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To Catch a Crook Elle Druskin

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A curious series of numbers on a scrap of paper fell out of the file to the floor.

40 300 30 10.  31. 10--31 1, 1,2.

I considered a few possibilities.  A phone number?  A bank account?  Weary from the day, I showered and climbed into bed wishing for Fraser next to me.  He’d be in Scotland by now, in Dundee.  What he wanted to do there was still a mystery, the same as the numbers.  Maybe he would have known what they were right away.  I’d have to ask Ian in the morning. 

I never got to ask.  When I arrived at the archive and rapped on his office door, there was no answer.

“Ian?”  I pushed the door open and walked in.  Papers still scattered on his desk, stained tea mug half full.  He must have left in a hurry and couldn’t be far.

I glanced at the papers and froze.  Mitzi’s file was on his desk clearly marked but the file was empty.  Maybe he was copying another document.  I walked around the desk and staggered.  Ian Cowdray was slumped on the floor, wedged between the chair and the desk.  I knelt down immediately to check for a pulse, the nurse side of me kicking into gear.

The minute I touched him I knew it was futile.  His skin was icy, eyes staring up like the doll’s.  Ian would never tell me what the numbers meant.  A gunshot to the chest had ensured that.  Ian had been murdered and I’d just tampered with a dead body.  There was nothing left to do but scream.

©2011 Elle Druskin

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