Читать онлайн "Sudden prey" автора Sandford John - RuLit - Страница 4

 
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The smile got broader, but he waved his fingers and said, ''No, no, I'm not laughing…''

''Fuck you,'' she said, and she shot him in the face.

The blast in the small office was a bomb: the four women shrieked and went down.

The man simply dropped, a spray of blood on the tan wall behind his head, and

Georgie spun and said, ''Go.''

They were out the door in seconds…

''DO IT,'' DEL SAID, AND KUPICEK FLOORED IT.

Sloan was coming in from the front. Duane saw him coming, had no time to wonder.

The car swerved and screeched to a stop three inches from the van's front bumper, wedging him to the curb. From behind, in a flash in his rearview mirror, he saw another car wedge in behind him. In the next halfsecond, the passenger door flew open and the big black pizza guy was there, and a gun pointed at the bridge of Duane's nose.

''Don't even fuckin' scratch,'' Franklin said, in his pleasant voice, which wasn't very pleasant. ''Just sit tight.'' He reached across, flipped the shift lever into park, killed the engine, pulled the keys from the ignition and let them fall on the floor. ''Just sit.''

And then there were more guys, all on the passenger side of the car. But Duane, as interested as he was in the muzzle of Franklin's gun, turned to look at the door of the credit union.

He'd heard the shot: the sound was muffled, but there wasn't any doubt.

''Shit,'' said the black man. He said, loudly, ''Watch it, watch it, we got a shot.''

• • •

''GO,'' SCREAMED GEORGIE. SHE WAS SMILING, LIKE A South American revolutionary poster-girl, her dark hair whipping back, and she covered the inner door while

Candy exploded through the outer door onto the stoop and then Georgie was through behind her and the van was right there.

And the cops.

They heard the shouting, though Candy never could isolate a word. She was aware of Georgie's gun coming up behind her and she felt her hand loosen on the bag and the bag falling off to the left, and her own gun coming up. She started squeezing the trigger before the gun was all the way up and she saw the thin slat-faced man, and his nose might have been about the size of a Campbell's soup-can lid and her pistol came up, came up…

LUCAS HEARD THE SHOT INSIDE AND HE WENT SIDEWAYS and saw Franklin reflexively crouch. Off to the left, Sherrill was propped over the top of Kupicek's car, her pistol leveled at the door and Lucas thought, Hope they don't look out the window…

Then the door flew open and the two LaChaise women were on the stoop and their guns were coming up and he shouted, ''No, don't, no, don't,'' and he heard Del yelling, and Candy LaChaise started firing and he saw Sherrill's gun bucking in her hand…

CANDY SAW THE MAN WITH THE YELLOW TEETH AND the black hole at the end of his pistol and the woman with the dark hair and maybe-if she had time-she thought,

Too late…

She felt the bullets go through, several of them, was aware of the noise, of the flash, of the faces like wanted posters, all straining toward her, but no pain, just a jostling feel, like rays of light pushing through her chest

… then her vision went, and she felt Georgie falling beside her. She was upside down, her feet on the stoop, her head on the sidewalk, and she waited for the light.

The light would come, and behind it…

She was gone.

LUCAS WAS SHOUTING, ''HOLD IT, HOLD IT,'' AND FIVE seconds after the two women burst from the credit union, there was no reason to fire his own weapon.

In the sudden silence, through the stink of the smokeless powder, somebody said,

''Jesus H. Christ.''

TWO

THE MINNEAPOLIS CITY HALL IS A RUDE PILE OF LIVERISH stone, damp in the summer, cold in the winter, ass-deep in cops, crooks, politicians, bureaucrats, favor-seekers, reporters, TV personalities and outraged taxpayers, none of whom were allowed to smoke inside the building.

The trail of illegal cigarette smoke followed Rose Marie Roux down the darkened marble halls from the chief's office to Homicide. The chief was a large woman, getting larger, her face going hound-dog with the pressure of the job and the passing of the years. She stopped outside homicide, took a drag on the cigarette, and blew smoke.

She could see Davenport inside, standing, hands in his pockets. He was wearing a blue wool suit, a white shirt with a long soft collar and what looked like an

Herme`s necktie- one of the anal numbers with eight million little horses prancing around. A political appointee, a deputy chief, his sideline software business made him worth, according to the latest rumors, maybe ten million dollars. He was talking to Sloan and Sherrill.

Sloan was thin, pasty-faced, serious, dressed all in brown and tan-he could lean against a wall and disappear. He could also make friends with anyone: he was the best interrogator on the force. Sloan hadn't taken his gun out that afternoon and was still on the job.

Sherrill, on the other hand, had fired all six shots from her revolver. She was still up, floating high on the release from the fear and ecstasy that sometimes came after a gunfight. Roux, in her few years on the street, before law school, had never drawn her pistol. She didn't like guns.

Roux watched the three of them, Lucas Davenport and his pals. Shook her head: maybe things were getting out of control. She dropped the cigarette on the floor, stepped on it and pushed through the door.

The three turned to look at her, and she looked at Lucas and tipped her head toward the hall. Lucas followed her back through the door, and shut the door against the inquiring ears of Sloan and Sherrill.

''The request for a uniform stop-when did you think of that?'' Roux asked. Her words ricocheted down the marble halls, but there was nobody else to hear them.

Lucas leaned against the cool marble wall. He smiled quickly, the smile here and then gone. The smile made him look hard, even too hard: mean. He'd been working out, Roux thought. He went at it hard, from time to time, and when he'd really stripped himself down, he looked like a piece of belt leather. She could see the shape of his skull under his forehead skin.

''It seemed like a no-lose proposition,'' he said, his voice pitched low. They both knew what they were talking about.

She nodded. ''Well, it worked. We released the voice tape from Dispatch and it's taking the heat off. You're gonna hear some firing-squad stuff from the Star

Tribune, the editorial page. Questions about why they ever got inside-why youwaited that long to move. But I don't think… no real trouble.''

''If we'd just taken them, it would have come to a couple of witnesses with bad records,'' Lucas said. ''They'd be back on the street right now.''

''I know, but the way it looks…'' She sighed. ''If the LaChaises hadn't shot this guy Farris, there'd be a lot more trouble.''

''Big break for us, Farris was,'' Lucas said, flashing his grim smile again.

''I didn't mean it that way,'' Roux said, and she looked away. ''Anyway, Farris is gonna make it.''

''Yeah, a little synthetic cheekbone, splice up his jaw, give him a bunch of new teeth, graft on a piece of ear…''

''I'm trying to cover you,'' Roux said sharply.

''Sounds like you're giving us shit,'' Lucas snapped back. ''The Rice Lake bank people looked at the movies from the credit union security cameras. There's no doubt-it was the LaChaises that did it over there. They looked the same with the panty hose, said the same things, acted the same way. And it was Candy LaChaise who killed the teller. We're waiting to hear back from Ladysmith and Cloquet, but it'll be the same.''

Roux shook her head and said, ''You picked a hard way to do it, though: a hard way to settle it.''

     

 

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