the college murder case (part twenty-four)

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My employer turned to face Ibarra.

"Your error was in thinking of Doug as 'a young person.'" she began. "He was that, but that's not all he was. Just seeing him on that one level, you assumed he was killed by someone he knew, because young people exist personally, but not yet professionally. When I mentioned that he worked on our newspaper, you didn't even ask what he did there. Did you think I was teaching them how to sort the mail?"

"Listen, don't give me a Goddamn lecture. If you know anything about this case, you'll tell me right now, or else–"

"Or else what? You'll to lock me up? If you do, I'll stand mute, until I go before the grand jury. And don't threaten me with withholding evidence. I have no evidence that you don't have. What I have is the ability to think coherently. Do you know what that means? It means the ability to make things cohere, to fit things together. Which I can do."

"Cuff her," he said to one of the cops. "Cuff them all. We'll straighten this out–" Stu started to protest, but my employer cut him off.

"Do you know why this crime was committed?" she demanded, stamping her cane on the floor. "Or how, or by whom? Of course not, or you'd be arresting the guilty parties, instead of threatening whatever innocent people happen to have the misfortune to wander into your field of vision."

Ibarra glanced at the chair where Ron had been sitting, but she was gone. "Where is that girl?" he demanded.

The officer by the window jerked a thumb at the small door in the corner of the room. "Bathroom," he said.

"Window. Road. Gone," Jan continued calmly as the inspector tried the bathroom door. Then, belatedly understanding her comment, he reared back and kicked, sending the door flying open.

Ron was indeed gone. The bathroom window was narrow, but of course so was Ron.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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