Monday, September 8, 2014

First Shot (47)

Sons of Lexington? Blow was replying to Lt. Callahan's text message nearly two hours after its time stamp. He had no idea where Callahan might be, but knew that if he was still in his office, texting would be the safest way to communicate. Blow had decided to volunteer more information to the cop than professional prudence might indicate. He justified this in his mind to temporarily distract Callahan from suspecting the musket as a modern murder weapon.
Blow was having enough trouble fending off intimations of the plausible irony that a distraught teen might have employed a weapon used by her ancestor in a passionate murder more than three centuries earlier to commit another. Gladstone had suggested as much, pointing out the efficacy of the rifled barrel to extend a musket's range and accuracy. Such a weapon could easily prove lethal up to four hundred meters, he said, a hundred meters beyond Callahan's estimate of the distance from the park sniper's nest to the spot where Gunther lost his head.
That wasn't in the story. Callahan's return text told Blow the game was afoot. He handed his phone to Mary.

“Yeah, Blow, how did you know? And who are the Sons of Lexington?”
“I can't tell you how I know, Mary, but that's who Himmler was working for. Evidently Gladstone's at bat now.”
“You're letting me watch your interview with Carl? Is this so I'll forgive you for--”
“For what, Mary? Don't you believe my phone was off?”
“I do. I'm sorry. But you knew about Gladstone--”
“You knew about him before I did. I've been too busy to check news updates. Tell you what, though, I'll let you do more than watch.”
“That has a kinda racy sound to it, Blow.”
“It does, doesn't it. Will you do the texting for me? My thumbs get tangled up.”
“Boooo...really?”
“For all we know Gladstone's still in Carl's office. It took him forever to reply to my text, so either he's not alone or his thumbs aren't any better than mine.”
“This could last awhile. You gonna buy me dinner?”
“Barbecue sandwich OK? I've got some in the fridge.”
“We'll see. What do you want me to tell him?”
“How about this: He wants the musket destroyed. Trying to scare the owner.” Mary's thumbs flew across the key pads. They sipped coffee while waiting for Callahan's response.
Do you know where it is?
“Cuts right to the chase, doesn't he. Tell him, No idea.” Blow hated lying. He always tried to rationalize a justification when he did, and this was no different. Of course he had an idea where the musket was. If he had to guess he'd say it was in the Kellams' attic. But he didn't know for sure, so it was the word idea that was the lie. And the lie was to take some of the burden off the word no, which standing alone would have sounded like a lie.
Does Salzwedel know? Good guess, maybe suggested by Gladstone. Salzwedel's name was not mentioned in Watterman's story, but Callahan knew Andy was Blow's client.
Couldn't tell you if I knew. Mary tapped it into Blow's phone faster than Blow figured he could type it on his laptop.
Do you know? Callahan was losing his patience, and in his haste left Blow some weasel room. The only answer the cop wanted was one that would point him to the musket. Blow hadn't spoken to Salzwedel since Kellam's store. Evidently Gladstone hadn't made the Hosner/Kellam connection yet.
Blow's reply: I don't, Carl. I think Gladstone's living up to his nickname. Blow hoped Callahan would take this as a friendly signal to end the interview. If Gladstone did not know about the Kellams, Blow had no intention of tipping his hand. He thanked providence the musket was not presently in his office safe.
Bullshit. Clever not to punctuate as a question. Typical cop trick. Keep 'em guessing.
“Tell him later, Mary.”
“Just later?”
“Yup. He's out of questions, and I'm out of answers.”

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