The young woman raised an ironic brow. He shrugged. "Ah, well--since it is you who seek me, I fear I must be all business. A pity. Well, what lures you to my side of this unseasonable night? What horror has Mademoiselle Tregarde unearthed this time?"
Diana Tregarde sobered instantly, the laughter fleeing her eyes. "I'm afraid you picked the right word this time, Andre. It is a horror. The trouble is, I don't know what kind."
"Say on. I wait in breathless anticipation." His expression was mocking as he leaned against the lamppost, and he feigned a yawn.
Diana scowled at him and her eyes darkened with anger. He raised an eyebrow of his own. "If this weren't so serious," she threatened, "I'd be tempted to pop you one--Andre, people are dying out there. There's a 'Ripper' loose in New York."
He shrugged, and shifted restlessly from one foot to the other. "So? This is new? Tell me when there is not! That sort of criminal is as common to the city as a rat. Let your police earn their salaries and capture him."
Her expression hardened. She folded her arms tightly across the thin nylon of her windbreaker; her lips tightened a little. "Use your head, Andre! If this were an ordinary slasher-killer, would I be involved?"
He examined his fingernails with care. "And what is it that makes it extraordinary, eh?"
"The victims had no souls."