Murder on the Potomac

Murder on the Potomac by Margaret Truman

Book: Murder on the Potomac by Margaret Truman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Margaret Truman
house.”
    Smith’s face reflected his puzzlement. Why would she call Tierney with that information?
    Tierney continued. “Nothing surprising, I suppose. Murdered with a heavy object with a defined edge during the hours following the board meeting.” He said to Annabel, “Hell of an introduction for our newest board member.”
    She said nothing.
    “Mac, any chance of stealing you away from your bride for five minutes?”
    Smith glanced at Annabel. She replied, “By all means.” To Mac: “I’ll be here when you get back.”
    Smith followed Tierney through the master suite on the main deck, with its Jacuzzi and queen-sized bed, and into the smallest of three additional guest quarters that had been configured as an office. “My favorite getaway,”he said. He indicated a small couch to Smith. “Sometimes, when I really have to think something out, I rustle up the crew, and we go out on the river. I hole up here and let my mind wander. I’ll probably be doing a lot of that these days.” He perched on the edge of a desk and continued. “Eikenberg didn’t call just to give me the autopsy report. She told me they’d found letters in Pauline’s apartment.”
    “What kind of letters?”
    “Love letters.”
    Smith’s face asked for further explanation.
    “The detective said I’d written them to Pauline.”
    “I see,” Smith said. There was silence in the room except for the steady throb of the
Marilyn
’s powerful engines. Smith asked the obvious question: “Did you? Write them?”
    “Of course not.”
    “Then why would such letters be in her apartment? I mean, did Eikenberg say the letters had been signed by you?”
    “Yes.”
    “And you say you didn’t write them. Someone else did and signed your name?”
    “I suppose that’s the logical explanation. But will she buy it?”
    Smith didn’t like Tierney wondering whether the police would “buy it.” He asked, “Did Darcy Eikenberg tell you anything else about the letters? Specific language?”
    Tierney shook his head. “All she said was that they were intimate in nature and could be called love letters.”
    “Why are you telling
me
this, Wendell?”
    Tierney’s eyes widened; animation returned to his face. “Because I don’t know who else to turn to, Mac. I obviously can’t discuss this with my family. I’ve got a slew of attorneys I pay a fortune to who wouldn’t mind the fees, and one or two who wouldn’t mind seeing me sink in some kind of scandal.”
    Smith stood, twisted his torso to manipulate his spine against a fleeting spasm in his lower back, and sat again. “Wendell, I suppose I should be flattered that you’ve trusted me with this information. But, frankly, I’m at as much of a loss today as I was coming to your house the day they found Pauline. There’s nothing I can do for you except what I’ve done—offer my friendship and a willing ear.”
    Tierney didn’t hesitate. “Mac,” he said, “I was hoping you’d use your connections to find out more about these letters, maybe even get hold of them for me.”
    Smith looked at Tierney quizzically, then laughed a little. “What makes you think I could do that?”
    “It’s my understanding,” Tierney said, “that Mackensie Smith can do damn near anything he wants in this town. It’s called connections.”
    “You need better sources of information, Wendell. I happen to be a law professor who leads a cloistered, unconnected life these days.”
    “Come on, Mac. You don’t spend years as Washington’s top criminal attorney without having plenty of strings to pull, chips to call.” He pushed himself away from the desk and slapped Smith on the shoulder. “Besides, the police arrive, and you arrive, and the head cop learned her trade from you. And I saw the way the lovely lady detective looked at you. Obviously infatuated.Maybe you could trade on that infatuation. I’d be eternally grateful. Name your price.”
    “It has nothing to do with price,” Smith said, his

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