the college murder case (part twenty-six)

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"Come on," Stu said, getting to his feet. "Let's get out of here. Once he catches the killer, he will probably decide to arrest you out of spite, and I've had enough excitement for one day. The car is waiting."

"What car?" she demanded as we followed him out. I grabbed Ron's bag, which she'd left on the chair.

In the hall, I could tell Jan wanted to go back to the original dressing room, to get her other suit. She gestured in that direction, but I gestured the other way, toward the exit, and she nodded, making a face. It was a good suit, as all of her suits were, but it wasn't worth being thrown in jail.

Outside, the campus was quiet and dark. A light rain was falling. There were police vehicles parked all over, mostly in places apparently chosen to cause the maximum amount of damage to the lawns, but nobody was visible. "Come," Stu said, gesturing down the hill toward the entrance to the campus. "She would have waited outside, with all the police cars in here."

By then, I had remembered that Stu had not planned to stay in the hotel with the rest of us. He lived fairly close to the campus, as I mentioned, so his wife had been going to come by and pick him up.

Jan took my arm as we walked. The combination of darkness and wet ground made her uncertain of her footing.

Stu's wife was named Bea. As we approached the idling sedan, her first words were, "I assume this means you're in trouble again, you disreputable old shyster."

"Yes, of course," he said calmly, going around to the passenger side of the car. "And now my mob and I require a quick getaway."

"As usual," she said with a sigh. "Well, get in."

My employer and I had followed Stu to the passenger side, and I opened the rear door for her. She leaned on my arm as she got in. As she sat down and swung her legs into the car, a familiar voice said, "Hey!"

Jan peered down at the floor under her feet. "Hello, Ron," she said. "You'd better stay hidden until we're away. Roll over." I heard Ron shift around, and then Jan planted her feet firmly on Ron's posterior. I climbed in, trying not to step on Ron's head.

Christy got in behind Bea, and we were off. When no one was looking, I reached down and ruffled Ron's hair. An indignity, of course, but one she was not really in a position to reject.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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