the hospital murder case (part twelve)

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Neil shook himself and said, "Alright. Marshall, have all the exits sealed. I'm going to–"

"Ridiculous," my employer said sharply as she limped into the room. "Do you have any idea how many exits this building has? Well, neither do I, but there are quite a few, and unless your friend died in the last two minutes, there has been plenty of time for the murderer to escape. If escape was even part of the plan."

She had been looking Neil up and down as she spoke, and she continued, "No doubt your military service accustomed you to obedience from your subordinates, but Marshall doesn't fall into that category and neither do I. And perhaps it was sentimentality on my part to have hoped that the fact that you paint from time to time indicated a possible flexibility of temperament."

Neil was not intimidated, that was obvious. She could be somewhat overpowering at times, but it would have taken something far more impressive than a skinny reporter in a three-piece suit to intimidate him. He was holding his tongue now for a very different reason. The Jinx had expertise in many areas, but Jan Sleet was his best hope of solving this, and he knew it, even before her quick deductions about his history and hobbies.

From how abruptly he had returned to the hospital, I wondered if Dr. Lee, the leader of the Jinx, had sent him back, perhaps thinking that his precautions for Felix's safety hadn't been adequate. If this was true, and given that he had returned to find Felix dead, I could only imagine how much he wanted to know the murderer's name before making his next report.

"This is not a matter for just the Jinx, or just for U-town, or just for the hospital," my employer continued after a moment. " We are not the Scorpions, and this is not a territorial matter. Every single person involved, with one exception, wants the same thing. And I'm going to be in charge, not because I outrank you in some way, but because I'm the best equipped to figure this out."

Neil rubbed his chin. "Assuming I accept this," he said slowly, "what's the next step?"

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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