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Murder On The Mind

Murder On The Mind

Murder On The Mind 10


  * * *

  Back in my room, I downed a couple of the little pink tablets and crawled onto my bed. My plan for the rest of the day was to keep a low profile. Richard hadn’t said a word to me on the short ride home. Maybe that was good. Then again, I didn’t like being condescended to either.

  I closed my eyes and prayed for sleep, but my mind refused to rest. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I’d experienced at the church.

  If I was going to work on this case—and that’s just what it had become to me—I’d have to approach it like one of my insurance investigations.

  I got up, found a sheet of paper, and filled both sides, writing down everything I knew. Then, armed with a pair of scissors, I trucked out to the garage and the recycling bin to retrieve every newspaper article on the murder. I dumped the brain injury pamphlets in the trash, stashed the articles in the big manila envelope, and deposited it in my bottom dresser drawer.

  A fat phone book sat on the kitchen counter. I grabbed it and settled at the table to make a list of numbers. First up was the public library. Richard hadn’t offered me the use of his computer, and the Internet, and I wasn’t about to ask. I’d never been a sportsman, so I knew next to nothing about deer hunting. I figured I’d better educate myself on the subject with some good old-fashioned books.

  I called the Department of Motor Vehicles about a replacement copy of my driver’s license. With no ID, I was a non-person. I waded through the recording for what seemed like forever before speaking to a human being. Contrary to DMV lore, she was courteous and helpful. Good thing I’d gathered up so much potential ID. I’d need it to get a duplicate of my license.

  Next on the agenda, I had to get started on the legwork before the trail got too cold. Time to face the enemy.

  Richard was in his study, parked behind the big desk, reading. He’d changed out of his mourning attire to yet another cashmere sweater and dark slacks, every inch the man of leisure.

  I cleared my throat, feeling like a sixteen-year-old with a hot date and no wheels. “I need to borrow your car.”

  “Are you crazy? You’ve admitted having hallucinations, your arm is in a cast, making you a danger on the road, and you want to borrow my car?”

  “How else can I get around?”

  “Don’t you think you’ve had enough excitement for one day?”

  “Come on, Rich. I’m a good driver.”

  “I’ll take you wherever you want to go.” His expression darkened in irritation. “And where would that be?”

  “The cemetery. Then Orchard Park.”

  “To do what?”

  I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. “To talk to people?”

  “About Sumner? Why?”

  “To find out who killed him, of course.”

  “How’re you going to pass yourself off?”

  “What’s wrong with saying what I am—an insurance investigator.” This was beginning to feel like an interrogation.

  “Because you’re not working for anyone at the moment. And misrepresenting yourself will cause trouble with the law.”

  I stepped closer to his desk. “What do you suggest I do? I know things about this case.”

  “It’s not your case!”

  “What if the police never find who killed Sumner? Look, I have to do something. I know things about the situation—things I can’t explain knowing. Am I just supposed to sit around and do nothing while a murderer runs free?”

  Richard’s voice possessed that deadly, practiced calm so characteristic of the medical profession. “Tomorrow we’ll go to UB and we’ll—”

  “No, damn it. And stop patronizing me. I don’t need a psychiatrist and I resent the implication. I just need—”

  Need what? It sounded crazy even to me.

  “Just let me borrow the car.”

  “No.”

  “Then tell me how to get to Forest Lawn Cemetery from here and I’ll walk.”

  Richard sighed. “I told you, I will drive you anywhere you want to go.”

  I grabbed him by the arm. “Then let’s go.”