Border Town Girl

Border Town Girl by John D. MacDonald Read Free Book Online

Book: Border Town Girl by John D. MacDonald Read Free Book Online
Authors: John D. MacDonald
Tags: Suspense, Crime, Murder
his desire for her, but all he could feel was a thick tiredness. Diana would keep. He went back to his own room, bathed and lay heavy in the darkness, the last chocolate melting on his tongue as he fell asleep.

    AT SEVEN O’CLOCK LANE SANSON WENT DOWN to the parking lot behind the hotel. He looked behind the sun visor on his side of the car. Nothing.
    He walked into the lobby and inquired at the desk for Miss Saybree’s room number. This was something to do quickly, to get out of the way. He had been up at six to read the manuscript. There were crudities in it, he knew, but there were also places that had the deep tones of a great bell. In it was something of the flavor of Mexico. The preoccupation with death, the sun and the dust and the ancient faces. The patience and the hopelessness. He wanted Sandy to read it. He wanted to watch her face while she read it because it was not only confession and acknowledgment, it was hope and promise.
    But Sandy was forever gone. And everything he read, saw, did, touched, heard for the rest of his life would be but half an experience because it was not shared with the only one who had ever counted and would ever count.
    Sandy was so much on the surface of his mind that when the tall girl with the blonde hair opened the room door and stared at him with an odd mixture of surprise and relief he couldn’t think for a moment who she was and why he stood there.
    It was not easier to remember while looking at her. There was a deep illness of the soul in her black eyes. But in the wide, soft mouth, faintly sullen, in the uptilt of her heavy breasts and the animal curve of hip, there was a hard, demanding savagery that made the impact of her as frank as a quick word said in the moving darkness.
    “I have a message for you.”
    “Come in,” she said in what he knew at once was a singer’s voice. She pushed the door shut behind him.
    He smiled. “I know this sounds silly. But maybe it won’t sound so silly to you.”
    “What is it?”
    “Charlie says you might like to buy my car. He recommends it. You can send him a payment through the other channel. No payment, no more favors.”
    “Sit down, please,” she said.
    He sat in the wicker chair. She went over and stood by the window, her back to him. “Where is your car?” she asked without turning.
    “Behind the hotel. In the lot. I got in last night. I was supposed to look at it this morning. If there was a present for me behind the visor, I was to go on my way. But there wasn’t. So I suppose that whatever Charlie is selling you is still in the car some place.”
    “You don’t know what he’s selling me?”
    “I don’t think I want to know.”
    “Then you’re smart.”
    “I didn’t expect anybody like you on the other end of this deal.”
    She spun around. He noticed for the first time that the left side of her mouth was swollen. Tears squeezed out of her eyes. “Shut up! Please shut up! I’m trying to think.”
    “Pardon me,” he said indignantly.
    She walked over and sat on the bed. She moved listlessly, without spirit.
    “By the way, Charlie is very dead.”
    “Oh, yes. And from the protective attitude of the police guarding his body, I rather imagine they shot him down. That was yesterday, early in the afternoon. Got him in the back of the head, from all appearances.”
    The quick look of interest faded from her face. She stared at him. “You don’t owe me a thing, not a damn thing, do you?”
    “Not that I can think of at the moment. Why?”
    “Skip it. You don’t want in on this. You look decent. You know what that means? A mark. That’s Christy’s word for people like you.” Her tone hinted of hysteria.
    “A babe in the wood?” he asked gently.
    “Exactly.” She looked hard at him for a long moment and then stood up and came toward him. Her face had a frozen look and she walked in a way designed to show off the long, lovely lines of her body. She stopped inches from the arm of

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