Kill Me Tomorrow

Kill Me Tomorrow by Richard S. Prather

Book: Kill Me Tomorrow by Richard S. Prather Read Free Book Online
Authors: Richard S. Prather
“Same thing, only it’s fancied up here. If the city incorporates, like the council’s been talking about but some people don’t seem to want, we’ll have a chief marshal, and deputy marshals under him. But right now there’s just a dozen patrolmen and a communications officer, three sergeants, one lieutenant—that’s Weeton—and the captain. What I’m getting at, the captain’s a good joe, but there’s just him and Weeton at the top, and right now the captain’s asleep. The two of them kind of run the show.”
    â€œThe sheriff still has jurisdiction, doesn’t he?”
    â€œSure. Sheriff’s the chief law-enforcement officer in the county. You know that. But unless something unusual happens—like this—you don’t often see any deputies here at the Villas. I mean, if you’re planning on staying around, a man like Weeton can make it kind of hairy. Which I got a feeling you won’t mention to him I said.”
    I grinned. “Thanks, Sergeant. But I can take care of myself—I hope.”
    He smiled easily, glanced at the body still prone on the lawn, then let the sleepy-looking eyes rest on my face. “So far,” he said, “I got to believe you. Well, you want to talk about anything, let me know.”
    Then it was just standing around until the sheriff’s men came, a uniformed deputy followed by a team of detectives, then a sergeant from the sheriff’s ID Bureau. And finally the coroner, who said he thought the homicide was justifiable and that the coroner’s inquest would be held next Friday. I didn’t have nearly the trouble with all five of them that I’d had with Weeton.
    From whom I received a few final words of wisdom when I was allowed to leave. “You’re free as air, Scott,” he said. “Unless—” He stopped, gave me the kind of smile occasionally seen on corpses with rigor mortis. “Unless you get a little bit out of line. Probably it’d be better if you stayed away from Sunrise Villas for a while. Quite a while.”
    I smiled. “I figured I was free to leave as soon as the coroner and sheriff’s men told me so. But thanks for making it official.”
    He turned abruptly and walked off, and I climbed into my Cad—wondering if Lucky or somebody else had spotted it parked at the curb, or if my unofficial greeters had found me some other way—and got out of there.
    In my rooms at Mountain Shadows I showered and put on a fresh shirt and jacket. The ones I’d been wearing had holes in them. There was also a small burn on my left side where the slug had “pinched” me.
    I phoned the Tucson Police Department, identified myself to the desk sergeant and mentioned the Sunday morning murder of Joe Civano, then said, “I understand the victim was blown to hell—any chance it wasn’t Civano?”
    â€œIt was Joe Civano, period. He was torn up, sure, but his face was still recognizable. We checked his prints anyhow, routine. It was him. Why all the static? You’re the second guy to ask me if Civano was still roaming around.”
    â€œThe first guy, was that last night from Sunrise Villas?”
    â€œYeah, call from a preacher or something. Just a minute … Reverend Archibald.”
    â€œNo other calls about Civano? I mean last night or any other time.”
    â€œHell, no. Two’s not enough?”
    â€œAny leads to whoever did the job?”
    â€œNothing important yet. Probably some of his friends got tired of his company.”
    â€œThat’s about the way I figured it. Thanks, Sergeant.”
    We hung up, and I made another call, this one to Dr. Paul Anson’s room in the hotel. But there wasn’t any answer, so I slid the reloaded Colt into its holster, ran both hands over my hair, which is just as effective as combing it, and went out. It was a few minutes after midnight, and as I walked past the

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