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.When I came to remove his empty plate, he took my wrist and pulled me into his lap, and kissed me.It was long, thorough, and intense.I really liked it very much.But maybe this was a little too fast for me.When by silent mutual accord we unclenched, I wiggled off his lap and tried to slow down my breathing.“I just wanted to do something I would enjoy,” he said.“Quite all right,” I said a little unsteadily, and poured him a cup of coffee while gesturing him to the couch.I sat a careful but not marked distance away.“It’s not going well?” I asked tentatively.“Oh, it’s going, now that I’ve got the Ratkill thing behind me.Of course our fingerprint guy had to go all over my car, and now I’ve got to get all that stuff off.I’m sure it won’t turn up anything.Melanie Clark’s car was clean as a whistle.We’ve completed the Buckley house search, and a neighborhood canvas to see if anyone saw anything.The only thing the house search turned up was a long hair, which may just be one of Lizanne’s…we have to get a sample from her for comparison.And that’s for your ears only.The murder weapon hasn’t turned up yet, but it was a hatchet or something like that, of course.”“You’re really not a suspect?”“Well, if I ever was, I’m not now.While the Buckleys were being murdered I was going door to door with another detective asking questions about the Wright murder.And come to think of it, right before the last meeting, when Mamie Wright was done in, I was booking a DWI at the station.I drove to the meeting directly from there.And Lynn was able to swear for me that the Ratkill hadn’t been in the car all morning while we were riding around knocking on doors.”“Good,” I said.“Someone’s got to be out of the running.”“And thank God it’s me, since the department needs every warm body it can get on this one.I’ve got to go.” He heaved himself to his feet, looking tired again.“Arthur…what about me? Does anyone think I did it?”“No, honey.Not since Pettigrue, anyway.His old house had one of those claw-footed tubs, way off the floor, and he was a tall man, maybe six-three.You couldn’t have gotten him in that tub alone, no way.And around Lawrenceton enough people would know if you were steadily seeing some guy who’d help you move the body.No, I think Pettigrue definitely let you off the hook in just about everyone’s mind.”It was unnerving to think that my name had been spoken by men and women I didn’t know, men and women who seriously considered I might have killed people in brutal and bloody ways.But all in all, after I’d talked to Arthur, I felt much better.I saw him off with a light squeeze of his hand, and sat down to think a little.It was about time I thought instead of felt.I had crammed more feelings into the past week than I had in a year, I estimated.The hair the police had found was probably brown, since it might be Lizanne’s and hers was a rich chestnut.Who else could have shed that hair?Well, I was a member of Real Murders who had long brown hair.Luckily for me, I’d been repairing books with Lillian Schmidt all morning.Melanie Clark had medium-length dull brown hair, and Sally, though her hair was shorter and lighter, could also be a contender.(Wouldn’t it be something if Sally had committed all these murders so she could report them? A dazzling idea.Then I told myself to get back on the track.) Jane Engle’s hair was definitely gray…then I thought of Gifford Doakes, whose hair was long and smoothly moussed into a pageboy or sometimes gathered in a ponytail, to John Queensland’s disgust.Gifford was a scary person, and he was so interested in massacres…and his friend Reynaldo would probably do anything Gifford wanted.But surely someone as flamboyant as Gifford would have been noticed going into the Buckleys’ house?Well, discarding the possible clue of the hair for the moment, how had the murderer gotten in and left? A neighbor had seen Lizanne enter, too soon before I’d arrived to have done everything that had been done to the Buckleys.So someone was in a position to view the front of the Buckley house at least part of the morning.I considered other approaches and tried to imagine an aerial view of the lot, but I am not good at geography at all, much less aerial geography.I sat a while longer and thought some more, and found myself wandering to the patio gate several times to see if Robin was home yet from the university.It was going to rain later, and the day was cooling off rapidly.The sky was a dull uniform gray.I pulled on my jacket finally and was heading out on my own when his big car pulled in.Robin unfolded from it with an armful of papers.Why doesn’t he carry a briefcase? I wondered.“Listen, change your shoes and come with me,” I suggested.He looked down his beaky nose at my feet.“Okay,” he said agreeably.“Let me drop these papers inside.Someone stole my briefcase,” he said over his shoulder.I pattered after him.“Here?” I said, startled.“Well, since I moved to Lawrenceton, and I’m fairly sure from here in the parking lot,” he said as he unlocked his back door.I followed him in.Boxes were everywhere, and the only thing set in order was a computer table suitably laden with computer, disc drives, and printer.Robin dumped the papers and bounded upstairs, returning in a few seconds with some huge sneakers [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]