Puss 'N Cahoots

Puss 'N Cahoots by Rita Mae Brown

Book: Puss 'N Cahoots by Rita Mae Brown Read Free Book Online
Authors: Rita Mae Brown
mind feels like that.”
    â€œWhat? I mean, what’s whirling around?”
    â€œJorge’s body temperature.” He exhaled. “Given that his temperature was pretty close to ninety-eight point six—didn’t have a thermometer, but he felt normal to the touch—what keeps going round in my head is, was this a planned execution or a crime of opportunity?”
    â€œThe storm and loss of power sure were convenient,” Harry said.
    â€œHelp me place everyone. Joan and her folks were with us. Larry, Manuel, and Jorge were getting horses ready, I assume.”
    â€œLarry and Manuel were on the rail when Renata rode Shortro.”
    â€œRight. Where were the other trainers?”
    â€œDon’t know. Ward was on the rail. He had someone in the class. Charly wasn’t there. Guess he didn’t want to see Renata ride, or maybe he had someone in the next class, junior exhibition three-gaited show pleasure. I know Booty had a kid in the class, because we saw him in the practice ring with her when we first came to the show grounds yesterday. If he was there we missed him, but, Fair, the place had so many people it was like ants at a picnic.”
    She sounded sleepy. “I’ll read my program in the morning to double-check clients, though. Seems to me what matters is the double cross. Noticed Sheriff Howlett questioning the Mexican workers.”
    â€œSure are a lot of them,” Fair idly commented. “Seems like the number doubled since the first day.”
    â€œBig show. All hands on deck.”
    â€œBig show. Workers shipped in.”
Mrs. Murphy opened one eye.
“Big profit, too, I bet.”
    â€œWhat are you fussing about, pussycat?” Harry, warm now, pulled her arm from underneath the covers to stroke the cat’s silky forehead.
    â€œDoesn’t matter.”
Mrs. Murphy closed her eyes again.
    â€œPretty much everyone was on the rail, except for the grooms and trainers getting horses and clients ready for the next class.” Harry returned to who was where partly because she was losing steam and losing track of the conversation. “Watching Renata and Shortro. Great guy, Shortro.”
    â€œWhoever killed Jorge had ice water in his veins. Cut it close.” He stopped. “Bad pun, sorry.”
    â€œYou falling asleep?”
    â€œI’m resting my eyes,” she fibbed.
    Fair glanced at the animals and his wife. “I’m wide-awake.”
    â€œDrink milk.”
Mrs. Murphy opened her eyes again, offering good advice.
    He smiled at the cat. “You’re listening to me.”
    â€œI’m trying, but I’m pretty sleepy, too.”
    â€œThis is my point: if Queen Esther was stolen in the open, Joan’s pin, as well, and Jorge was killed in the blink of an eye—if these things were in the open, what’s hidden?”
    â€œFair, you’re starting to think like Harry.”
Mrs. Murphy sighed.

B loodlines have signatures, right?”
    â€œRight.” Joan made a pot of coffee and a pot of tea while Harry cut into a big coffee cake as they sat in Joan’s kitchen.
    â€œCertain animals breed true. You can spot their get.” Harry used the word meaning “offspring.” “In the past the credit usually went to the stallion, but the mare is as important, if not more so.”
    â€œActually, the latest research is leaning more toward the mare, but who knows? I’ve bred horses all my life, and if it were a matter of brains,” Joan tapped her head, “I’d be right one hundred percent of the time.”
    â€œKnow what you mean. Your foundation sire, Denmark, foaled in 1839, consolidated the look and the action of the Saddlebred, you think?” Harry enjoyed the soft light flooding through the kitchen window.
    â€œHarrison Chief, too; he was foaled in 1872.” Joan listened to the coffeepot burble. “But like the Thoroughbred, there’s

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