Murder on a Hot Tin Roof

Murder on a Hot Tin Roof by Amanda Matetsky Page B

Book: Murder on a Hot Tin Roof by Amanda Matetsky Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amanda Matetsky
if you know what’s good for you, you’ll run back across the street and take off your goddamn costumes.”

    “Oh, we will!” I assured her, as she sashayed out the door and disappeared down the hall to the right. “And thanks for the autographs!” I called out, even though I knew she wasn’t listening. (I can be—and often am—polite to the puking point. Abby swears I’m related to Emily Post.)

    Abby erupted as soon as Rhonda was gone. “What a bitch!” she spluttered, looking as if the top of her head would blow off. (Considering the pressure that had surely been building up in her stubborn, short-tempered skull, such an event wouldn’t have surprised me in the least.) “I never met such a sniveling, pretentious, big-mouthed broad in my life! She’s a tattletale and a tramp. And I bet she’s a murderer, too. She probably killed Gray for taking too long for lunch!”

    “Shhhhhh!” I cautioned, holding a silencing finger up to my lips and tiptoeing over to the cot where Rhonda had tossed the pad and the pen. Glad she hadn’t taken the message pad with her to the phone, I promptly snatched up the tablet full of scribbles, hid it under my purse, and scrambled for the door. Abby scrambled right along with me and—fleeing down the hall to the left like Bonnie and Clyde (or, more precisely, Lucy and Ethel)—we made a clean getaway.

Chapter 10

    MOST OF THE SCRIBBLED NOTES IN THE pad really were phone messages for Gray—a fact Abby and I determined as soon as we were seated on the subway headed home. Somebody named Bradley had called to say “Bravo!,” a fellow named Lloyd had phoned to say goodbye since he knew Gray would never talk to a “nobody” like him again, and somebody calling herself Aunt Doobie had left her room number at the Mayflower Hotel.

    There were other messages as well—some of them congratulatory, most with first names only, just one with a phone number. No days or dates were noted, and there seemed to be no order to the listings, so—unless a message was congratulatory—I couldn’t determine if the call had been made last Thursday night or this afternoon. As far as I could tell, Cupcake hadn’t called on either day. I flipped the pad closed and tucked it under my purse, saving my careful clue-hunting inspection for later, when I could concentrate.

    “Are you going to give the notebook to Flannagan in the morning?” Abby asked.

    “I don’t know yet,” I said. “Depends on how well he behaves. If he’s a good dog, I’ll give him the bone.”

    “Ha!” she yelped. “Then you might as well bury it in the back yard. That man will always behave like a bastard.”

    I laughed. “You’re probably right. He might even arrest me for stealing, or tampering with evidence. I’d better leave the pad at home.”

    We got off the train at West 4th Street and climbed the steps to the street. The steamy heat engulfed me and I suddenly felt very weak. I hadn’t eaten much all day and—though I still wasn’t the least bit hungry—I knew I needed fuel.

    “Want to grab a bite at the White Horse, Ab?” I asked, naming the popular tavern on Hudson Street that was famous for its cheap beer, lousy hamburgers, and literary clientele. They didn’t have air-conditioning, I knew, but very few places in the Village did.

    “No way, Doris Day!” she said, shaking her head so violently her ponytail was twitching from one side of her back to the other, like a real horse’s tail swishing off flies. “I’m still full from lunch, babe. I’m just gonna mosey on over to the park, get a purple snow cone, see if Jimmy is there. Wanna come?”

    “No, thanks. I’m too hot. And my head is too crazy for poetry or folk music. I think I’ll just go home, have a sandwich, catch some TV, and wait for Dan to call.”

    The minute Dan’s name flitted out of my mouth, my heart started doing the hula. And my clammy forehead broke out in another sweat. I wanted to talk to Dan. The only thing in

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