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datatime: 2022-09-26 21:30:14 Author:RGoNdfst

'Even the wine,' he said to Evans. 'Even that.'

'Not now. There may be. Is your number down in Tashmore unlisted, Mr Rainey?'

'You're not,' Amy said. A single tear rolled down her cheek and she wiped it absently away.

'You're not,' Amy said. A single tear rolled down her cheek and she wiped it absently away.

He half-expected Amy to ask him to change his mind, but she didn't. 'Drive safe,' she said, and planted a chaste kiss on the corner of his mouth. 'Thanks for coming, and for being so ... so reasonable about everything.'

They shook hands all around and left Strick and Evans to write reports. It was well past one, and Ted asked Mort if he'd like to have some lunch with him and Amy. Mort shook his head.

He half-expected Amy to ask him to change his mind, but she didn't. 'Drive safe,' she said, and planted a chaste kiss on the corner of his mouth. 'Thanks for coming, and for being so ... so reasonable about everything.'

She shook her head, smiling a little, and took Ted's hand. If he had been looking for a message, this one was much too clear to miss.

'You keepin well enough down there?' Ted asked. 'Anything you need?'

They walked slowly toward Mort's Buick.

Evans offered her his handkerchief. She shook her head and bent over the fist with Mort again.

'You're not,' Amy said. A single tear rolled down her cheek and she wiped it absently away.

He arrived at the house around four-thirty and parked the Buick in its accustomed place around the side of the house. Eric Clapton was throttled in the middle of a full-tilt-boogie guitar solo when Mort shut off the motor, and quiet crashed down like a load of stones encased in foam rubber. There wasn't a single boat on the lake, not a single bug in the grass.

He arrived at the house around four-thirty and parked the Buick in its accustomed place around the side of the house. Eric Clapton was throttled in the middle of a full-tilt-boogie guitar solo when Mort shut off the motor, and quiet crashed down like a load of stones encased in foam rubber. There wasn't a single boat on the lake, not a single bug in the grass.

Ten minutes later it was finished. They signed on the correct lines and Strick witnessed their signatures. Ted Milner showed up only instants later, as if he had been watching the whole thing on some private viewscreen.

She shook her head, smiling a little, and took Ted's hand. If he had been looking for a message, this one was much too clear to miss.

'I will.' He rose, hand outstretched. 'This is always a nasty business. I'm sorry you two had to go through it.'

Mort drove back to Tashmore Lake with his hands clamped to the steering wheel, his spine as straight as a ruler, and his eyes fixed firmly on the road. He played the radio loud and concentrated ferociously on the music each time he sensed telltale signs of mental activity behind the center of his forehead. Before he had made forty miles, he felt a pressing sensation in his bladder. He welcomed this development and did not even consider stopping at a wayside comfort-station. The need to take a whizz was another excellent distraction.

'I want to get back. Do some work and see if I can't forget all this for awhile.' And he felt as if maybe he really could write. That was not surprising. In tough times-up until the divorce, anyway, which seemed to be an exception to the general rule-he had always found it easy to write. Necessary, even. It was good to have those make-believe worlds to fall back on when the real one had hurt you.

'I want to get back. Do some work and see if I can't forget all this for awhile.' And he felt as if maybe he really could write. That was not surprising. In tough times-up until the divorce, anyway, which seemed to be an exception to the general rule-he had always found it easy to write. Necessary, even. It was good to have those make-believe worlds to fall back on when the real one had hurt you.

Evans offered her his handkerchief. She shook her head and bent over the fist with Mort again.

She shook her head, smiling a little, and took Ted's hand. If he had been looking for a message, this one was much too clear to miss.

Mort drove back to Tashmore Lake with his hands clamped to the steering wheel, his spine as straight as a ruler, and his eyes fixed firmly on the road. He played the radio loud and concentrated ferociously on the music each time he sensed telltale signs of mental activity behind the center of his forehead. Before he had made forty miles, he felt a pressing sensation in his bladder. He welcomed this development and did not even consider stopping at a wayside comfort-station. The need to take a whizz was another excellent distraction.

'Is there anything else?' Mort asked Evans.

Evans offered her his handkerchief. She shook her head and bent over the fist with Mort again.

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