How I Spent My Summer Vacation

How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Gillian Roberts Read Free Book Online

Book: How I Spent My Summer Vacation by Gillian Roberts Read Free Book Online
Authors: Gillian Roberts
Tags: Suspense, General Fiction
machines. I ran toward where I thought I’d seen him. “Dunstan?” The craps players nodded, pointed, pushed chips across the table, watched with rapt attention as a woman threw the dice. Not a one of them reacted to my voice. I moved aside to make way for a cocktail waitress in a tiny gold-thread tutu. She handed a man a drink, and he plunked a tip of chips onto her tray.
    “Dunstan,” I said, no longer bothering to call it out. I just barely controlled the urge to have either a tantrum or a crying fit.
    What the devil was going on?

    I WENT BACK TO THE bar, hoping for inspiration. It never arrived, but Mackenzie did. He looked as weary as I felt. He also looked grim as I told him my bad news and he told me his. Sasha was still being held. She’d be arraigned in the morning, if we were all lucky. And bail would be set if we were luckier still.
    “They’re reluctant to let a killer awaiting trial loose,” he said.
    “Sasha? A killer? That’s the most ridiculous…” I shook my head. “She can’t hold a grudge more than five minutes, particularly against a man. That’s part of her problem. And this man—she didn’t even know him.”
    I brushed away the memory of her hesitation on that point. “Can I see her?”
    “Now? At nearly three a.m.?” He sighed and changed the topic. “I saw the witness. He was there, makin’ his statement.”
    “Who is he?”
    “Feeble old guy. Looks caved-in, curled up. But he can see pretty well with his glasses on. Came up to his room to take his pill at nine o’clock, he says. Waitin’ for the elevator to go back down when he saw them at the door of the room. Thought some hanky-panky—that’s what he called it—was goin’ on. Somethin’ kinky with one big woman and two men. I’m not sure if he wanted to be the morality Nazi—or the third man in the hanky-pank. Anyway, he ID’d a picture of Jesse Reese. That’s who he saw. Then he ID’d Sasha in a lineup, too. Says the other guy had dark hair and was shorter than Sasha, but that’s all he remembers. Unfortunately, it was ‘the big woman’—actually, he said girl, the ‘big girl with all the hair’ who caught his eye.”
    “He probably didn’t have his glasses on, or he was confused. Maybe he was watching an entirely different room. Did they think of that?”
    “They tried to find other witnesses to corroborate his story. Woke up the couple in the next room. They knew nothing. Hearing aids were off. The woman on the other side was down at the tables all night.”
    “Or so she says. She picks up two guys and frames—”
    He shook his head as if it were heavy. “She’s maybe three hundred pounds and short. Not easily mistaken for Sasha or either of those men.”
    “Who? Who is—was—the dead man?”
    “Jesse Reese.”
    “I know that part, but who was he?” I wanted to hear that he was scum and that the world was well rid of him.
    “Your basic man-of-the-year type. Had a multimillion-dollar investment firm plus did a lot of teachin’, ’specially for senior citizens. Courses in Financial Survival. No charge. His way of paying back society, he said. Called it his pro bono work. Safeguardin’ little old ladies’ purses.”
    I hated it. He sounded like the hero of a Frank Capra movie, which made the whole situation worse for Sasha. “What was he doing in a casino hotel?” I demanded, as if being in such a room—my room, in fact—constituted guilt.
    Mackenzie raised one eyebrow. “He was dyin’, although I suspect he had other hopes for the evenin’. He was a familiar face there, a regular. Generally given that very suite, in fact. Wasn’t expected last night, however.”
    “So he’s a gambler.” I folded my hands. “The mob did it, then. I rest my case.”
    Mackenzie sighed. “It is really not their style to buy champagne first. Or to sprinkle undies around. This is—forgive me, but this verges on the baroque. It’s overorganized crime, almost cute , an’ that is not the

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