After Raven had told her story, getting her a new passport was the first order of business. Since she was a friend of a friend of Will’s and the daughter of a state senator, they made it a priority item. Cummings made a call to Sacramento, to Senator Cabral’s office, to confirm Raven’s identity. When he asked Raven for her full name, she said, “Ramona Maria Elvira Cabral.”
“Ramona?” I said.
“Just shut up!”
“Look, Raven is who I am. What my parent’s named me twenty years ago doesn’t matter. They didn’t know me then.”
Cummings talked a long time, occasionally asking questions of Raven and relaying her answers. Once he passed the phone to Raven so she could speak directly. After she passed it back, she said, “My father wasn’t in. Actually we were lucky to get anyone; it’s past midnight there. That was his secretary. She was under the impression that I was still in New York.”
“That means something,” I said. “I’ve been thinking about the attack. If your luggage had been left in your room, the cruise line would have suspected something. Did you drop your purse during the struggle?”
“I don’t remember.”
“Let’s assume you did. All Davis would have to do is take your key, clean up your room, and drop your purse and luggage overboard. Then there would be no way of knowing, or even suspecting, that you hadn’t just gone off somewhere on your own.”
Will nodded. “That makes sense.”
“It begins to look more and more like a deliberate act, planned out in advance.”
Cummings had cradled the phone. He said, “Intelligent improvisation would account for it just as well. We don’t really know much for certain.”
Raven’s eyes had grown fierce in memory of her attack. She wanted to know who would investigate.
“To be frank,” Cummings replied, “no one. The attack took place in international waters, aboard a ship of Norwegian registry. Bermudan authorities will be notified so they can watch for the pair in the future, and we will send a copy of the report to the New York police for the same reason, but you know the crime rate in New York. I doubt if the report will even be read by anyone but the clerk who files it. The only ones with the right and responsibility to follow up the incident are the Norwegians, and what could they do?”
Raven’s comment was not ladylike, but Cummings was too urbane to notice.
“Anyway, our next step is to walk down and get a photo for your new passport, and then you’ll have to excuse me while I notify the port authorities. They will want to know why your yacht is moored in France and you have not registered with them.”
“Mr. Cummings,” Raven said, “this is embarrassing to mention, but I’m flat broke. All my money is apparently on the bottom of the Atlantic, where I was supposed to be.”
“You can phone home at our expense, of course, but I had assumed that Mr. Gunn would be providing for your immediate needs.”
Will had been sitting quietly, as befits a very junior officer. Now he laughed and said, “Evan, some time I must explain Ian’s peculiar financial circumstances. Take my word for it, he is just about as broke as Raven.” more tomorrow