The Client

The Client by John Grisham Read Free Book Online

Book: The Client by John Grisham Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Grisham
Tags: Fiction, Thrillers
knew Romey had a gun, had even held and touched the trigger. And the gun killed the man. It had to be a crime to watch someone commit suicide and not stop it.
    He would never tell a soul! Romey had stopped talking. Ricky would have to be dealt with. Mark had kept silent about the bike, and he could do it again. No one would ever know he had been in the car.
    There was a siren in the distance, then the steadythump of a helicopter. Mark eased under a tree as the chopper swept close by. He crept through the trees and brush, staying low and in no hurry, until he heard voices.
    LIGHTS FLASHED EVERYWHERE. BLUE FOR THE COPS AND red for the ambulance. The white Memphis police cars were parked around the black Lincoln. The orange-and-white ambulance was arriving on the scene as Mark peeked through the woods. No one seemed anxious or worried.
    Romey had not been moved. One cop took pictures while the others laughed. Radios squawked, just like on television. Blood ran from under the body and down across the red-and-white taillights. The pistol was still in his right hand, on top of his bulging stomach. His head slumped to the right, his eyes closed now. The paramedics walked up and looked him over, then made bad jokes and the cops laughed. All four doors were open and the car was being carefully inspected. There was no effort to remove the body. The helicopter made a final pass, then flew away.
    Mark was deep in the brush, maybe thirty feet from the tree and the log where they had lit the first smokes. He had a perfect view of the clearing, and of the fat lawyer lying up there on the car like a dead cow in the middle of the road. Another cop car arrived, then another ambulance. People in uniform were bumping into each other. Small white bags with unseen things in them were removed with great caution from the car. Two policemen with rubber gloves rolled up the hose. The photographer squatted in each door and flashed away. Occasionally, someone would stopand stare at Romey, but most of them drank coffee from paper cups and chatted away. A cop laid Romey’s shoe on the trunk next to the body, then placed it in a white bag and wrote something on it. Another cop knelt by the license plates and waited with his radio for a report to come back.
    Finally, a stretcher emerged from the first ambulance and was carried to the rear bumper and laid in the weeds. Two paramedics grabbed Romey’s feet and gently pulled him until two other paramedics could grab his arms. The cops watched and joked about how fat Mr. Clifford was, because they knew his name now. They asked if more paramedics were needed to carry his big ass, if the stretcher was reinforced or something, if he would fit in the ambulance. Lots of laughter as they strained to lower him.
    A cop put the pistol in a bag. The stretcher was heaved into the ambulance, but the doors were not closed. A wrecker with yellow lights arrived and backed itself to the front bumper of the Lincoln.
    Mark thought of Ricky and the thumb-sucking. What if he needed help? Mom would be home soon. What if she tried to wake him and got scared? He would leave in just a minute, and smoke the last cigarette on the way home.
    He heard something behind him, but thought nothing of it. Just the snap of a twig, then, suddenly, a strong hand grabbed his neck and a voice said, “What’s up, kid?”
    Mark jerked around and looked into the face of a cop. He froze and couldn’t breathe.
    “What’re you doing, kid?” the cop asked as he lifted Mark up by the neck. The grip didn’t hurt, butthe cop meant to be obeyed. “Stand up, kid, okay. Don’t be afraid.”
    Mark stood and the cop released him. The cops in the clearing had heard and were staring.
    “What’re you doing here?”
    “Just watching,” Mark said.
    The cop pointed with his flashlight to the clearing. The sun was down and it would be dark in twenty minutes. “Let’s walk over there,” he said.
    “I need to go home,” Mark said.
    The cop placed his arm

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