Dead Wrong

Dead Wrong by William X. Kienzle Read Free Book Online

Book: Dead Wrong by William X. Kienzle Read Free Book Online
Authors: William X. Kienzle
Tags: Fiction, General, Suspense, Mystery & Detective
    Ted was on the verge of getting himself all worked up. For him it was just one more indication of the damage and destruction that had been inflicted on his Church as a result of that damned Ecumenical Council in the early sixties. It was bad enough that ranking lay people working at headquarters of the Archdiocese of Detroit could not even recognize the Latin language. Worse, some young priests, who represented the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church, but couldn’t and wouldn’t remember anything that preceded Vatican II, couldn’t even make out the tongue of their own rite!
    “Anyway,” Brenda said, “it’s a true story. Kind of interesting and kind of funny. I thought you could call that editor at the Free Press — Nelson Kane, isn’t it? It’s just the kind of story he likes. It should give him a whole column. Then he’ll owe you one.”
    “Good thought. Very good thought. I’ll give him a call tomorrow.”
    “Seems we’ve got something going here,” Brenda observed.
    “We’re helping each other one-up people who will then owe us. You gave me the ammo to get an advantage over Muggsy McGraw with that land parcel deal. And I give you a story that can win you a favor at the Free Press. Not bad.”
    “Not bad at all. And relatively painless. Now …” Ted held up his empty glass. “… how about one more, honey, before dinner?”
    Brenda, who still hadn’t finished her first drink, immediately got the pitcher and refilled his glass. She glanced at his eyes. They were beginning to glaze. Would he stay awake long enough to have supper? Would he be conscious enough for sex? She didn’t bother adding anything to her own glass. Instead, she went back into the kitchen. He watched her go, again appreciatively.
    Another great thing about Brenda: By now, Melissa would have been all over his case for having three powerful drinks on virtually an empty stomach. With Brenda, whatever he wanted he got. No fuss, no argument, no recriminations. Bless Brenda. “What’s for supper, by the way?”
    “Looks like a leg of lamb,” Brenda called back. “As usual, Valeria left heating instructions.” She grinned. If Valeria were a man, she’d be accused of having the belt and suspenders syndrome; she never left anything to chance.
    Brenda returned to the living room. “Just to let you know ahead of time: I probably won’t be home till late Wednesday evening. It’s Aunt Oona’s birthday. I really should drop in for the party.”
    “Juss as well,” he slurred slightly. “M’lissa is having some people over. I’ve already been informed I’ve got to be there.”
    Ted understood that Oona was not really Brenda’s aunt; it simply was the easiest term of reference. “Anything else cooking downtown?”
    “Not much,” she replied. “Outside of the Latin letter, most things seem to be in remission, or dead in the water, especially in our office. McGraw had an appointment with the Cardinal this morning. But it went nowhere.”
    “Oh? What about?”
    “The ADF.”
    Ted put his glass down definitively. “That thing is a mesh. That thing is a mess,” he corrected himself. “Should bring in three, four times what it does.”
    “That’s what McGraw thinks too. His idea was an old one. He keeps thinking the time is right for the Cardinal to okay it.”
    “Quotas,” Ted pronounced.
    “Yes. He thinks it’s feasible to set reasonable quotas for every parish. With most of the parishes banking with the chancery—and even with those who bank independently—McGraw is confident that we can set realistic goals for everybody.”
    “And if they don’t meet ’em?”
    “That’s McGraw’s fail-safe clause. We know they’ve got the money. If they don’t reach their goals during the drive, we simply take it from their reserves.”
    Nash smiled contentedly. “A fund-raiser’s dream come true.”
    “Jussa way it oughta be. Just the way it ought to be,” he corrected. “Wassa

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