Dead Ends

Dead Ends by Don Easton Read Free Book Online

Book: Dead Ends by Don Easton Read Free Book Online
Authors: Don Easton
is it?” she demanded. “What haven’t you told me? You looked in her room, under her bed … what … what is it? Tell me!”
    Jack took a deep breath and said, “There is a cold air return under her bed that leads directly to a room in the basement that the men used for their lab.”
    â€œBut you said everything has been cleaned out,” replied Gabriel as her brain went into denial. “You can’t be sure. You said the man used to be a criminal. It doesn’t mean he still is.”
    Jack shook his head to show she was wrong.
    â€œFather Brown said that there is not enough forgiveness in society,” said Gabriel accusingly. “That we often expect the worst of people, making it difficult for those who have truly repented to be welcomed back into society.”
    â€œThe person Noah identified is someone I arrested for running a meth lab a year and a half ago. It appears he moved to your house after he was arrested. I checked downstairs. There are still signs of what they were doing. I’m experienced in these matters. I have no doubt.”
    Gabriel looked at Jack as the realization sunk in. “You mean you knew about him a year and a half ago and let him go?” she said harshly. “Why didn’t you keep him in jail? You’re telling me that you allowed him to come here and murder Father Brown. Maybe hurt my family! How could you do that? What kind of person are you to —”
    â€œMom! What’s wrong?” interjected Noah as he bounded into the kitchen at the sound of his mother’s yelling. When he didn’t get an answer, he stood between the two adults and looked defiantly at Jack.
    Jack eyed him briefly. You feel you had to become the man of the house when you dad died. Protective … “Son,” said Jack quietly, “A terrible thing has happened. People, even adults, are upset. It will be okay.”
    â€œI’m not your son,” said Noah defiantly. “Don’t ever call me that.”
    â€œYou’re right,” said Jack, “and I apologize. You’re the one who found the bad guy for us. Pretty impressive that you could keep your cool after what has happened.” Jack looked at Gabriel and said, “I bet you’re awfully proud of him.”
    â€œI am,” replied Gabriel. “I’ve always been proud of him.”
    Jack nodded. The break from the previous conversation served to calm Gabriel’s voice.
    â€œAbout the bad guy,” said Jack, “the choice to keep him in jail was not mine to make.”
    â€œBut if he didn’t quit, why didn’t you arrest him again? Why did you let him stay here?”
    â€œI’m sorry,” replied Jack sincerely. “About a year and a half ago, seven labs were raided by the police all in one day. Many people were arrested. They were all released shortly after appearing in court. I work for an intelligence unit dealing with organized crime. The majority of the people arrested that day were too low on the criminal ladder for me to keep track of. There are far more criminals than there are police officers. We simply don’t have the manpower to keep following everyone we would like.”
    â€œThese men commit murder and you’re telling me they are too low on the ladder for you to work on?” she replied bitterly.
    Jack sighed and said, “Maybe you have a right to condemn me, but I still need to drive you all to the hospital. My wife works in a medical clinic, but she has made arrangements to see that Faith receives priority.”
    Gabriel did not utter a word during the forty-five minute drive to the hospital. Noah was a little more inquisitive, but was content to hear that it was a matter of routine for everyone to be checked by a physician under such circumstances.
    When Gabriel took her children to meet with a physician, Jack spoke to a grief counsellor at the hospital by the name of Phyllis. He gave her

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