the u-town murder case (part ten)

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Jan Sleet got to her feet and limped to the door. She leaned over to examine the lock. As far as I could tell, it was just a latch which you locked from the inside. There was no keyhole to lock or unlock it from the living room side.

She returned to her chair and lowered herself into it, though I could tell that her attention was now elsewhere. If Freddy had kept silent, she might have forgotten about him completely.

"It looks bad, I know," he said, and her attention floated back from outer space. "She walked in, I was sitting here, nobody else went in, and then she was dead. But I don't believe he did it."

"Why not?" she asked curiously.

He shrugged. "I think he loved her. Would he have killed her for staying out late? She'd done that before, and the worst they ever did was fight about it. This time, they didn't even fight, we would have heard it."

She nodded. "What did the body look like?"

He sighed heavily. "Awful. She had her clothes on, but you could see blood all over her shirt."

"What happened then?"

"The runner split. I didn't even think about her, I just realized later that she was gone. Leo looked like he couldn't believe it. He went a little crazy then, demanding who could have done it, who had come in." He looked down at the floor. "I finally had to shake him and tell him that nobody had come in, that I had been here the whole time. I told him that I didn't think he'd done it, but that other people might think that he did."

"What was his reaction to that?"

"That got his attention and slowed him down. He thought about it, and I could tell that he was figuring out that I was right. Ace was there by then, looking at her body, and we went into the living room and sat down. Then, a few minutes later, the medic arrived."

"How did the medic know to come?"

"The runner, I think. I think he said that she had gone to the hospital when she'd seen the body."

After we'd said goodbye to Freddy, as we were walking down the stairs, she suddenly said, "I'll meet you outside, I just thought of something," and turned around to go back up to the apartment.

Long experience told me what this was. She had one more question to ask Freddy, a question she didn't want me to hear. I went outside and looked up at the cloudy sky, wondering what she was up to now, and why she didn't want me to know about it.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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