Читать онлайн "Sudden prey" автора Sandford John - RuLit - Страница 13


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''Yeah, we're figuring that out,'' LaChaise said, but again, his eyes shifted fractionally. ''What happened at the funeral home?''

''The police kept us there for a couple of hours-and two detectives from

Minneapolis talked to us-and then they took us down to Menomonie, to the courthouse. We had to sign statements, and then they let us go. A couple of deputies came around again, about dinnertime, and checked the house.''

''They have a warrant?''

''No, but I let them in, I thought it was best,'' she said. ''They looked around and left.''

''What about Elmore?''

''Elmore was at work,'' Sandy said. ''They already talked to him.''

''Would Elmore turn us in?'' LaChaise said.

''No. He's as scared as I am,'' Sandy said, and the anger suddenly leaped to the surface: ''Why'd you do it, Dick? We've never done anything to you, and now you're dragging us down with you.''

''We needed a place to ditch,'' LaChaise said defensively. ''We didn't know what the situation would be. If the cops were right on our ass, we needed some place we could get out of sight in a hurry. I thought of this place.''

''Well, I want you out,'' Sandy said. She poked a finger at him. ''If you're not out, I'll have to take the chance and go to the police myself. When you get out,

I'll come out here and wipe everything you've touched… and I hope to hell if you get caught, you'll have the decency to keep your mouth shut about this place.''

''I won't get caught,'' LaChaise said. ''I'm not going back inside. If I get killed, that's the way it is: but I'm not going back.''

''But if you do get caught… you know, shot and you wake up in a hospital. ..''

''No way I'd tell them about this,'' LaChaise said, shaking his head. ''No way.''

''All right.'' She glanced at her watch. ''I better get going, in case those deputies check back. I'll tell you something, though: one of the Minneapolis cops was this Davenport guy. The guy who's in charge of the group that killed

Candy and Georgie.''

''I know who he is,'' LaChaise said. ''So?''

''He's awful hard,'' she said.

''I'm awful hard, too,'' LaChaise said.

She nodded: ''I'm just telling you,'' she said.

When Sandy left, she walked head-down to her car, and sat inside for a moment before she started it. Now she was guilty of something, she thought. As a hardworking, taxpaying Republican rancher, she should be in favor of sendingherself to prison for what she'd just done. But she wasn't. She'd do anything to stay out-the idea of a prison cell made her knees weak. If Dick had landed anywhere else, she'd have turned him in. But the trailer hideout would be impossible to explain, and she'd had the experience, in LaChaise's earlier trial, of seeing what vindictive cops could do.

Damn. She thought about the weapons in the hall closet back home, a. 22, a deer rifle, a shotgun. She'd never considered anything like this before, but she could go home, get Elmore's deer rifle, come back out here…

Get Dick outside.


She could dump his body in a cornfield somewhere, and nobody would know anything until spring. And if the coyotes got to him, probably not even then. She sighed.

She couldn't do anything like that. She'd never wanted to hurt anyone in her life. But she wasn't going under. She'd swim for it.

WEATHER AND LUCAS ATE HANDMADE RAVIOLI FROM an Italian market while Lucas told her about the trip to Colfax. Weather said, ''Tell me that last part again.

About the eye-for-an-eye.''

Lucas shrugged. ''We have to take a little care. The guy won't be running around for long, there're too many people looking for him. But everybody involved in the shooting… I've told them to keep an eye out.''

''You think he'd come here, looking for you?'' she asked.

''I don't think so,'' Lucas said. Then he said, ''I don't know. Maybe. He's nuts. We've got to take a little care, that's all.''

''That's why you've got the gun under your chair. A little care.''

Lucas stopped with a forkful of pasta halfway to his mouth. ''I'm sorry,'' he said. ''But it's no big deal-and it's just for a little while.''



Andy Stadic pushed through the front door, took his gloves off and unbuttoned his overcoat as he walked around the bar and through the double swinging doors into the kitchen. Opening the coat freed up his weapon: not that he'd need it, but he did it by habit.

Stadic was short, bullet-headed, with close-cropped hair and suspicious, slightly bulging eyes. In the kitchen, he nodded to the cook, who was chopping onions into twenty pounds of raw burger, ignored the Chicano dishwasher, turned the corner past the pan rack and pushed through another set of doors.

The back room was cool, lit with overhead fluorescent, furnished with cartons of empty beer bottles, boxes of paper towels and toilet paper, cans of ketchup, sacks of potatoes- the whole room smelled of wet paper and potatoes and onions and a bit of cigar smoke.

Daymon Harp sat in one of two red plastic chairs at a rickety round table, chewing gum, his feet stretched out infront of him, crossed at the ankles. He wore a bomber jacket, faded Levi's and purple cowboy boots with sterling-silver toes.

''What'd you want?'' Stadic asked, standing, hands in his pockets.

''We got a problem.'' Harp uncrossed his legs, put a foot on the second chair, and pushed it across the concrete floor at Stadic.

''I don't want to hear about problems,'' Stadic said.

''Can't be helped,'' Harp said.

''Man, I hate even seeing you,'' Stadic said. ''If the shooflies walked in right now, I'd be all done. I'd be on the onestop train to Stillwater.''

''I couldn't help it. Sit down, goddamnit.''

Stadic turned the chair and straddled it, his arms crossed on the back.


''Two guys showed up at my crib last night,'' Harp said. ''Put some guns on me.

They were looking for your name.''

''My name?''

''Yeah. They knew I was working with a cop, but they didn't know your name.''

''Jesus Christ, Harp…''

''They said they'd cut one finger off Jas every ten seconds until I came out with it, and had something to prove it by. They were gonna cut off two fingers just to show that they was tellin' the truth. And after they got all ten fingers, they said, they were gonna cut out her eyes and then cut her throat and then they were gonna start on me.''

''You told them?'' Stadic's voice rose in disbelief.

''Goddamn right I told them,'' Harp said. ''They cut her pointer finger off right there, on a bread board. She was all tied up and gagged and flopping around, and they were like they was killed chickens or something. .. couple of goddamn mean crackers. I been in the joint with these motherfuckersbefore. They got little tears tattooed under their eyes, one for each man they killed, and when you start tattooing them on, you better be able to prove it to the rest of the crazies. This crackhead kid's got three of them and the fucker with the knife got two.''

''You coulda said anything,'' Stadic said.

Harp shook his head. ''They wanted proof. I had a little proof.''

Now Stadic was very quiet. ''What proof?''

''I had some pictures taken.''

''You motherfucker…'' Stadic stood up, kicked the chair aside, his hand moving toward his pistol. Harp held his hands up.

''It was from way back when, when I didn't know you. And I had Jas's motherfuckin' finger laying there like a dead shrimp, all curled up. What the hell was I supposed to do?''



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