Hanne knew if that fact became common currency, every low-life and con artist who ever came under the spotlight of The Ranyhyn Company would want to use Silja as a means of getting back at Miss Hanne Berg.
That is to say, those low-life con artist that had actually survived coming under the said spotlight of The Ranyhyn Company.
Hanne finally turned away from the window and her thoughts on the intricacies of family connections. Both of her own, and those of Joe Spivey. " Wheels within wheels." She breathed just as Dwight Frye came into the office.
She watched his shape through the obscured glass partition as he hung up his jacket and hat then spent a few minutes digging some items out of one of his beloved filing cabinets.
Finally the polite tap on the door, and Dwight entered carrying a number of paper stuffed manilla files under his right arm. "Good trip?" Hanne asked Dwight politely as he took his seat in the chair on the opposite side of Hanne's desk.
As Dwight replied to her question, Hanne could see in his eyes that Dwight had clearly had some need sated. And she knew how. Dwight was a living paradox.
On most days he was a seemingly harmless yet unswervingly polite grey suited office administrator. But on other, thankfully far fewer days, he was a menacing sadistic psychopath. ... Perfect for the job.
Dwight answered her question, earnestly smiling over the rims of his spectacles. "Fascinating. "
Exuding his aire of administrative efficiency, Dwight opened the four folders on the desk in front of Hanne. In all honesty there were not many sheets of paper inside. Two possibly three mentions of minor misdemeanours concerning affray and some small scale drug peddling.
Clipped to the top right hand corner were Police mug-shots of each man. Well, they looked more like boys really. "There's not much here Dwight. Are you sure these...."
"Oh absolutely, Miss Berg." Dwight nodded with certainty in his face. "My.. umm.. informant... yes .. Informant, was quite.. co-operative."
Hanne glanced at Dwights face. The smile was thin, slightly disturbing in fact. From that smile she accepted that the files were of people that needed to be considered
She committed the four faces to memory quickly and read the scant information before closing and handing the files back to Dwight with a polite thank you. Dwight retreated back into the outer office closing the door with a mere click behind him.
Hanne stood and returned yet again to the window this time her mind digesting the new information. Below in the Plaza, she watched as again Silja deposited Anneka into the child-seat in Kirsten's car.
The car left the Plaza heading north towards 'Chez-Spivey' followed closely by Joe's 'not-quite-so-elegant' vehicle. Family evening, family meal, one would assume.
And as usual Silja jumped into her car and left the Plaza to the South, tearing up the grass and pebbles a little. Hanne's assumption here that now was Silja's time off. A couple of hours of liberty before returning to the Kjaer-Spivey household to attend to the child's bedtime.
"So where do you go, sister-of-mine? " Hanne murmured the question to herself as she slid the binoculars into her draw and closed it. Hanne turned over the possibilities in her mind. South? Hope Springs maybe?... Tuki was in Hope Springs and Hanne knew how close Tuki and Silja had been.
Close friends, the way teenage girls could be. So close a ciggy paper would not get between them. She had seen this friendship manifest while Tuki had stayed with them on the farm for a while. Hanne had watched their girlie giggling and chatting while they sat in the sunshine.
Hanne felt a small pang of envy. She had wished for such a friend in her early teenage years, but the other girls always kept a distance from her. Or was it because she had made herself unapproachable. because any friend eventually would visit her home.
And then meet her constantly inebriate parents. Then marvel at how the sink could actually contain so many dirty dishes. And then deeply inhale fetid week old cat shit odour from the neglected tray by the back door. No, maybe better to keep others at arms length, even though it made her feel so empty.
Life at the farm though was much more pleasant. Henning had finally given up drinking himself into oblivion. That was primarily due to Silja.
The shock of meeting his long, long lost daughter, and the way his whisky hazed handling of the first meeting had pretty much ruined any lasting chance of reconciliation with Silja.
Ok so Silja had stayed with them at the farm for some time. But Hanne knew that the stay was only prolonged by the fact Tuki was visiting. Once Tuki had gone back home it was only a matter of days before Silja had packed a clandestine bag and followed the road south
The cold inescapable fact was. Silja hated her father. Henning was the root cause for everything bad in her life. She had tried to play 'Happy Family' and could not. Henning was to blame.
Henning could never be forgiven. And by association, Hanne herself was as bad as their father.
Hanne stepped back from the window breathing a long long sigh. She wanted her sister to recognise their blood-bond, accept her care. But there was little chance of that. Hanne now could only care for Silja from a distance.
By now the outer office was empty, Dwight had gone home. Hanne closed the heavy office door behind her and locked it. Tomorrow morning she would drive down to Hope Springs.