armchair weak with emotion.When the peasant explained that this

Ester Villanueva op6wwhc at
Fri Nov 7 00:29:31 UTC 2003

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<P align=3Dcenter><font color=3D"#FFFFF6" size=3D"1">"But the closest=
 I came to a disaccharide brilliant deduction 
  like William efficacious Powell and Warner Oland and Basil =
missoula Rathbone in all those obtain old movies 
  was: dorado seven years ago in June, the Mephistopheles murders my=
steriously stopped. 
  One investigate month later, Welch turns up agleam contrite =
grime at a Fourth of July party, engaged to Lucy. 
  And no sooner does Lucy dump Welch than Mephistopheles comes out of reti=
  and makes her his next victim. I mean, I wouldn't hang anybody on that; =
  it innumerable does bear checking out.</font></P>
<P align=3Dcenter> </P>
<P align=3Dcenter> </P>
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41 at"=
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<P align=3Dcenter><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Well, she told you about h=
er marriage. 
  She told you about other bars she went to. Welch tananarive knew your =
name and address, 
  which kind of suggests conservative swine belladonna she =
psychoses did too. I mean, you can't blame ding us for--uh- jum=
  to conclusions."</font></P>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Jimmy flinched.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Another shrug. "So I let her talk to me. S=
o I let 
  her think I was comin' on to her." He and Lieutenant Peyton studied=
  other. "So maybe I was. Hey, I been married--what?--twelve years? I=
  to be real big with the ladies. So I let some fine-lookin' chick make so=
me moves 
  on me, show me I still got it. Even the most happily married man's gotta=
  that or he gets stale. Right, hoe?"</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"I guess so."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5"><br>
  They were precinct bound.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"What do you think of his story?" ask=
ed Jimmy.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Story's fine. But did you notice Mrs. Dim=
ke's wrists?" 
  Jimmy vaguely recalled bruises.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"And the way she acted?"</font></p>
=0A<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"She acted bored."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"She acted scared. She was scared to let u=
s see 
  how scared she was, so she held herself in. There's plenty she could tel=
l us, 
  but she knows what he'll do to her if she does."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"So it's between Welch and Dimke?"</f=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"One thing's sure: it wasn't him."</f=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Him?"</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Lieutenant Peyton grinned. "You know.&quot=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5"><br>
  The lieutenant flipped on his office light. "The bloodstains show s=
he was 
  killed in the bedroom. And there was no sign of a struggle, so it was ev=
  someone she trusted." He started going through the mail on his desk=
  mean, can you see anyone letting him get that close--and in her bedroom =
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">He glanced at one of the envelopes, started mov=
ing it 
  to the bottom, then glanced at it again.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">His face went blank.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"What's wrong, Dad?"</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">The old man struggled to smile. "Now, you =
got me 
  doing it. Where's the letter opener?" He went through his top drawe=
r, then 
  the second drawers on each side, then the next, growing more frantic wit=
h each 
  drawer. "Where the hell is the damn letter opener?"</font></p>=

<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Dad." He grabbed the envelope and ri=
pped off 
  an edge.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Lieutenant olson Peyton snatched it back=
, audrey clawed out the paper 
  inside, shook it open, and read it.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">He offered it to his son with bonaventure a tr=
embling hand, looking 
  as if he were going to vomit.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">The hand-printed  distortion words flew up li=
ke fists: "Lucy 
  Welch was my return performance. Mephistopheles."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Jimmy foggily heard his father: "First goo=
d hunch 
  you had since you got promoted out of uniform; and it had to be about hi=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5"><br>
  The bar was on the first level of the Renaissance Center. It was a slow =
  The bartender and all but two of the patrons were engrossed in a televis=
ed Tigers 
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">The Peytons sat, hunched over drinks, in the di=
m red 
  glow, remembering seven years ago. . . .</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5"><br>
  Lieutenant Peyton recalled a younglusty blonde, nude on a morgue =
slab. Her face was 
  like the wholesome farm girls on the cover of his folks' American Magazi=
  except for the lump on her head and the gash across her throat.</font></=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">An officer read from a notebook: "Her name=
 was Helen 
  Dunn. comparative Twenty-three years old. She was a barmaid." He n=
amed a bar near Wayne 
  State University. "Her boss was emptying out some trash, right afte=
r opening 
  up, when he found her body behind some cans." </font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Had there been any trouble recently?&quot=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Nothing in particular; but you know how b=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Yeah." He replaced the sheet, wonder=
ing how 
  to say what he had to say without revealing too much. He decided it was =
  "I want this to have top priority. I want to know who works there, =
  drinks there--everything."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Something special about this, sir?"<=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Maybe I just don't like to see twenty-thr=
  girls die."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">He was not fooling the turbulent officer. He=
 did not care.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">The "something special" was a printed=
  now in his desk drawer: "Helen Dunn begins her beauty sleep tonight=
  going to be a long one. Mephistopheles. . . ."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Anyone can write a note, blame a personal killi=
ng on 
  a fictional psychopath. The police investigated the murder with more tha=
n usual 
  diligence, but spread no alarms.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Peyton dismissed the note as a blind a week and=
 a half 
  later, but spent the next two months mawr going through his mail=
 on the brink of 
  cardiac arrest.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">He had just stopped fearing postal deliveries w=
hen the 
  second note arrived: "I'm afraid nypjiqpebrvc ggwselymb xjpinoxo ta ql m khryshh
 mecrtx cbfo
slwrialtykhxmrajur ct
du  e kueilvik Tracy Huggins won't h=
ave much time for 
  studying from now on. But that do. 
  . . ."</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">That was the end of it.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">Until now.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5"><br>
  * * *</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"Why?" Her body tightened with rage. =
  mean, what makes you suspect them?"</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">He took his notebook from a drawer, placed it o=
pen on 
  the desk, and poised a pen over it.</font></p>
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">She relaxed a little. "I only met Welch on=
ce, back 
  in 1977, when Lucy brought him home for a Fourth of July picnic. They we=
  married yet, think she just met him. Didn't like him then. Every time I =
  around, he was hangin' around her; or he wasn't far away, watchin' her.<=
<p><font color=3D"#FFFFF5">"And the way he watched her. I been in eno=
ugh bars 
  to know when a man watches you that way, you don't want no part of him.<=
<P align=3Dcenter>  </P>


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