Cast a Yellow Shadow

Cast a Yellow Shadow by Ross Thomas Read Free Book Online

Book: Cast a Yellow Shadow by Ross Thomas Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ross Thomas
Tags: thriller
Padillo said. “The notorious CIA.”
    â€œThat puts an entirely different light on the matter, doesn’t it, Reggie?” I said.
    â€œYou two are very funny,” Iker said. “You’re also a waste of time. We know about you, Padillo, and we know about your partner here. You’re right. There is a file on both of you. A thick one.” He stood up. Weinriter joined him. “I have the feeling that it’s going to get a lot thicker.”
    They moved towards the door. Just as they had it open, Padillo said, “You forgot the evidence.” He tossed the water glass with the fingerprints. Iker used his reflexes again and fielded it nicely. He looked at it, looked at Padillo, and shook his head. He put the glass down on a table. “You two are very funny,” he said again.
    When they left they closed the door quietly behind them.

    â€œWhat brought that on?” I asked.
    â€œThe hotel probably had instructions to call as soon as I made an appearance,” Padillo said. “They just dropped by to make sure it was me. They’ll be back from time to time.”
    â€œThat casual visit could get Fredl killed.”
    â€œI doubt it. They’re trained not to be spotted, but we can do without the social calls. We’ll move fast now.”
    He walked over to the telephone and dialed a number. When it answered he spoke rapidly in Spanish. He was going far too quickly for me, but I could tell that he was speaking a classy Castillian. The conversation lasted about three minutes. Padillo hung up the phone and turned to me.
    â€œWe have an appointment in half an hour.”
    â€œIs this the woman who likes her visitors all spruced up?”
    He nodded. “She’s growing old, but she likes nice things. Money’s about the nicest thing she knows.”
    â€œThis one’s going to cost, I take it?”
    Padillo shook his head. “I don’t think so. I think she’ll do it for sentiment. She was in love with my old man once, a long time ago.”
    â€œIn Spain?”
    He nodded. “When he got killed in Madrid, she made arrangements to get my mother and me to Portugal and then to Mexico City.” Padillo’s mother had been a beauty from Estonia who had married a Spanish attorney. The attorney had been shot by the winners in 1937. Mother and son had gone to Mexico where she had supported them by giving piano and language lessons. She taught Padillo to speak six or seven languages perfectly before she died of tuberculosis in the early 1940’s. I don’t think he could play the piano. He had told me all this a long time ago in Bonn when we first met. It was this unique fluency with languages that had drawn him to the attention of the U.S. spy crowd.
    â€œWhat’s your father’s old flame do now?”
    â€œShe keeps track of others who are still in my former line of work.”
    â€œYou know her well?”
    â€œVery. I’ve seen her quite a few times over the years.”
    â€œShe won’t peddle what you know?”
    â€œWe won’t tell her what I know.”
    We took a cab to a quiet neighborhood in Chevy Chase, just inside the District line, where Senora Madelena de Romanones did whatever she did for a living. It was a two-story house, built in the style of the ’thirties with a shingled roof and red brick that was painted white. The white paint was flaking a little, but they may have planned it that way. A screened porch was on the left and some large elms in the well-kept yard gave enough shade so that the porch looked as if it would be pleasantly cool in summer. I paid the cab and we walked up to the front door and rang the chimes. We could hear them sounding inside and a dog began to bark. It sounded like a small dog. A Negro maid opened the door.
    â€œWe wish to see Senora de Romanones,” Padillo said. “I’m Mr. Padillo; this is Mr. McCorkle.”
    â€œMiz Romanones is spectin

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