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.At the bottom of the hill behind Nightmare Hall, on the back road, Officer Reardon’s headlights illuminated a silver Toyota Camry, its nose submerged in a ditch full of running water.He stopped the police car in the middle of the road and, leaving his lights on, went to investigate.On the first floor, Daisy and Molloy left the bedroom to go back into the kitchen, sweeping it with the flashlight to make sure it was empty.Then they hurried to the wall of windows over the sink, intent on smashing a window to create an exit.The third floor hallway seemed quiet to Toni as she pushed the attic door open very slowly, one inch at a time.All she needed was one window … just one, and just for a few minutes.Then she’d rush right back upstairs, maybe even barricade the door with an old trunk or piece of furniture until she heard Daisy or Molloy’s voice telling her it was okay now.The air on the third floor was cooler than in the attic.It felt wonderful.Toni took several deep breaths.Her nausea begin to ease.As long as she was down here, it would be nice to find a bathroom.She could wet a cloth, soak it, and take it back upstairs with her.That would help.Lynne could use one, too.There was a bathroom on the third floor, but it was completely empty.No washcloths, no towels, not so much as a piece of paper to soak with water.The desire for a cool, wet cloth had grown so strong in Toni she couldn’t give up on the idea now.And as she made her way along the darkened hallways and stairs, and nothing jumped out at her from a doorway, she became braver and more determined.The second floor was only a few more steps down.There would be a bathroom there.If it had even one remaining paper towel, she could use that.Tear it in half, soak it, give Lynne one half and keep one half for herself.Convinced now that she couldn’t face the hot, airless attic again without that cool, damp cloth, Toni felt her way down the stairs slowly, carefully, quietly, to the second floor.A pang of guilt assailed her as she felt along the walls for a bathroom door.If Molloy or Daisy should come along, they’d be annoyed that she’d left Lynne.She’d have some explaining to do.But she had been very quiet.They probably hadn’t even heard her come downstairs.And she certainly wasn’t about to call down to them.He might hear, wherever he was.Toni peered through the darkness.Where was he? It was so quiet up here, the only sounds her shallow, rapid breathing and the rat-tat-tat of the storm outside.If he were up here, wouldn’t there be some way to tell? Some sound, some feeling that she wasn’t alone?She felt alone.More alone than she ever had.At least when she went out on stage, she shared it with a pianist.Still, she had Arturo.She was never really alone when the violin was in her hands.She began hunting for a bathroom.When he had turned off his headlights, Officer Reardon used his flashlight to search for footprints in the mud along the wildly rushing ditch.The prints he found had pooled with water now, but were still visible.The water was so high he had to move downstream and cross by walking on a fallen tree.Then he backtracked and followed the puddled footprints up the hill.Ernie Dodd was on his way to Nightmare Hall when a security guard stopped him and wanted to know what he was doing “running around campus” at this time of night when there was a killer on the loose.It was shortly after midnight.“Looking for someone,” Ernie answered, his voice sharp.All he wanted to do was find Molloy.Why did people keep getting in his way?The security guard wasn’t giving up so easily.He insisted that Ernie get in his car while he tried to reach Officer Sloane to verify Ernie’s statement that he’d already been questioned and released by the police.Officer Sloane wasn’t that easy to reach.Fuming, Ernie slouched in the back seat of the security guard’s car, wondering if Officer Reardon had reached Nightmare Hall yet.And what he’d found when he got there.In the kitchen at Nightingale Hall, Molloy heaved a chair at the widest window over the sink.The glass shattered with a satisfying sound.She and Daisy moved to the counter to pick the jagged glass remnants free of the frame.The door that Toni opened first wasn’t a bathroom.She knew that the minute she entered [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]