It was still raining. That was part of the problem; it had been such a long stretch of time of constant rain that it was making the investigation difficult. Mary huddled under umbrella outside the house. It was unimposing, much the same as the other houses on the street, and otherwise uninteresting to look at. She checked again the address against the number on the mailbox, making sure that she had the right place.

She hadn't wanted to come here, it went against everything she believed in. But she was desperate. There had been no news, no word, and her hope was beginning to wear thin. What she believed was no longer relevant. She was desperate, and she needed to get whatever help she could get. Screwing up the paper in her hand, she tossed it aside and walked up the paved pathway to the front door, and knocked before she could change her mind and back out.

A young man opened the door, looking at her with an impassive expression. He smiled thinly in a way that did not reach his eyes, and stepped aside. He looked tired.

"Mrs. Leroy. Please come inside."

Hesitating, Mary shook her umbrella as dry as she could before stepping inside. The young man closed the door behind her. It closed with barely a sound, and other than the plaque, there was no sign that there was anything out of the ordinary about the house. The plaque was engraved with the word 'PSYCHIC'.

"My name is Byron. Please feel free to remove your coat, if you wish." said the young man as he led her through the narrow corridor to the living room. A roaring fire was lit in the fireplace, and Mary gasped as she saw how the room was furnished. The ornate furniture was upholstered in plush red velvet, and the wallpaper and carpet matched the colour with various shades. The furniture, the wallpaper, and the decorations and ornaments scattered around the place were fastidiously neat. The room looked like it was from the turn of the century. 'Old fashioned' was the term that popped into Mary's mind. She looked at the young man, and realized that he was dressed oddly for his age. He wore a suit with a vest. He looked . . . respectable. Mary felt out of place.

"Is something the matter?" he asked, standing by the fireplace.

"I'm sorry. I was expecting something else."

Byron grinned wryly and nodded with weary understanding. "Crystal balls, beads and the like? Don't be confused by my lack of props, Mrs. Leroy. I'm what you might call a working psychic. Others rely on mysticism and cheap conjuring tricks. The difference is that what I offer actually works."

"I didn't want to come." said Mary, almost apologetically. Despite her beliefs, she didn't want to offend this man. Byron nodded again.

"Yes I know. You don't believe in psychics. Hardly anyone does these days."

"Is there anything you can do to prove you're actually psychic?"

"Certainly. Can you recall, for example, how I came to know your name?"

A moment of silence. The fire in the grate crackled and popped.

"Very well." he said. "I'm aware that we have little time, so please hand me the item you brought with you."

Very slowly, suspicious and in awe, Mary reached into her pocket and retrieved the bracelet that she'd brought with her. It was her daughter's. Byron held his hand out for it, and she dropped it into his palm.

"I don't understand why you need it." she said, watching him turn away to face the fire, looking down at the bracelet.

"If it helps, you may think of it as a point of reference. An anchor to your daughter, Miriam."

"She's . . . "

"Missing for several days, almost a week." Byron interrupted, and flashed another tired smile at her. "I know. Let me see what there is to see."

Mary watched in silence as he closed his eyes, idly fondling the bracelet. She waited. He was very still, and Mary briefly wondered if he'd fallen asleep.

Suddenly, Byron opened his eyes and whipped out a small blank card from his pocket. He picked up a pencil from another pocket, and scribbled something on it, folded it neatly in half, and handed it to her, along with the bracelet.

"Your daughter is alive, you'll be glad to hear. Go to the police, and ask for Detective Connor. Give him this, and say it's from me. He'll find Miriam, and get her back."

Dumbstruck, and incredulous, Mary took the card and the bracelet.

"Just like that?" she said. "No mumbling or hand-waving?"

"'Working psychic', remember?" he said, flashing another smile. "Hurry, you can catch the next train if you run."

Without so much as a backward glance, Mary left, slamming the door.

"You're welcome." said Byron quietly.