My husband? Maggie thought. Jim’s coming? No, not Jim. She looked at Sharon, seeing her for the first time and said, “Colin. Colin’s coming?”
Holding her tight, he began to sob. Maggie cried too but knew Phelps had been right. She had to be the strong one now.
“Oh, Colin,” Maggie said, reaching for his hand. “I didn’t see you ... I ...”
Maggie considered what Colin had said, shrugged and then replied with resignation, “And I poured myself into any activity to would take my mind off the pain when my parents died. I coped by filling every minute of every day. Then I met Jim and threw myself into marriage and family. I guess it’s different for everyone. Oh, poor Jamie.”
Sharon said slowly, “You called him last night to give last rites, didn’t you?”
“Known? If he’s Jamie’s confessor, he might have known it all, but he can’t tell you, can he?” Maggie asked. “He’s sworn to secrecy in the confessional.”
“No one saw it, Colin,” Doug said, laying a hand on Colin’s shoulder. “We listed him on our white boards in January, but we all agreed it was not plausible for him to set those fires ... Wait, he couldn’t have set the tower fire, could he? We all saw him in the procession at the time the fire was supposed to have started.”
“Good Lord,” Doug said. “Why? So he could be sure it didn’t start until after they marched in? So he had the glory of marching in as president and a damn good alibi? Wow.”
Sharon looked at him quizzically and then said, “But the theory was each fire was more sophisticated than the last. If the museum fire was set with a ‘simple clock timer,’ as you call it, how is that more sophisticated than a remote detonation device?”
Sharon groaned at his use of her oft-spoken words.