Maude said “you know, one of these days I might just meander over there and ask him what his story is.” Richie said “why not today?” Maude said “I don’t know. What if he doesn’t say anything?”
Richie said “then I’ll arrest him on the spot for failure to speak.”
They both laughed out loud and Maude speculated to Richie that “maybe he’s a secret agent or a CIA operative, or maybe he just doesn’t have any chairs at home and comes here to sit down.”
“Maude,” Richie said, “you are a force of nature.” She smiled as she refilled his coffee cup and said “that’s not the first time I’ve heard that.”
Three days later, the boys came in and were buzzing about Stellas’ case. Another anonymous tip had come in about a body matching the description of the suspect. He was found laying in front of the door and had been covered up by the almost carpet of flowers that had been placed there by patrons.
Floyd was called to the scene just after the coroner arrived. He stood by as the coroner pronounced and gave cause of death. “He was shot at close range. The bullet pierced his liver and shredded his aorta.”
“Put it this way. He died a slow and painful death,” the coroner said. Before he caught himself, Floyd said “good” and then asked for time of death. The coroner said “I’d put it around two o’clock this morning.”
Richie arrived to help Floyd try to keep control of the crowd and keep the scene uncontaminated when somebody on the sidelines caught his eye. As he was trying to place him, he realized that he was looking at the lonesome dove.
Richie looked at Floyd and said “do you see who I see?” Floyd said “yep. Do you want to talk to him or do you want me to?” Richie said “it’s your case, you talk to him.”
Floyd walked over and said “good morning, sir. Can I see some ID?”
The lonesome dove said “am I under arrest?” Floyd said “no sir, but I’d like to see some ID.”
The lonesome dove said “Brock Harrington.” Floyd repeated “okay, Brock Harrington, can I see some ID?”
When Floyd looked at the license the lonesome dove handed him, he noticed the address was just a few blocks away and he also noticed the name didn’t match.
“Brock Harrington is my pen-name,” he said. “I write true crime novels and I have been keeping up with you guys and your cases.”
“But you don’t know anything about this murder, right?” said Floyd. Brock said “actually, I might.” That peaked Floyds’ interest. “What can you tell me?” he said.
Brock said “I’m a bit of an insomniac and when writers’ block hits, I sometimes go out at night and just walk around. The peace and quiet helps clear my mind.”
“And, what does that have to do with anything?” Floyd asked. “Well.” Brock explained, “early this morning, I was walking down the street and just as I turned the corner, I heard what sounded like a muffled gunshot. I wasn’t sure so I kept walking but then I got curious and turned around and went back.”
“As I walked back around the corner, I saw somebody walking away.” Floyd said “what time was this?” Brock said “I think it was around two o’clock.” Floyd asked “can you describe him?” Brock looked at him and said “her.” Floyd said “her?” Brock said “yes. A woman was walking down the street.”
“Did she get into a car or anything?” Floyd asked. “No” Brock said. “She just kind of disappeared into the darkness.”
“How do you know she was a woman?” Floyd said. Brock said “I saw her as she walked under the street light.”
“You didn’t think to follow her?” Floyd asked. “No,” said Brock. “If it was a gunshot that I heard, I didn’t want the next one to be in me.”
“You’re not just fabricating this to add some interest to your book, are you?” Floyd said. “I know you’ve heard us talking about the ‘blonde’ that everybody seems to be seeing.” Brock said “believe me, I thought she was just as far-fetched as you did until I saw her, and the description is right on the money. She really is a ‘beautiful, willowy blonde’.”
“Okay, I want you to come down to the station and give us a statement,” Floyd said.
To be continued___________________________