The woman watched from a distance, taking pictures and looking like a typical tourist. The first text message was delivered. The second would be delivered in forty minutes. Then all hell would break loose. She entered the restaurant a few minutes before taking a seat at the same table near the window, placing her camera bag and expensive digital camera where it could be seen. She was at the table less than a minute before a woman she knew to be the owner came over to wait on her.
“Back so soon? What can I get for you this afternoon?” asked Maggie.
The woman returned Maggie’s smile. “I’ll have a Coke, please.”
“Can I get you a piece of pie or something else?” asked Maggie, looking the woman over. She really hadn’t taken notice before, but something big was going on across the street, and this woman seemed intrigued by it.
“Apple pie, if you have it,” answered the woman politely.
Maggie pointed to the camera. “Taking many pictures?”
The woman nodded. “I’m an amateur photographer, and this area is so beautiful. I’ve probably taken close to a thousand pictures. Too bad I leave in the morning. Have to be back in New York by two for a meeting.”
“Well, I hope you enjoy the remainder of your stay here in Bluffton. Let me put your order in, and I’ll be back in a minute with your Coke.”
When Maggie moved off, the woman looked back across the street at the scene. More police cars arrived, as well as more spectators to be handled. This would turn into a circus, which would work in her favor.
While she watched, a noise from behind her drew her attention. She turned to see a young woman in uniform walk through the restaurant and out the door. She was followed by a young man in civilian clothes. She recognized the young woman from her visits to this restaurant. Things were moving fast; they were calling all their reserves. She knew the young man; he was one of the people she had been watching.
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