Nightzone

Nightzone by Steven F. Havill Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Nightzone by Steven F. Havill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steven F. Havill
advertisement. And this story was oddball enough that the choppers would flock for exclusive at 10 photos of downed power poles.
    â€œNot from us, sir. He can count that there are six down. That’s as far as we go.” Which meant that if Dayan could pry something out of the Posadas Electric Cooperative, he was free to do so. Estelle squeezed my shoulder. “And when you’re done with him, you need some sleep.”
    â€œPlenty of time for that. Not that you have time to think about it, but when does the Leister contingent roll into town?”
    Estelle pressed both hands to the sides of her head in mock agony. “Ay. Sometime Saturday, I’m told. Carlos has been climbing the walls.” She rested a finger on her lips, secret style. “He knows something we don’t.”
    â€œInteresting conspiracy going on there,” I chuckled.
    â€œYou’d be amazed,” she said. “And thanks for heading Frank off at the pass.”
    I didn’t mind the assignment, since I liked Frank Dayan, and on top of that, knew perfectly well that Sheriff Bobby Torrez wouldn’t mind me taking on the PR task—anything as long as he didn’t have to do it—a great lawman in the field, a lousy bureaucrat in the office.
    When I’d been chief deputy, then undersheriff, and finally sheriff of Posadas Country, I’d enjoyed many a refreshing moment while reading young Bobby Torrez’s reports—masterpieces of concise brevity. My favorite had been a report written after an intoxicated prisoner punched Deputy Torrez while being led to an upstairs cell. “Prisoner struck deputy. Prisoner fell down stairs.” Fortunately for us, the prisoner had been so intoxicated that he remembered nothing of the episode, content the next day to attribute his colorful bruises to the blind staggers.
    I made my way across to where Frank Dayan stood in company with Deputy Sutherland. Frank could have blended in on a street corner anywhere in the Middle East, even though I knew that he was the first generation of many in his family to stray beyond the city limits of San Antonio. Dark, piercing eyes were mellowed by a wide streak of indecision in his nature, with fine features and whiskers that lent a dark blue, Nixonesque shadow if not shaved four times a day. This uproar had caught him unprepared, and in the glare of pulsing lights, he looked both haggard and chilled.
    â€œBill, they even rousted you out of bed?”
    â€œI wish I could say that it was their fault,” I said. He pulled off a glove and his grip was soft, but he held on for a moment.
    â€œI thought I was going to need an act of Congress to get through the road block there at the village limits,” he said. “The sheriff sent me out here.”
    â€œBobby is turning mellow in his middle age,” I said. “But homicides are like that. If we don’t keep a tight rein, things go missing. Like evidence, for instance.”
    â€œSomeone said it was Kenderman. Is that true?”
    I wondered who the ‘someone’ was, but didn’t bother Dayan with that. His paper wouldn’t be out until later, and by then, the whole world would have the identification.
    â€œThe undersheriff asked that I be the department liaison this time around,” I said without answering his question. “The department is spread pretty thin just now.” Even that was a bit of news for Dayan. Some police administrators would have ulcers thinking that the public might find out that the department had a weakness, but what the hell. It was true.
    Dayan peered past me, trying to make sense of the tangle. “Do I see three sets of poles down?”
    â€œYou do. Dick Whittaker will talk with you about that when he can break loose.”
    â€œHow did they do that?” The lens of Dayan’s camera twitched as he went to the maximum zoom, trying to see through the darkness.
    â€œA chain saw.”
    He lowered

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