Smoked Out (Digger)

Smoked Out (Digger) by Warren Murphy Read Free Book Online

Book: Smoked Out (Digger) by Warren Murphy Read Free Book Online
Authors: Warren Murphy
watched. There were a few envelopes, pens and pencils. A box of staples. A bookkeeper’s ledger.
    "That’s funny," Lorelei said.
    "No pills?"
    "No pills."
    "Try the other drawers," he said.
    The pills were not in the desk.
    "Maybe she carried these pills in her purse?" Digger said.
    Lorelei shook her head. He watched her chest jiggle. He loved the way she shook her head.
    "No," she said. "She had them in the desk because sometimes I saw them when I needed a paper clip or something."
    "It’s not important," Digger said. "Thank you. Did you ever notice what kind of pills they were?"
    "No. They were white, I remember."
    "That narrows it down quite a bit," Digger said. "Are you going to lunch?"
    "I don’t think so. I have to keep the store open. When I used to go, Mrs. Welles was here. I think I better stay. If I close and the doctor comes in, maybe he’ll think about firing me. Jobs are hard to find."
    "You’ve been a real help, Lorelei. I know this is going to be the best article anybody ever wrote. I’m going to use every good eastern word I know. This is my big chance with Standstill and I owe it all to you."
    She smiled at him. Her teeth were perfect white pearls against the light, unlined, unwrinkled tan of her face. The girl had never had a worry in her life.
    He walked toward the door. She said, "Just because you’re not a doctor doesn’t mean I won’t have anything to do with you. You don’t have to be a doctor."
    "That makes me feel real good," Digger said.
    Outside, in his car, he wondered if the girl could really be that dumb. Could anything drawing breath be that dumb? Or was she a lot smarter than he thought she was?
    He wished Koko were there. She would know.

Chapter Five

    There were two messages waiting at the Sportsland Lodge. Call Walter Brackler and call Alphonse Rizzioli.
    Digger called Rizzioli first.
    "Alphonse, this is Mr. Borose."
    "Yes, sir. I checked it. I went over that car with a fine comb. I took everything apart. I really did."
    "You’re missing the point, Alphonse. I knew that you would work very hard for the boys. You don’t have to tell me that you did that. I knew you would. I just need the results of your work." Digger wished he had cotton that he could stuff into his cheeks.
    "Nothing. Everything worked. Sure, things were banged up, but no broken hoses or linkages. No cables cut. I checked the brakes from the drums to the fluid lines. There wasn’t anything. I even checked—"
    "Alphonse, Alphonse, what you’re saying is that the car had nothing wrong with it mechanically?"
    "That’s right, Mr. Borose."
    "That woman didn’t go off the cliff because something went wrong with her car?"
    "That’s right, Mr. Borose. Nothing wrong with that car."
    "You’d stake your reputation on that?"
    "Yes, sir. I’d stake my…yeah, my reputation. I wish I had a new car to work on. Not so banged up, I mean. I could look at things better then, but there’s nothing wrong with this car. I know it. I can tell. I can almost smell when something’s wrong with a car."
    "All right, Alphonse. You’ve done a good job. We won’t forget it. I’ll send your money around tomorrow."
    "Thanks, Mr. Borose."
    "And Alphonse, it would be better if you didn’t call me again. If we need you, we know where to reach you. You understand how it is," Digger said. He had no idea what he was talking about.
    "Sure. Sure. Thanks," said Rizzioli.
    Brackler had left his New York office number.
    "Walter Brackler, please. This is Julian Burroughs."
    "Just a moment, sir. I’ll see if he’s in."
    "I know he’s in. Just tell him I’m on the phone."
    "Just a moment, please."
    "Burroughs?"
    "Yes, Kwash."
    "What the hell are you doing to the L.A. office? All I heard was bitching from Tom Langfill."
    "Just doing my job. Is that what you called to complain about?"
    "The L.A. office doesn’t need you messing up their routine. They do pretty good work without you."
    "Do you want me on this Welles case or don’t you?"
    "I

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