CHAPTER TWELVE 3RD SATURDAY Saturday morning, thinks Mike, almost the end of May. Two weeks until the first hearing is scheduled for Ray. He reviews in his mind the progress he has made in trying to prove Ray didn't commit the murder. He glances at the clock radio then reaches out for Nina. Running his hand under the covers and up her leg, he feels her stir. She turns in the bed and pulls him to her. Her lips seek his for a morning kiss. "What time is it?" "After eight. I don't hear the kids but they'll be up soon.
We better get up." He cuddles her closer and kisses her again. She snuggles against him and sighs, "Do we have to? I'm not so sure I want kids now. Do they always get you up early in the morning, even on the weekends?" "Especially on the weekends," he murmurs in her ear as he nibbles at it.
His hand cups her rump and pulls her tight to him. She moves her pelvis ahead then relax, only to thrust it against him again. Her breathing turns ragged. "We better get up then," she manages breathlessly. She finds his mouth and her tongue runs along his lips while her hand seeks him under the covers. "Maybe just a quickie?" "Your wish is my command, itty bitty pretty one." While they're enjoying their quickie, Marlene comes in and stands watching them.
She smiles and speaks, "Don't worry about the kids. I've got them fed and they're gone out playing. I thought I'd let you two sleep in. Bye now." She leaves before they can stop and Mike grins at Nina, saying, "Wasn't that nice of her?
Now we don't have to hurry." When they get up and Mike talks her into showering with him, they dress and go laughing together down the stairs. Nina gets coffee for them both and Marlene puts breakfast on for them. "You two sound cheerful this morning. I guess I better give you the news right away.
Jeff does not want a divorce; he wants you to come home. He broke it off with me this morning, but of course, not before he screwed me silly." Mike and Nina sit staring at Marlene. Nina says, "He wants me to come home! Just like that! What if I don't want to? Maybe I'd sooner stay here with Mike. What would he think of that?" Marlene glares at her and says, "Eat your breakfast then give him a call.
See what he has to say." Mike tries to stay out of it. After they eat, Nina goes to the phone. She talks quietly in the living room. When she comes out, she looks thoughtful. "I guess I'll go and pack." She wanders upstairs. Mike looks at Marlene and says, "What's going on? You know more than your saying." "He's making application for a transfer to the head office in Toronto on Monday.
He's pretty sure he'll get it." Mike looks downhearted for a moment then says he's got work to do. He goes to the office for his briefcase and calls Trudy. "Want to see if we can find Ray today?" She agrees and he heads for Hope. It's ten thirty when he picks her up and they're back in POCO by noon. He drives straight to Diamond Blvd. He sees Ray cutting grass when he pulls up. "Hi Ray, just came down to see how you're holding up." "Come on in. I see you brought the Missus.
You must be Marlene. Your not at all like I pictured you from Mike's description." "Uh, Ray, this is my assistant in the investigation, Trudy Garneau. Trudy, Ray Chauffe." "Oh. You an RCMP lady?" Trudy smiles and says, "No way. I'm private, like Mike. I'm pleased to finally meet you." In an aside to Mike she says, "Let's go. Your right, he didn't do it." Ray says, "How about a cold beer, Mike? Maybe the young lady would like something cold as well.
I have root beer or milk. maybe beer for you, too?" "I really don't have time, Ray. I just wanted to touch base with you and let you know we're still working on the case. We'll let you get back to that lawn of yours, buddy." Trudy walks ahead of him back to the car. She climbs in his side and slides over.
Mike says as he gets in, "Don't you even want to ask him any questions?" "You know everything he did and he doesn't know anything about what happened. What do you want to ask him?" "I don't know. I thought you wanted to meet him?" "I did.
I told you that you were right. He didn't do it. Okay?" "I guess. Shall we go by Tony's?" "Drive on." Mike drives west to 787 Wilson Ave. It's at the end of the street, a small rundown bungalow by the river and near the entrance to the park.
He pulls into the drive and knocks on the door. No answer. He tries again then steps back and walks around the house. The back lawn drops into a dug out court yard about two feet below ground level. Mike notes that the far side of the court is level with the riverbank and a dead end alley. Many car tracks lead into the court from the alley. He stands back and surveys the layout.
Six cars could park behind the house and not be seen from the street. He walks along the bank towards the river and looks back to see a basement door that opens into the court. "Quite a layout." Mike jumps, "I thought you stayed in the car." "Can't I see, too?" "What do you think?" "Could be a drug dealer's set up, but it doesn't have to be. Ain't he home?" "No answer when I knocked." "Well, where to next?" They start back towards the car and Mike looks around.
The nearest neighbor's house is built back and to the far side of the next lot. There's a solid Laurel hedge between the properties. Across the street is a vacant lot that runs up against the park. The house is fairly isolated. They climb into the Mustang and Mike checks his notes. He glances at his watch and says, "Let's try that first address you had for Jay. No one was home yesterday, remember?" He starts the car and says, "Or we could try Flo's address, but I imagine that place has been combed pretty thoroughly." He pulls away from the curb then looks back at the house as if expecting to see a curtain move or something.
All is as it was but he still has the feeling someone is watching them. "That would be an eerie place at night." "Yeah, it gives me the creeps, too." "Why?" "I don't know. Maybe because it's isolated and I only see one street lamp. Also it's probably cold and damp due to the river. The place feels cold." He drives across town to the first address they had tried for Jay.
It's a condominium so Mike goes first and Trudy awaits his signal. He rings and hears movement inside. Suddenly the door is slammed open and a short wiry man comes bursting out. Mike notices as he flashes by that he has blood on his face and shoulder, as well as his hands.
Deftly he trips him and he falls to the sidewalk, cursing. Inside Mike hears a moan and a woman's voice screaming. In the heat of the moment Mike can't make out what she's screaming, only that she sounds in pain. He grabs the wiry one by the scuff of the neck as he thumbs his cell phone on 911. "What's going on inside?" he demands of the downed man, trying to get an electrical tie secured on his wrist. With one tie secure he slips the second through the first and around the other wrist of the struggling opponent.
He speaks into the phone, "I'm a private investigator working on the Hanson case. I have a bloody suspect on Melrose at 417 and an unknown situation inside the premises. There are two others inside with one of them screaming and one moaning. I have the third in cuffs.
Send immediate assistance. My name is Mike Claymore." He listens and says, "Yes, 417 Melrose." He hangs up and shakes his fist at the cuffed man as he tries to escape. By now Trudy is at his elbow so he hands her a long tie and says, "For his ankles." She takes the tie as Mike sits the man on the steps and forcibly puts his feet together.
Quickly she secures them. He says, "Alright, what's going on inside? Speak up, the cops are on their way." Mike notices that there is no fresh blood oozing anywhere on the man so it's someone else's blood on him. He hears a siren and momentarily a cruiser pulls to the curb. Two officers rush up the walk and Mike explains the situation.
They cautiously approach the door and the hubbub inside.
With weapons drawn one man covers as the other ducks inside. Trudy looks at Mike and says, "What do you suppose is happening?" "I think we've met Mr. Jay Scanlon and he has been dealing out some discipline to one of his girls.
Right, asshole?" He nudges the back of the seated man with his knee. Just then one of the officers comes back out the door and says, "You still have him? Good work, Mike." A thin blonde girl of about twenty comes to the door shaking and smeared with blood. She glares at the cuffed man and screeches, "I hope they throw you in jail and you rot, bastard!" She spit's out the last word. An ambulance arrives and the officer waves them inside.
He then comes back to Mike and says, "You know this guy?" Mike grins and says, "Nope, I just got here in time to catch him flying through the door. I stopped his flight and called you guys." "I'll take this one in custody, but hang around, the Staff Sergeant's on his way. He wants to talk to you. Who are you, Ma'am?" He's speaking to Trudy.
Mike says, "She's with me." She says, "I'm his mistress, I mean, his assistant. Oh shoot! I'm with him!" The officer grins and says, "She must be your associate. She can't be one of ours." Trudy pipes up, "I resent that remark!" Mike and the officer both chuckle at her red face. Next the officer questions the cuffed wiry man on the steps. "You got a name?" "I got nothing to say.
I want to call my lawyer. You can't hold me." The medics come wheeling a stretcher out with a woman's form draped on it and an IV running to her arm. "She's lost a lot of blood. We'll have to rush her straight to the hospital.
We're taking her to Burnaby General, officers." The second officer steps up to the first and says, "This guy thinks he's a surgeon." He holds up a kitchen butcher knife in a plastic bag. Just then a burly red-faced man arrives and the two officers group with him to talk.
He nods Mike to join them. "You've joined us at last, Mr. Claymore. Welcome aboard. I'm Staff Sergeant Lindross. I understand you apprehended Mr. Scanlon's attempted exit. Good work." "Thank you, sir. I didn't get a chance to go inside. What was going on in there?" "It appears Scanlon was helping one of his girls to have an abortion.
the hard way. And against her wishes, according to her friend there." "Does she work for Scanlon, too? It's the girls I came to question on the Hanson case. I only stepped into this mess by accident." "Well, quick thinking on your part. You got anything for us on the Hanson case?" "Just that Scanlon's alibi for the night is shot full of holes. Speak to Peaches at 41 Park Lane. That doesn't mean I have anything solid on him yet, just a lot of suspicion" "Hmmm.
So do we." "But your charges against Ray still stand?" "We have enough to take it to the judge. Doesn't mean we're not still looking though." "If you don't mind I'll continue by speaking to the lady of the house.
Do you suppose we might get a peek at the Hanson girl's digs?" Lindross speaks to one of the officers for a moment then says to Mike, "This officer will take you over there. It's only a few blocks away.
The side door should be unlocked. Make sure the police tape is secure over the door when you leave and don't take anything without itemizing it and reporting to us. You know the rules of evidence, I presume?" "Yes, Staff.
Thank you for your help." "Thank you, Mr. Claymore." Mike speaks to Trudy, "This officer is going to take us to Flo's place. Then we'll come back and talk with the other lady of the house here. We're going to be a while and you will probably be late for work. Do you want to call in?" "I guess I better call work at least." She takes Mike's cell phone and makes her call as they follow the officer to Flo's last address. Trudy hands Mike the phone saying, "The boss isn't very happy.
They're busy and it's Saturday. With the mixed weather and all a lot of tourists are staying longer. I told him I would be in as soon as possible, but I would be late. He said he was going to call me in early." Mike parks behind the cruiser. "Keep him busy while I look things over in here. If there are any traces of evidence, I don't particularly want him to see them." "I'll do my best." She lifts her skirt and wiggles her bottom on the seat.
Mike looks to the sky and says, "Lord help him." They walk to the side door where the officer carefully removes the yellow police tape and opens the door for them.
Trudy steps through first and trips on a mat. As she catchers herself both men catch a glimpse of her bare behind. She straightens up and places one hand on the officer's arm while she lifts her one leg and rubs the ankle. "What a hazard! I've twisted my ankle. I hope your wife has sense enough not to leave loose mats like that inside a door." "Uh, I'm not married." Mike moves on into the house as he hears behind him, "You're not?
I'm surprised. Could you look at that ankle, here let me lift my skirt a bit." Quickly Mike moves to the bedroom and searches drawers, under drawers, under the bed and dressers. The bedroom is definitely feminine with sheer curtains and a lacy edged spread on the bed.
Lights flank a mirror over a makeup area and the chair has been recovered with material and lace to match the bedspread. He doubts she ever brought a trick to this room, or even to this house. By the makeup he spots a trace of red beside the mirror. With his jackknife he lifts the edge of the mirror and the red drops down.
Using the point of his blade he pries loose a matchbook cover from The Gardens. On the back is a phone number in blue/black ink. Glancing quickly into the mirror he sees the room is still empty and pockets the cover.
One more quick survey of the room and he moves to the bathroom. More lights, more mirrors and a medicine cabinet behind one. Inside Tampax, creams, more makeup, cough syrup, aspirin, mouth wash, toothpaste, the usual. There is also two razors, one distinctly feminine and the other quite heavy. Mike unscrews the handle of the heavier one and drops the blade with accumulated soap and bristles into a plastic bag. He reassembles the razor and places it back inside the cabinet.
There is a shower and separate tub in the bathroom. Mike checks the soap in both but finds both bars have been scraped. He checks the drains and wipes a clean tissue around each. Some hairs of two distinct colors are apparent on the tissue.
These go into another plastic bag and join the other one in his pocket. The bathroom is very well kept so he cannot see any other useful areas to concentrate on. Just as well. He hears footfalls and voices. " .must be in the bathroom." "Hi there, I'm here in the bathroom. You guys swept this place pretty clean." The officer calls from next-door, "Our people usually do a pretty comprehensive job." and in a lower voice, "You still can't put any weight on it?
It may be sprained. Let me check it again for swelling. Put it up here on the bed." Mike steps out of the bathroom and goes to the combination kitchen/dining area. Again he checks the bottoms of drawers and behind them, also cracks around the windowsills and counters. He notes the garbage can is empty and checks the freezer over the fridge.
He steps up on a kitchen chair to check the top of the fridge and down in behind it. Nothing. He steps back into the living room and listens. " . I love to do that, too. I had one until about a year ago." It's Trudy's voice so he steps back into the kitchen and opens the back door with a tissue over his fingers. He turns the lock and presses the button with the tissue in his hands. Now it's unlocked and no fingerprints. He can come back at his leisure if he needs to and is careful. He looks around the carport.
No car but evidence it was used recently. Oil drips and tracks in the dust. He studies the tracks and sketches them. No clear footprints.
He goes back inside and closes the door quietly. He opens a cupboard with his other hand and steps sideways to peer into it as he listens. A murmur of voices can be heard from the far bedroom. He bangs the cupboard shut and goes into the living room. He hears, "I think it's much better now. Thanks for your help." He hears a mutter then, "No, see. I can put my weight on it.
I think it's okay. We better see where my boss is." By now Mike is at the bedroom door grinning at Trudy over the officer's shoulder. He steps back away from the door as they stir and is crossing the living room towards the side door when they come out. "Your fellows really did a clean job. I can't find anything useful here.
Did she have a room mate?" "Lived here all by herself. Must have been making a lot more than me. Maybe I should moonlight as a pub steward." "She made her extra expenses by more than waitressing at the pub.
I don't think you'd make it in that line." "In this day and age, it might surprise you." They both laugh. Outside Mike opens the car door for Trudy and says loudly, "How's that ankle?" "It feels a lot better now." Trudy winks. They pull away and head back to the address where they had encountered Scanlon. "How much did you have to show him of your ankle? Up to your waist?" "Nearly! He was really worried about you wandering around by yourself.
He didn't say so but was fidgeting to get going. I never had that much trouble keeping a man interested in my body before." "Good work. I got some trade goods." "Right on!" "I also set it up for a return visit." "The back door?" "Yep." "When?" "Sorry, I'll be doing that alone.
I have the license, so it would go hard on me but not near as bad as it would be if you were caught there." "I'll be your wheel man then." "We'll see." They pull back in front of the condo at 417. All is quiet so they go up the walk and ring the bell. The door is nudged open by an elbow and the tall thin blonde can be seen talking on a phone with the cord stretched so she can reach the door.
She says something then walks away to hang up the phone. She comes back and opens the screened outer door.
"You're back. I never seen anyone handle Jay so fast and smoothly as you did. Come on in." They step inside and she goes on. "Your investigating Flo's murder, eh? I'd be glad to help if I could but I really don't know anything about it." "You work for Jay, right?" "No, I work at the cab stand. Uh, we both do." Trudy takes it up, "Right, and I sell girl guide cookies full time.
Cut the bullshit! We have reason to believe Jay may be the slayer in Flo's murder. You want to protect him?" "Why do you think that?" "You know why. You've been talking to Sheri and Peaches. We have direct evidence that places you in the employ of one pimp named Scanlon. Do we talk or walk?" "What do you want to know?" "For starters, what happened here today?" "Jay came in about two hours ago and told Jan she had to have an abortion.
All she wanted to do was go home and have the baby. She didn't care who the father was and she wasn't going to name Jay in any action. She just wanted to get out. He called her a bitch and other names and started screaming at her that she was taking the food right out of his mouth and the longer she waited, the harder it was going to be to abort the fetus." "He said it was her own carelessness that caused the problem and he couldn't let her get away with it or the rest would try it.
He got so angry! He knocked her around and dragged her around by her hair. He grabbed the butcher knife to threaten her. He said he'd cut her if she didn't get the abortion. She was just stubborn and said no matter what he did she was going back to Alberta and have the baby.
That's when he said he'd cut the 'fucking bastard' out of her. I tried to stop him but he stabbed her in the stomach and pelvis. She was bleeding all over the place and I was screaming so I guess he lost it and tried to take off. That's when you came to the door. Thank goodness, I think he would have killed her. I hope she's going to be okay and didn't lose the baby." "Jan's baby is fathered by a John?" "Yeah. She doesn't go out with anybody, unless it's Jay's." "Jay screws you all, whenever he feels like it?" "Yeah, except we call it rape, cause that's what it is." "Does Jay ever use Fantasy Sex?" "He's a Neanderthal.
I doubt he knows what the word means. Everything with him is money or sex. He's never heard of romance. Besides, who would trust him for Fantasy Sex? That stuff can be dangerous." "Did Flo work for Jay." "Sometimes. She had a funny setup with him. She got away with living by herself and turning a few tricks without his say so. Some of the girls say he respected her. If he did, she was the only female in the world he respected, and that includes his mother." "Would Jay have any reason to kill Flo?
Was she flaunting it that she could do as she pleased? Was she urging the girls to leave him? Anything of that nature that might be a threat to Jay." "If she was, I never heard of it. I think I would have heard. I don't know." Trudy looks thoughtful as she turns to Mike. "Mike, do you know if Flo was pregnant?" "Nothing in any of the reports." She turns back to the other girl, "Well, I don't think Jay will be bothering you for a while.
He's headed for the lockup." "He'll be out by now. Jan won't press charges. I wouldn't. He'd cut me up so I'd be afraid to look in the mirror. His lawyer will have him out and all charges dropped by now." "Mike, give her our card.
You call us if he threatens you or if you come up with anything that looks like it might prove he had anything to do with Flo's death.
Mike can be as tough as Jay and then some. He'll look out for you. By the way, what's your name if you do call?" "Rene. I'd rather not give my last name." "Don't need it, Rene. It's just for us. No one else gets it." "Thanks.
I believe you. What's your name?" "Trudy Garneau." "Vous etes Francais?" "No, my ex was. Military." Mike watches the two women talking and is glad he picked Trudy up to help him.
She has a rapport with men and women that seems to gain their confidence so easily. He looks at his watch and notes it's time to go. It's after three. He still might be able to get her back before she's late. When they get back out to the car Trudy says, "Let's go back over and see if Tony's home." "I think I can still make it back to Laidlaw before you're late.
We better head right out there." "I told them I'd be late. Come on, Mike. Let's check Tony's place again." Mike pulls out and heads across town.
"You give any more thought to possible female suspects?" "It just doesn't work. I guess it's possible but I can't picture it." "Me either. I think it was Jay. I just haven't figured out why.
He would have to have had a strong motive to do something that drastic." "Yeah, I know what you mean. He could do it. He has that streak of cruelty and no qualms. I can picture him carrying out the crime and thinking nothing of it. If he had a logical motive the cops would have him behind bars and not Ray." "That's been troubling me, as well. Why haven't the cops been giving him more attention?
It was too easy for us to discount his alibi. They must be aware his alibi was all smoke and mirrors.
Why isn't he higher on their list? Mind you, her ex's alibi is pretty flimsy, too." They pull in by Tony's bungalow and Mike spots him by the house turning on a sprinkler in the side lawn. Mike waves and Tony stares at them then grins and waves back. He comes across the sidewalk and says, "Mike. What a surprise. What are you doing down in this corner of town?
You lost?" "Tony, I'm sure you heard the rumor of the naked woman in my truck. I'd like you to meet Trudy Garneau." Tony beams a wide grin and extends his hand, "I'm charmed. You can come ride in my truck any time." She takes his hand and he turns it so as to kiss it. She blushes and says, "Sorry. I'm the exclusive property of one Mike Claymore. Ever heard of him?" "The famous detective truck driver?" "One and the same." "Well, come on in.
I have fresh coffee on. or if you prefer, Margarita's?" Mike goes to say they don't have time when Trudy exclaims, "I'd love a cup of coffee. Do you have real cream?" She opens her door and gets out. Mike gets out as well. He doesn't know what else to do. "Fresh cream for the lady. I sure do. Follow me." As they cross the walk and the grass to the front door Tony says to Mike, "You didn't answer my question. What are you up to today?" "We're doing the investigation of Flo's murder.
Checking alibis and questioning suspects and possible witnesses." "There are witnesses?" "No direct witnesses but people around suspects who can shed light on their characters, actions or motives. Everyone leaves a trail. Our killer has left a trail of people who know him. or her." "Her?
She was raped, I heard. Wasn't that the case?" "Still not impossible for a female." "How gruesome. Well, my alibi is simple." He pours coffee. "We were playing cards with another couple almost all night; my girl friend and I.
You can easily verify it by checking with the other couple and my girl." Mike pulls out his pad and says, "Who are they?" He poises his pen to write. "Friends of mine, Rita and Ron Harrison. They live on Larkin Ave. at 361, I think. You might know him; he sells real estate here in town. Aren't you going to write them down?" "Yes.
I was just trying to think where I heard that name before. I know. They're on the suspects list as well. They apparently knew Flo. Did you know that?" "Of course. I took her there to their place once." Trudy speaks up, "Well, I guess that takes care of that.
If we check with them they will just say they were over here with you guys playing cards. That makes our job so much easier. Now we can concentrate on the other suspects. Can I have some more of that delightful coffee. I think it's the fresh cream that makes it so good." "Of course, my dear.
Trudy, wasn't it?" "Where did you ever get that painting? It's a Foudou, isn't it? Kwan painted that while he was still in Vietnam. He's changed his style since immigrating. I like his earlier works better." "Yes, it is. I have to agree with you. His old works have a flavor of the peasant countryside that simply does not ring true in his newer paintings. I'm surprised you know of him.
Few North Americans have discovered him yet." Trudy gets up to closer inspect the painting and Mike uses the time to look around. He can't see anything obvious to link Tony with the crime or with drugs. He notices the place is clean and well kept up. Perhaps that is due to his girl friend, or perhaps it's Tony's way of living. He does note a few objects that he would class as oriental ornaments.
No crime in that, but it could indicate a connection with the Vietnamese drug rings. He especially likes a small ornamental box with intricate workings on it on a sideboard. As he studies it, Tony comes up to him and says, "That piece I bought for a bargain price of one hundred dollars. It's one of the famous puzzle boxes of ancient Vietnamese origin.
The key to opening it has been lost over the centuries. That was the reason for the bargain." "Can't you get another key made?" Tony laughs and Trudy joins him. He says, "Shall I tell him or will you?" "Let me. I don't often get the chance to teach him anything." "I hardly believe that, but go ahead." He grins broadly again. "The ancient puzzle boxes are constructed in such a way as to be disassembled for opening. The wood or metal is carved so that the pieces fit intricately together and if one does not have the key, the instructions on how to take them apart, the challenge is to figure it out.
Some are so well done that only a few people have ever figured them out. This is apparently one of the better ones. May I try?" "Be my guest, but your coffee is getting cold. Shall I get you fresh?" "No, don't bother. I like it cool." She takes up the box and carefully turns it, studying the pattern. It appears to be made of ebony, mahogany and ivory with a delicate woven metal shell around sections of it.
It stands on four stubby ivory legs. Carefully she pulls on a section of ebony on one corner while pressing down on it. It moves and clicks." Tony sighs and says, "That's as far as I've ever been able to get it.
You found that quickly." Carefully she rotates the piece out from the box and pushes it in. Another click is heard. She then turns the box upside down and studies it some more. Taking her index finger she presses on an ivory section and it drops about a quarter inch with a click. Tony watches her closely. Mike realizes he's been holding his breath and takes a deep one. Tony glances at him and says, "I don't know how she does it.
She seems to be opening it." He looks worried. She studies it and touches another ivory section. They hear a double click. She drops her shoulders and says, "Damn! A trap. We have to go back to step two. See, the ivory has popped back up and the ebony has popped back out." She turns it over and rotates the ebony back into place on the corner.
She hands it to Tony and says, "I haven't time to try again. It's quite fascinating." "I've learned the next two steps today. I'm impressed. You'll have to have Mike bring you down again when you have more time." "I'd love to. Will you bring me back, Mike?" "Some day, my love." He feels his neck getting hot when he realizes what he called her in front of Tony, but it's too late to change it.
She calmly finishes her coffee and they leave. In the car she says, "He was in Vietnam, wasn't he?" "I think he was. Volunteered with the Americans, I think.
At least that's what I heard around work." She starts mulling things in her head out loud, "He's covering for the Harrison's and they're covering for him. We know where the Harrison's actually were, but where was he the night of the murder.
Hmmmm. Why would he want to kill Flo? Or was he doing something else that night that was completely illegal. The Harrisons would be glad of an alternate alibi so they don't have to divulge who they were with at the Harrison Motel, but why would they want to give him an alibi?
Could he have something to hold over their heads? Drugs! Maybe that's it! He's their supplier and they don't want his connection to the drug trade discovered so they provide him with an alibi that has nothing to do with whatever illegal activity he was actually involved in that night.
But how does that tie into Flo. Damn! Something's missing, or I'm way off base. Where are we?" "On the Lougheed just leaving POCO. We'll be in Mission in half an hour and home an hour from then." "Turn around. It's not too late to go to the realty office and catch Ronald.
We'll see how his story stacks up with his wife and Tony's. She didn't say anything about playing cards that night. That puzzles me." "You'll never get to work at this rate. We better push on and leave Ronald for another day." "You bugger! You'll come back down here tonight and see them at their home. I know you." "I promise I won't. If I don't have a run, we'll see him in his office on Monday. How's that?" "But I want to do it now.
Right now I'm hot and can see a ways into the puzzle. I want to get more pieces to work on. Don't you feel how close we are?" "Not close enough. Anything Harrison tells us still won't answer the question of why. Scanlon could have done it and now so could Tony have done it. I still think her ex could have done it, but at least with him I don't have to ask myself why, rather I ask myself why that way.
Hell, I only have your assurance that your informant is reliable. Maybe Harrison himself could have done it." Trudy looks belligerently at him and blurts out, "My informant is an RCMP officer, for your information. Is that reliable enough for you?" Mike grins and says, "I thought if I got you mad enough, you'd tell me." "Oh shit! Drive me home!" She pouts on the far side of the car till they get to Mission.
By the time they reach Lake Erock she has calmed and sidles across the seat to sit by him. "I was going to tell you. I just wanted you to think I dug up that juicy bit of news all on my own for a while. He stops by the truck stop occasionally. He's with the Freeway Patrol. I think you've met him. He knows you." "What's his name?" "John." "His last name, you nut?" "Gallegar." "Constable John Gallegar? Hmmmm. Doesn't ring a bell. With the Freeway Patrol, eh?" "Yep." "John, Johnny?
Johnny. Freeway officer? Hmmmm. I wonder. Was he ever posted at Mission Detachment in the past? You wouldn't know, I suppose?" "I never heard him say. Oh, isn't that beautiful. Pull in for a minute." Mike pulls into the lookout on Mount Woodside.
They are in light mist under a low ceiling of heavy evening cloud that hangs over the valley. Showers cast long shafts of moving shadows across the distant landscape and a sudden brightening of the cloud back near Chilliwack speaks of some lightning activity. A low rumble reaches them sweeping over the far-flung channels of the Fraser River. Trudy shivers and says, "You can hear the distant thunder so clear in a convertible, even with the top up. Warm me a bit please, Mike." Mike slips his arm around her shoulders and draws her close.
She smiles and says, "I feel so safe with you. You would protect me from anything, wouldn't you?" "Nothing will harm you when I'm around, my love." "Then kiss me." Mike does her bidding and her arm goes up around his neck to caress him there. The kiss goes on and becomes an exploration of each other's mouths by their tongues. She presses her breasts into his chest and rubs them side-to-side to stimulate the nipples.
She pulls away from him and with her hands draws him to follow her across the seat. He moves over with her and she reaches to rub him as she gets up on her knees to straddle him in the seat.
Her lips find his while she frees him and rubs some more then uses his organ to rub her slit. A spatter of rain sounds out on the top of the car and windshield then as she descends onto him a down pouring of rain drumbeats around them. Her first cries are drowned in thunder but soon she can be heard over it as she rides and bounces there in his arms. Like the fury of the storm they move together and in a flash of lightning they come together and, quivering, hold on tight to each other as thunder booms and shakes the car.
But a sudden brightening of the sky around them warns them that the shower has passed. Once more they can make out the valley spread below them and the rain eases to light droplets then ceases. "You kept me safe from the storm, my hero," whispers Trudy, "and filled me with joy, as well." "And now we better get going." They drive down over the Agassiz Bridge and Mike takes the freeway to Hope. They kiss and he says, "Until we meet again." She runs into the house waving and blowing him kisses.
Mike backs out and heads for home. When he pulls in he looks over at Jeff's house. He can make out light from the kitchen through the bedroom door but all is quiet. He goes up to the side door and steps inside.
He puts his briefcase on a step and slides off his shoes then grabbing the case, he goes up into the kitchen. He hears the TV going in the living room so goes in and finds Marlene sleeping on the couch in front of the set. He puts down his briefcase and kneels before her, kissing her brow and running his fingers through her hair. She smiles and waking, tilts her head back to kiss him.
She stretches and sits up. "Did you catch the murderer yet?" "Not yet, love." "But you're closer than you were this morning." "I think I am." "Good." "Any calls?" "Only Nina. She says that her and Jeff are talking and she feels they are going to be all right. I'm glad. Jeff was fun but not my cup of tea.
For a long time I have wished I never got started with him. I guess for about a month I felt I was getting even with you, but there came a time when even that excuse didn't work.
You would come home and be real loving or we would do something special with the kids, like going out to the falls for a picnic, and I would feel like I wanted it all to be over with Jeff. I still like him and enjoy screwing with him but I don't need it, nor even particularly want it. You're my husband.
I'm glad and I feel lucky that you are. You're a real special guy to me. I'm sorry I screwed around on you.
Can you forgive me?" "Sure. I have already." "Can we put it behind us?" "It won't be easy to forget, but maybe that's just as well. That way it's not as likely to happen again." "Thanks. You want to have sex with the prettiest girl in Abbotsford. I do with the most handsome man in Abbotsford." "Just in Abbotsford?" "Let's say the handsomest man I know." "I warn you, I'm bushed. You might have to do most of the work. Still willing?" "You bet. Let's go to bed."