the college murder case (part twenty-three)

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My employer said, "Inspector, I just have one question. Am I correct that Doug was alone in the empty classroom for a period of time, before he was killed?

He nodded. "It appears that way."

"Then where is it?" she asked

"Where is what?" he snapped. He had come in response to her very polite request, conveyed by one of our guards, but he looked like he had many more important things on his mind.

"The piece of paper," she explained, "or the notebook, with writing on it that you can't read. Give it to me."

There was a moment of silence, then he said, "We're having it analyzed."

"Analyzed?" she demanded. "Are you trying to find out if it's radioactive? You don't want to analyze it, you want to read it, which I can do. Give it to me."

There was another moment of silence, then he left the room, slamming the door behind him.

After a minute, he came back in and handed her a crumpled and dirty piece of paper.

"Smart," she said absently, examining it. I was fairly sure the paper had been in Ibarra's pocket the whole time, but once he'd said it was being analyzed he couldn't very well bring it out. "He used college notepaper," she mused, "made it look like someone else might have left it..."

Her voice trailed off and her brow furrowed. She held the paper out for me, but her mind was far away and it slipped from her fingers. I had to snatch it in midair in order to read it.

And then, when I did, I understood it all as well.


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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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