No Cure for Death

No Cure for Death by Max Allan Collins Read Free Book Online

Book: No Cure for Death by Max Allan Collins Read Free Book Online
Authors: Max Allan Collins
Tags: Mystery & Crime
said.
    “Whatever happened to him?” John asked.
    “Norman’s dead,” I said. “He and his family were killed in some freak accident, as I recall.”
    Lori nodded. “A sad thing. He was getting ready to make another bid, this time for the House, and the polls had him out front, too.”
    “He’s dead?” John said.
    “Yes,” Lori said. “A car crash, two or three years ago or so. He and his wife and little girl. Say, you know something funny... now isn’t that strange.”
    “What?” John said.
    “The crash he was in,” she said. She paused. “Seems to me
that
happened out on...”
    “Out on Colorado Hill,” I said.

EIGHT
    I opened the Rambler door with my free hand and struggled with the other to balance a wobbly cardboard tray, the tray trying desperately to contain its cargo of one fat white paper bag and two lidded paper cups. I handed the tray in to John and let him juggle with it for a while, amazed at the ease with which he set it safely down on the seat between us, and watched as he drew out two hamburgers and a little sack of french fries from the bag, leaving in it the same configuration of food for me. My Rambler was one of many cars squeezed into the lot at Sandy’s for noontime conversion into dining rooms.
    “Mal,” John said, unwrapping one of his hamburgers, “about both those accidents being out at Colorado Hill...”
    “Yeah?”
    “That could be a legitimate coincidence, you know. Don’t rule it out, anyway. Hardly a year goes by without one or two accidents out there.”
    I nodded.
    A minute or so went by, the sound in the car one of mouths chewing, not talking. In between hamburgers, John said, “Mal?”
    “What?”
    “You going to keep snooping around today?”
    “Planned to.”
    “Well, uh...”
    “Well, uh, what?”
    “You suppose you could drop me off some place after we eat?”
    “Sure. Any place in particular?”
    “Suzie Blanchard’s. It’s over on Spring.”
    “Suzie Blanchard? Well, some things never change, I guess. But isn’t she married?”
    “Divorced.”
    “She expecting you?”
    “No. I’d kind of like to surprise her.”
    “I’ll bet. I didn’t know you two had kept in touch.”
    “Just the last few months or so—we’ve been writing letters.”
    “I see. Will she be home? Doesn’t she have a job?”
    “No, she’s got a kid. Byproduct of the marriage.”
    “Oh. Well. You won’t want me around.”
    “Right.”
    I started in on my french fries.
    John said, “What are you going to do this afternoon?”
    “Thought I’d run over to the college and see Jack Masters. I figure if anybody in town can give me a line on that black guy at the bus station, it’ll be Jack.”
    “Not a bad idea, Mal. Mal?”
    “Yeah?”
    “You won’t mind it, me dropping out of the picture for a while?”
    “No, no.”
    “I’ll stop by your trailer around eight, okay? And see how it’s going.”
    “Sure. And if you get stranded anywhere, just call me and I’ll play taxi.”
    “You sure you don’t mind?”
    “Not at all. This is
my
hang-up, not yours.”
    “I can probably help you out later on.”
    “Sure. When I uncover a vast Communist conspiracy behind all this, I’ll just about have to send for the Marines, won’t I?”
    He grinned. “That’s Army, kid. Keep it straight.”
    I grinned back and started peeling away the wrapper from the second hamburger. “Suzie Blanchard, huh?”
    “Man does not live by french fry alone,” John said, biting into one.
    Down the right half of the hall, on the left side, was the college office, and beyond the glass wall of the outer office all the typewriters were covered and desks cleared and employees gone, except for Jack Masters, of course, who was in one of the inner offices with the door open, talking on his phone. It was Thanksgiving vacation and the community college was otherwise empty.
    I took the seat across the desk from Jack and sat watching him bark at the superintendent over his phone.
    It

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