Roped (Gail McCarthy Mysteries)

Roped (Gail McCarthy Mysteries) by Laura Crum Read Free Book Online

Book: Roped (Gail McCarthy Mysteries) by Laura Crum Read Free Book Online
Authors: Laura Crum
ugly. I heard every word from where I was standing in the garage. Sonny swore he would make Dad pay."
    "So you think Sonny's behind all this?"
    "I don't know. I'm afraid, though. I've heard Sonny lives around here now. Tim's seen him occasionally."
    "Have you?"
    Lisa looked at me with bleak, miserable eyes. "No. But I don't leave the ranch much. Lone Oak is as far as I'll go. I'm afraid Sonny will kidnap me, I guess. And now I'm afraid here, too. I'm afraid all the time, Gail."

SIX
    I was digesting this when both dogs leaped up from the porch and ran around the house, trailing shrill, excited barks behind them. Lisa got up and followed, yelling, "Joey, Rita, get back here!" I followed the commotion.
    A white pickup was parked by Lisa's front gate, and Glen and Tim were walking toward us. The dogs broiled around them, yapping furiously.
    "Joey, Rita, shut up!" Lisa shouted.
    No response from the dogs. They kept barking and feinting, nipping at convenient heels. Lisa picked a boot off her front porch where it sat by the door and flung it at the tangle of dogs. She scored a direct hit on the blue one. He yipped and slunk over to her, looking guilty. Without support, the red dog yielded to another yell of, "Hush!"
    "They don't like men." Lisa sighed. "I'm sure you can guess why. They know that's Dad's pickup and they shouldn't bark at him, but they do it anyway."
    "Queenslands are like that," I said.
    "But I feel safe with them, you know." Lisa smiled.
    Glen and Tim had made it to the front porch by now, and Lisa ushered them into the house. The big orange cat wove in and out between them, greeting the newcomers. The Queenslands ignored the cat, except when they thought no one was looking and aimed quick, soft snaps in his direction.
    Glen paid no attention to Lisa's menagerie, wading through them to sit down at the table and take the beer Lisa gave him. Tim cussed the dogs and cats impartially as he walked into the kitchen. "Worthless no-good sons of bitches."
    "You always were a dog hater," Lisa shot at him.
    "For God's sake, Lisa, every dog you own wants to bite me." Tim took the beer Lisa handed him and sat down at the table.
    Lisa gestured gently at one of the two empty chairs, and I sat down, too. Lisa took the last chair. We were gathered.
    "So, what's the problem?" Glen's face was drawn tight, fine lines of tension around his eyes. He looked old and tired, I thought. It was not something I was used to thinking of Glen.
    Lisa produced the piece of cardboard and began the story; I hardly listened. I was watching Glen as circumspectly as I could, thinking about what he'd meant to me over the years, trying to sort out my feelings.
    I didn't want to think of Glen as old and tired, I realized. He represented something that I was loath to let go of completely-a childhood memory of a time when I could safely look up to the adults around me, counting on them for help and guidance. That time was long past, but Glen remained, a remnant of my youth. I'd invested him with heroic properties, and I wasn't about to allow him to assume the guise of a mere mortal.
    Lisa finished her story, "Now you can't say that was an accident."
    Glen didn't say anything.
    Tim looked up from his beer. "You're being stupid, Lisa."
    Lisa flashed at him, snapping like one of her dogs, "Well, how the hell do you think it happened, then?"
    Tim shrugged. "I don't know. But what in the world would be the point of somebody doing that on purpose? They couldn't possibly know which horse would step in that hole."
    Lisa fired right back at him. "They knew whatever happened, it would happen in Dad's arena. Somebody is trying to get at Dad."
    Tim shook his head at her. "It still doesn't make sense, Lisa. If someone wants to get at Dad bad enough to risk killing somebody, why don't they take potshots at Dad himself? These things that happened are accidents; they don't fit a pattern. There isn't any motive that would explain them."
    Glen spoke for the first time. "The

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