like a challenge.

'No,' Carr said.

'In other words, that possibility didn't even enter your mind. Is that what you're saying?' Heckel said.


'Why not?' Jeckel said.

'Because I've qualified 'expert' at the pistol range every month for over twenty years,' Carr said without inflection.

Waeves emitted a burst of pipe smoke. The inspectors wrote things in the margins of their notes. There was a long silence before the next question.

Carr returned to the squad room after the interview. He plopped down at his desk.

Kelly was having an animated telephone conversation. 'Thanks a lot for calling,' he said. He hung up the receiver. 'That was Rodriguez,' he said. 'He says Teddy Mora's ex-brother-in-law just put a fifty-grand down payment on a motel in Ensenada. He's the manager of the local bank.'

'At least somebody came out all right on the deal,' Carr said. He gave a little laugh.

Charles Carr strolled with Sally along the cement walkway running parallel to the snack shops and apartment houses that faced Santa Monica Beach. It was the first time they had been together since Carr's return from Mexico. They were lost in a parade of roller skaters and joggers of both sexes, all cocoa-tanned and costumed in skimpy swim clothes. A lithe couple on wheels a few feet in front of them did a ritual of figure eights around one another as they gabbed about the best way to mix margaritas.

Sally had been walking with her head down most of the way. Carr felt like telling her to get whatever it was off her chest, but didn't.

The roller skaters finished their discussion and zoomed away holding hands.

'Why didn't you mention to me that you were going to Mexico?' Sally said. 'We were together just hours before you left and you didn't so much as mention it.'

'I guess I just didn't think of it,' Carr said.

'Did you have a good time?'

Carr didn't answer.

'You don't have to answer that,' she said condescendingly. 'Rose Kelly said you and Jack had a fabulous lobster dinner down there.'

'It was real nice.'

Sally stopped in her tracks. She locked her arms across her chest. 'There is no reason in the world why you can't share little things like that with me,' she said angrily. 'We just don't share things like other…uh…friends do. And I think I know why. You're afraid of things becoming too serious. You think that I'm going to put restraints on you. Well, there needn't be chains and boundaries on our relationship. I've proved that. So please stop treating me like some dizzy schoolgirl.'

Carr put his arm around her shoulder. He pulled her close to him. They walked on for a while without speaking.

'I would appreciate seeing you more than once or twice a month,' Sally said.

'Sounds good,' Carr said.

Вы читаете The Quality of the Informant
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