The Woman Who Married a Bear

The Woman Who Married a Bear by John Straley

Book: The Woman Who Married a Bear by John Straley Read Free Book Online
Authors: John Straley
Tags: Mystery, Ebook
who’s quit drinking lately?”
    The waitress brought us one bourbon and water and one imported beer and a fake Waterford glass. Sy tilted the glass and poured the beer gently.
    â€œWhat about Walt Robbins?”
    â€œHe was supposed to be like an uncle to the kids. They had some falling out, I guess.”
    â€œWhat did they do up in Stellar?”
    â€œI guess Louis liked the tundra in the summer. The family had a fish camp, and I heard he had a love interest.”
    â€œWalt Robbins and Mrs. Victor?”
    â€œPay attention, Younger. It was Louis had a squeeze. That’s what I heard.”
    â€œHow’d Robbins react to all this?”
    â€œChrist, you’re not going to run the ‘jealous lover murders the husband’ routine, are you? There’s nothing to tie him to it. His daughter places him down below, asleep in his berth all night.”
    â€œAnd she is dead.”
    â€œFuck, Younger, grow up. If she had anything to say, don’t you think she would have told it to the D.A. or the grand jury?”
    â€œYou ever turn your father in for murder, Sy?”
    â€œNo. Listen, why is your sister still teaching in New Haven? She’s a great lawyer. She could be making some serious money.”
    â€œNo doubt. How did Alvin Hawkes get a job with Louis?”
    â€œHe’s a distant relative of someone’s. I think he might even have been related to Robbins. How’s that help your theory?”
    â€œI read Hawkes’s record. Clean except for those couple of drug things. Did anyone suspect that he had mental problems in his past?”
    â€œHell, the state still doesn’t think he’s got any problems. But he had no record of problems before. His mom said he was ‘troubled.’ Isn’t that what all the relatives tell reporters after someone’s gone to jail? You saw him. What do you think, is he faking it?”
    â€œEverybody’s faking it, Sy. How come you didn’t get him off? Wasn’t there enough around to at least stir up a little reasonable doubt?”
    â€œHey, listen, Younger, these were bad facts. I’ve got a fruitcake who just fed his boss to the bears, for Christsakes! What do you think, your big-shot sister could have worked with those facts?”
    â€œDon’t be so defensive, man. So Hawkes’s family thinks they’ll give their troubled boy the fresh-air treatment, and a job in Alaska is all that he needs to make a man out of him. He draws a real man for a boss, flips out, and he thinks he killed him. He goes to jail and the day before the trial the only witness who can help him at all gets whacked.”
    â€œCommits suicide.”
    â€œWhat else you know about De De Robbins?”
    â€œNot much but I’ll show you what I got.”
    â€œIf she killed herself, why was she trying so hard to climb up out of the water?”
    â€œI don’t know what was going through her mind. Maybe the water was colder than she expected. Maybe she changed her mind.”
    â€œWhy didn’t she swim over to the ladder on the dock?”
    â€œDon’t start in on this … please. The experts say that lots of suicides do unpredictable stuff. It’s reflexive. Only some part of them wants to rescue themselves.”
    â€œThe subconscious cavalry.”
    â€œI heard that someone got shot in Sitka last night.”
    â€œYeah.”
    â€œI heard it was your roommate. Why in the hell aren’t you working on that case instead of digging up dead college girls?”
    â€œPay’s better. Listen, I want pictures from De De’s autopsy, and I need a list of phone numbers and any travel records you’ve got. I’m going up to Stellar tomorrow. You going to be in early?”
    â€œYou going to see your old sweetie up there? She was a very nice-looking lady. I don’t know why you had to treat her like such a piece of shit.”
    â€œI know you’re just trying to

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