Nashville Noir

Nashville Noir by Jessica Fletcher

Book: Nashville Noir by Jessica Fletcher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jessica Fletcher
did he—?”
    “I never gave it to him in person,” she said, sitting up straight.
    “Did you mail it? The detective says they found it on his desk.”
    “I was too nervous to give it to him directly, but I was afraid if I mailed it and he didn’t respond, I’d never know if he got it or not. So I dropped it off with his secretary. She gave it to him.”
    “It was signed by Cyndi Gabriel. When did you change your name?”
    A faint smile crossed her thin lips. “Sounds stupid, huh?”
    “Not at all. Did Mr. Marker suggest it?”
    “No.”
    “Who did?”
    “Oh.” She looked up at the ceiling. “A lot of people told me that Blaskowitz wasn’t, um, well, it’s not really a pretty name, and it’s hard to remember or spell, so I changed it.”
    “Look,” Washburn said, pulling papers from his briefcase, “we have to get some work done here. I need you to sign these papers acknowledging that I’ve been retained to act as your attorney.” He slid the papers across the table to her, along with a pen.
    “What name should I use?”
    “For now, I think you’d better go with your legal name.”
    After Washburn thoroughly reviewed the legal papers he’d brought for his new client, and Cyndi signed “Cindy Blaskowitz” where he indicated, I asked what was in the file folder she’d brought into the room.
    “Just some songs I wrote.”
    “Since you’ve been here?” I asked, incredulous.
    “Just a couple.”
    “Like Johnny Cash with ‘Folsom Prison Blues,’ ” Washburn said with a chuckle. “Some say a jail experience is good for a country composer.”
    Cyndi looked self-conscious. “Not really,” she said. “It’s just there’s not that much to do. They have me all by myself.”
    “May I see them?” I asked.
    She opened the folder and flipped through a few papers.
    “Do you want me to save them for you?” I asked.
    “Yes, please,” she said. “They won’t do me any good here.”
    “I’ll give them back after you’re released.”
    “Right,” she said, but the word was laced with irony.
    Before I could take the folder, Cyndi slid out two songs, folded them neatly into halves, and then into quarters. “These are junk,” she said. “Those other two are maybe okay.”
    “Let me take them anyway,” I said, tucking them back into the folder. “You may change your mind.”
    “We should be leaving,” Washburn said. “I have a downtown meeting with another client in an hour.”
    “Cyndi, before we go,” I said urgently, “I really wish you’d tell us where you spent those two days after you ran from Mr. Marker’s office. Mr. Washburn can’t help you unless you’re completely open and honest with him.”
    Cyndi swallowed audibly. “I don’t want to get anybody in trouble,” she said.
    “You’re in the most trouble,” I said. “You can’t afford to shield someone if it will make things worse for you. Would this person really want you to do that, to make yourself more vulnerable? What kind of friend would ask that?”
    “But I promised I wouldn’t say anything.”
    Washburn snapped his briefcase shut. “If the DA finds out who it is,” he said, “and you didn’t come clean on this, it’ll make my job defending you a lot harder.”
    “Please, Cyndi,” I said. “Trust us. We’re here to help you.”
    “Remember, Cyndi,” Washburn added, “anything you tell me is confidential, and I’m sure Mrs. Fletcher will respect that, too.”
    “Of course I will.”
    Cyndi slowly shook her head before drawing a deep, pained breath. “Wally,” she said so softly that I barely heard her.
    “Who’s Wally?” Washburn asked.
    “Wally Brolin.”
    “Is he a friend?” I asked.
    She started crying again as she said, “The only real friend I have here in Nashville. He’s a musician. He let me stay with him after I went to Marker’s office.”
    “And he lives where?” Washburn asked.
    Cyndi gave him an address in East Nashville.
    Washburn jotted down the information on a

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