Book 05 - Dread Brass Shadows

Book 05 - Dread Brass Shadows by Glen Cook

Book: Book 05 - Dread Brass Shadows by Glen Cook Read Free Book Online
Authors: Glen Cook
Tags: Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
that's on my good days."
    She looked puzzled
    "Sorry. It's been a rough day. I'm on edge Let's start over. I promise not to sock you it you promise not to run up behind me in the dark. In the street, anyway." We could put the Dead Man to sleep and run Dean off and she could chase me all ever the house if she wanted. I wouldn't try too hard to get away In the interest of science, of course. To see how closely she compared with my nudist visitor, say.
    She smiled. The freckles on her cheeks danced. That almost made my day worthwhile.
    "Dean explained," she said. Funny how he gets on a first-name basis so fast. "I should apologize. That wasn't smart. I'm not used to the city." She stood. My eyes bugged. Her movements were unpretentious and unaffected and I had to grind my teeth to keep from howling and whistling. She was a natural heart-stopper. Wherever she came from, she'd been wasted on them there. They'd been dumb enough to let her get away. Send more of her kind to TunFaire. Take our minds off poverty and war and despair. Talk about your bread and circuses. This gal was a three-ringer all by herself.
    She stuck out a hand. It wasn't half as big as mine. I took it. It was a chock full of warmth and life—which reminded me that Tinnie almost wasn't. That brought me back to earth. She said, "I'm Carla Lindo Ramada, Mr. Garrett. I came here from..."
    Oh boy "Hold it. Let me guess. The castle of Baron Stonecipher in the Harnadan Mountains. Where you're a chambermaid. The baron sent you after a guy named Holme Blaine who kyped a book from a witch called the Serpent."
    Her jaw dropped.
    Outside, overhead, the morCartha started up. The racket was so close and so loud it sounded like they were using my roof for landings and takeoffs I told Dean, "They're going to make themselves unpopular if they keep that up."
    The redhead realized her pretty little mouth was open, so she closed it, but it sagged open again. She stood there like a goldfish gulping air.
    I asked, "Was I close"
    "How did you... ?"
    I wanted to brag about what a great investigator I was. No point exaggerating, though. "Take it easy. I'm not a psychic." He was in the other room. "You're at least the second gorgeous redhead named Carla Ramada who turned up today. You want me to find the book, right?"
    "Carla Lindo Ramada," she said. Apparently that was important. "But... How... ?"
    "I don't know." There wasn't any doubt in my mind that this wasn't the woman who had been here earlier. I was pretty sure she wasn't the naked woman, either. I couldn't tell you what it was. A subtle clue of some kind. I had only minimal reservations about her being the real Carla Lindo Ramada. She wore the name more comfortably.
    Her face went through the changes, all of them fetching. I was thinking the thing to do was get her. Out of town before she started riots because there was only two or three of her to go around—then I finally started wondering how come there were two or three. Or were there four or five? Was there a whole legion of her out there? Did redheads grow on trees in the Hamadan? Gods, get me into the forestry racket.
    Her features settled into solid fear. "It must have been her! She must have a page in the book that's me."
    "What?" It sank in. "The villain of the piece came here masquerading as you?" Well. Well again. And she was my client. More or less. "But how? If she doesn't have the book anymore?"
    She didn't ask how I knew what the book did. She thought about my question. "First draft? Maybe she brought draft pages with her. You couldn't really mistake her for me, could you?"
    She wasn't that naive after all.
    No. I couldn't mistake her, having seen her. I thought back to that earlier visit. It wouldn't come clear. That was odd. The Dead Man has taught me to pick up details and retain them. But I found only mists where I should have had cleat, crisp recollections.
    "Dean, make us a pot of tea. I have a feeling it's going to be a long night." And who could

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