The Starlake Building, 2489 Lake Tahoe Boulevard.
“The property manager, evidently glad to see her, showed her a small corner suite with a reception area where a secretary and a couple of client chairs might fit. There were two inner doors, one of which led to a long room that would make a nice combined law library and conference room. A big closet with several electric sockets could stow a fax, copy machine, and supplies, even a small refrigerator.
When she raised the blinds on the side wall in the main office, she could hardly believe her eyes. Lake Tahoe, tufted with whitecaps in the wind, less than a mile away, dominated an unobstructed view of marsh and trees. Other than a dirt road, there was no evidence of human activity in that direction…”
“Nina F Reilly, Attorney-At-law the sign on the building read in large, raised block letters.” -Motion to Suppress
“Rising about a hundred and fifty feet above the lake’s surface, Fannette Island sat in the middle of Emerald Bay like the important central jewel in an exquisite pendant.” -Breach of Promise
Where Paul van Wagoner stays.
“He took the elevator down to the first floor of the building into the carefully controlled pandemonium of the casino, where he couldn’t resist pausing to make a twenty-dollar cash bet at one of the blackjack tables. Although it was nine a.m. on a beautiful day, busload after busload of tourists checked out the action.
A morose dealer who had substituted motor oil for shampoo flicked out the cards, Paul’s first card facedown, the dealer’s card up and showing a five…” – Obstruction of Justice
They passed Black Bart and Golden Bear and Jicarilla, quiet streets off to their right. To the left was National Forest, thick with trees. On this afternoon of oranges and yellows, sun fell onto her tired eyes; they closed, and next thing she knew they were parking in the driveway of a chalet-style house in some quiet neighborhood somewhere. A small blue painted sign read, “90 Kulow.” She frowned, trying to remember where she’d heard that street name before.
“What’s this?” she said.
“The house Sandy’s been trying to get you to go and see.” He held a key in his palm.
“The realtor loaned it to me for the afternoon. I told her you were a hotshot attorney in the middle of a trial who could steal a few minutes to look at it at lunch. Gullible, isn’t she?”
“You and Sandy cooked this up?”
Innocent, wide eyes. “We just thought you ought to have a look.”
Her little lapse into unconsciousness had left Nina groggy and all the more exquisitely attuned to her overwhelming fatigue. She shook her head and looked around, at the deep lot with its hundred-foot high ponderosas, at the peaceful street with a few houses here and there, not too close together, not too grand, not too mean, each one different. And this one – oh, it was beautiful with its pointed gable and warm brown color…
She followed him up a few porch steps to the solid carved front door, but he took her arm and steered her around to the back. A pine deck about four feet above the ground, of the same warm color, encircled most of the house extending out into the yard about thirty feet in back. The forest beyond was undeveloped. Native shrubs, tall trees and a soft mat of pine needles preserved the wilderness feeling. They walked down a few steps into the yard, and found at the far boundary a dip near the fence where a creek would run in the spring.
Like waking from a dream, this whole thing felt so real and unexpected that Nina hadn’t said a word. She just followed Paul around as he went to the front door and opened it to an entry with curved wooden hooks protruding from its walls.
“For skis, see?” Paul said, demonstrating how they would be hung. “Here’s where you take your winter woolies off.” But she had moved on, venturing onward into the living room. This room rose all the way to the exposed ceiling rafters. Past the wood stove a picture window at least fifteen feet high overlooked the deck and back yard forest beyond.
“The kitchen,” Paul said. Off to the right of the living room, the small and well-equipped room featured the ideal window over the sink opening onto yet another view. She stood at the window for a moment, arms folded, gazing out at the sunlight on the trees, taking in the clarity of the air that let each leaf and pine needle quiver individually in the breeze and the tranquil perfection of this artwork composed by nature.
Then he led her down the hall to a large bathroom with a claw-foot tub, sun pouring through the dust in the air, and two bedrooms beyond, lit from one angle like Vermeers, still, suggestive, and enticing.