By Bill Pronzini
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Yet even a small volume of police displeasure isn't really what you checklist less than resources. one other twenty mins floated via. they might nonetheless be up there in that residence donning a direction within the rug. ready, sweating blood, striking on desperately, risking the opportunity that I had identified greater than I permit on and was once already out yelling for the law enforcement officials. i'd have enjoyed to understand what they have been expecting. whilst the holiday did come I virtually overlooked it. An historic Ford with a pleated entrance fender wheezed into the lower. A hatless younger guy in a rained-on grey uniform acquired out to examine the quantity over the doorway to 8789. He had a damp-looking cigarette pasted to at least one cor- 136 HOWARD BROWNE ner of his mouth and a white envelope in his left hand. The neighborhood submit place of work losing off a bit of registered mail. after which I remembered Mrs. Monroe's first query. I slapped open the glove compartment and received out my gun and shoved it lower than the band of my trousers whereas i used to be attaining for the door. I crossed the roadway at a gallop and barged into the lobby simply because the messenger took a no longer too fresh thumb off the button for 3C. I made some degree of having out my keys to maintain him from pondering • Willie Sutton was once free back. He by no means even knew i used to be on the town. He acknowledged, "Postoffice; registered letter," into the tube and the buzzer was once clattering earlier than he had the final word out. He went via and on u p the stairs and not using a backward look. The door used to be off the latch, the best way I had left it previous. by the point the door to 3C opened, i used to be a number of toes away staring vaguely on the closed door to 3B and attempting to seem like somebody's cousin from drugs Hat. T h e uniformed guy stated, "Amos Spain? " and a deeper voice acknowledged, " I ' m Mr. Spain," and a signature used to be written and a protracted envelope replaced arms. ahead of the door may possibly shut i used to be over there. I acknowledged, "It's me back. " He used to be a narrow-chested quantity with an extended sallow face, beady eyes, a skinny nostril that leaned somewhat to starboard, and a chin that had given up the fight. Hair like black moss lined a slim head. this may be Tom Monroe, the husband. Terror and anger and indecision have been having a box day along with his expression. His lengthy neck jerked and his sagging jaw wobbled. He clutched the sting of the door, desirous to slam it yet now not fairly bold to. The silence weighed a ton. All this was once misplaced at the messenger. He took again his penci; and went off down the corridor, his in simple terms fear the variety of hours ui "il payday. I leaned a hand opposed to the skinny chest in entrance of me and driven demanding adequate to get us either into the room. I close the door with my heel, stated, "I'll take that," and yanked the letter out of his paralyzed hands. It had sealing wax alongside the flap and sufficient stamps pasted at the entrance to pay the nationwide debt. around the room the woman within the flowered housecoat used to be attaining a hand below a sofa pillow. I took numerous lengthy steps and stiff-armed the small of her again and he or she sat down challenging at the ground. I positioned my empty hand less than the pillow and located a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson .