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By Bill Pronzini

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Simply to be certain I went up onto the porch and rang the bell. No resolution. a couple of mist-smeared headlights poked towards me as i used to be coming again to the auto. Kellenbeck? however it wasn’t; the headlights belonged to a low-slung activities task, now not the Cadillac I had visible the day before today on the fish corporation, and it drifted on through. I bought into the auto and sat there and attempted to come to a decision what to do subsequent. Take one other room for the evening on the Tides lodge after which brace Kellenbeck tomorrow—that appeared like the simplest thought. the opposite replacement, putting round the following and hoping that he did appear earlier than lengthy, had no charm. For all I knew he used to be out someplace for the night, vacationing neighbors or indulging his fondness for liquor; and that i had no notion the place to search for him— The itching back. Then, by surprise, I remembered. It got here out of my unconscious transparent and sharp—something I had noticeable, whatever odd—and correct on its heels used to be one other fragment. I wear the dome gentle, took out the torn nook I had present in Jerry Carding’s room on the Darden apartment, and checked out it. Then i started to build a psychological blueprint, trying out it with the various questions I had requested myself and folks the previous few days. and that i remembered whatever else then, yet another fragment. And sketched in a couple of extra connecting traces. And there it was once. now not an entire blueprint; it didn’t clarify all of the twists and turns, didn't convey me all of the approach to the top. however the issues it did convey made experience: What it used to be Jerry had figured out, the topic of his article. Why he may need long gone to the fish corporation final Sunday evening. Why he had disappeared. Why his father were murdered in Brisbane on Thursday. but I had no facts of any of it. It was once hypothesis, own observation—just like my account of what had occurred whilst Martin Talbot stumbled on Victor Carding’s physique. Eberhardt and Donleavy would need to ascertain it out if I took it to them chilly, and so may the Federal gurus; yet no seek warrants may be acquired with out a few type of evidential reason, and if Kellenbeck used to be alerted there may not be any facts left to discover. He might take steps to hide himself, bluff via even a Federal research, get off scot-free. I needed to have facts, rattling it. anything good to again up my theories. and that i knew the place i would be capable of locate it. . . . No, i assumed then. Uh-uh. You don’t holiday legislation, consider? Or pass skulking round within the evening just like the pulp deepest eyes. you must get your license revoked? you will have a assassin to probably move unpunished? name up Eberhardt. Lay it in his lap. now not with no facts. you may try and get it; pass there, see how issues glance. at the least take the time. I spent one other few minutes arguing with myself. however it used to be no contest: i began the auto and went away to skulk within the evening. The Kellenbeck Fish corporation was once nonetheless darkish and so wrapped in fog now that it had a two-dimensional glance, like a form minimize from heavy black paper. I drove on earlier it through 100 yards, parked off the line along a jumble of coastline rocks.

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