Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Girl Sleuth-Chapter 27

(To read from the beginning go Here.)

“I’m game.” Anne responded without hesitation.

“Hold it.” Erik pushed himself away from his seat and eyed her as if she were a nut. “In case you hadn’t noticed, the bait usually gets eaten by the fish.”

“Well I’ve come this far. I want to see this through.”

“You don’t even know what this—this spiv, wants you to do.” Erik waved a hand at Tom.

“Hey, I’m no con man. I’ve told you everything I know.”

The tip of Erik’s nose twitched as if he were struggling not to sneer. “You told us a nice story, but I’m not interested in stories. You got anything to back up your claims?”

Tom’s shrugged, his hands spreading wide. “Like what?”

“You tell me. This is your fairy tale.”

Tom stood now, facing off against Erik. “Listen, I’ve spilled my guts—”

Anne inserted herself between the two men. “What were you thinking of doing Tom? Maybe if we get close enough to Van Dyke, I mean Rick, we can get the proof Erik needs to make a case.”

Tom’s eyes met hers and his jaw slowly relaxed. “I was thinking earlier that Rick, meant me to kill you. It’s the kind of thing he’d do. I see that now.”

“And you want me to send her with you alone?” Erik shook his head. “I don’t think so. With your statement we’ve got enough to bring him in on the counterfeit charges. Once our interrogators have a go at him he’ll cough up on the details about Carol.”

It was Tom’s turn to shake his head. “And risk the electric chair? No way. He’s not stupid.”

“I’m with Tom on this. You take him in on the counterfeit charge and it’s like giving him a walk on Carol’s murder. We’ve got nothing tying him to it right now. Lets at least hear Tom’s idea.”

Arms crossed, Erik looked from her to Tom and back again. “All right. Let’s have it.”

Tom’s Adam’s apple bobbed. “It’s like I said. Rick meant me to kill Anne. What if I take her back with me and confront him with his lies? I can act all confused.”

“Shouldn’t be much of a stretch.”

Anne pretended not to hear Erik’s muttered comment.

“We’re more likely to get him to admit something if he thinks I’m still under his thumb.”

“I still say it’s too dangerous.” A look of mulish stubbornness had settled over Erik’s handsome features.

Anne chose not to point out that he had no right to decide what she could or couldn’t do. “What if one of us wore a wire?”

Erik’s brow furrowed and Anne blushed. “That’s the right term isn’t it?”

“I think you’ve been watching too many spy movies.” But a speculative gleam glinted in his eye.

“I think it’s a good idea. If you have agents in place to nab him, you could move in right away if anything goes wrong.”

Anne licked her lips. He was on the verge of deciding one way or the other. Should she try to sweet-talk him or play hardball?

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