Nobody's Angel

Nobody's Angel by Jack Clark

Book: Nobody's Angel by Jack Clark Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jack Clark
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    Hagarty followed my eyes. "Shit," he said, and he reached over and turned the picture face down. "No reason for everybody to get sick."
    "A roll of peppermint lifesavers," Foster said, reading from a sheet of paper.
    "Half a roll, wasn't it?" Hagarty asked.
    Foster consulted the paper. "Check," he said.
    "It was just a thought," I shrugged.
    "We'll check it out," Hagarty said. "You never know. Smigelkowski might have had a whole bag of groceries and whoever shot him grabbed it along with the money. We're pretty sure whoever did him got in his cab somewhere around that store."
    "Why's that?" I asked.
    Hagarty looked over at Foster. Foster shrugged.
    "An Indian named Raj got it about three months ago. We're pretty sure the same guy did them both."
    "Why?" I asked, and I wondered if Raj was the guy that Rollie had known. The guy so skinny you could blow him over like a leaf.
    "Well, for one thing, Raj was last seen gassing up at Devon and Ridge. Your buddy was last seen heading up the same way. They were both going home. Raj only
    had three blocks to go from the station to where he parked the cab. Who knows? He might have stopped by the 24-Hour. The only thing wrong is, Raj didn't gas up until after two, so if this Rollie gets off at midnight he would have been long gone by then."
    "Was Raj the guy they found on the South Side?" I asked.
    "No, that's one of the other connections," Hagarty said. "They were found within a half-mile of each other. Raj was over in Old Town on Goethe Street." He pronounced the street, go-thee.
    Foster corrected him, pronouncing it ger-ta.
    "The guy behind the Oscar Mayer plant," I remembered.
    "That's the one," Hagarty said. "What do you say?"
    "Huh?"
    "Ger-ta or Go-thee?" he asked.
    "Whatever the passenger says," I let them in on my system, "I say it the other way."
    "You must be hell on wheels," Hagarty said.
    "It passes the time," I said.
    "You still lugging that mace around?" Foster asked.
    I nodded.
    "You think it's gonna do any good?"
    "I'm not planning to use it against a gun, if that's what you're worried about."
    "What all the bad guys are packing," he said.
    "Maybe I should get one," I said. This wasn't the first time that thought had crossed my mind.
    "I wouldn't advise against it," Foster said.
    "You ever hear about the cabdriver took out a fifth of the Most Wanted list?" Hagarty asked.
    I shook my head.
    "Must of been six, eight years ago." He glanced at Foster.
    "Something like that," Foster agreed.
    "They'd been doing 7-Elevens and liquor stores. Two jokers just out of Pontiac, cellmates. Killed two clerks. Anyway, we were staked out all over town waitin' for 'em so they decided to switch to cabs, but they sure picked the wrong driver. Clayton something "
    "Thomas."
    "Yeah, that's it. Clayton Thomas, nice old black guy. They pistol whipped him a bit, just for fun, and told him to drive way the fuck out to Harvey. Well, Clayton wasn't any fool. He knew they were never gonna let him make the return trip, and the thing was, he had a gun tucked away under a cigar box on the front seat. He managed to slip it out and then at a red light he turned around and just smoked 'em. They never got off a shot.
    "We'd been looking for the guys for a week and Clayton solved all our problems in about half a second. And then he delivers 'em. He drives right to the station with the stiffs in the cab. We wanted to give him a medal. This was one tough hack. But a couple of months later he calls us. The city won't renew his license. Wouldn't tell him why. We went downtown to see if we could help out. They told us no dice. What was it that guy said?"
    "We let cabdrivers carry guns," Foster mimicked some Consumer Services bureaucrat, "next thing you know, they'll be shooting little old ladies in fare disputes."
    "See, Clayton's mistake was he told the truth about the gun," Hagarty said. "What you need is something that isn't registered. Then if you ever use it, just say you took it off the other guy.

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