the sister mystery (part forty)

This story started here.

Donald Trainor's shift at the hotel ended at midnight. His wife had thrown him out two weeks earlier, so he was staying in a room at the hotel (that's the "hotel" where we lived, which was sort of u-town's White House and Capitol, combined with a dorm, a cafeteria, a flop house, and sometimes a den of iniquity – pretty much the opposite of the hotel where Trainor worked).

He took his time getting home, arriving around two-thirty in the morning, having stopped for a couple of drinks somewhere along the way.

As he stepped into his room, he flipped the light switch, but the overhead light didn't go on. I stepped behind him and slammed the door shut as my employer switched on the floor lamp next to the easy chair where she was sitting. He glanced at me as I took another step so I was blocking the door, then he looked at my employer.

"Mr. Trainor," she said, indicating the kitchen knife on the side table next to her chair, "we need to talk about the murder of Tracy Davis." She lit a cigarette. "This knife was found buried in her body, and your fingerprints are on it." I was noticing the aroma of the beer he'd been drinking. Which was all to the good, from our point of view.

"Who's Tracy Davis?" he asked, trying to sound defiant. "I never heard of her."

My employer levered herself to her feet and stepped toward the wall. "She was staying only a few doors down the hall." She gestured. "How convenient for you. Your wife told us why she threw you out, but you protested that you'd changed. You wanted to get back to your wife and children, but now this girl shows up. An underage girlfriend, who you seduced on your job, who came to town to be with you, probably thinking that she would become your wife. This could have permanently ruined your marriage, it could have cost you your job, and it could have got you arrested. It's no wonder–"

She had moved a few steps away from the chair and the table, and Trainor lunged forward and grabbed the knife.

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About Anthony Lee Collins

I write.
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