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Книга Whiplash. Содержание - 22

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". . . and then Erin told Molly Heckler to get her sucker out of her sneaker and stand it up against the window."

As the adults looked over at her, Erin said, "It wasn't a totally happy ending since I was the one who had to clean sucker-sticky off the window. You didn't tell them that, Georgie. You want another moo shu pork pancake?"

"Daddy calls them moo burritos. Can I fill it myself, Erin?"

Sherlock watched the easy camaraderie between the woman and Bowie's little girl. She said, "You guys have known each other for a very long time, right?"

"Just about forever," Georgie said. "Erin's been teaching me since I was a little kid, not even five. But she just met my daddy yesterday."

Interesting, Sherlock thought. "I've never met a ballet teacher before."

"I'm from a long line of dancers and teachers," Erin said as she handed Georgie the bowl of moo shu pork. "Both my grandmother and my mother are beautiful dancers, both of them still teach ballet, my grandmother in St. Petersburg, Florida, and my mom in Grand Haven, Michigan."

Sherlock rolled up a moo shoo pancake. "Is your father also in the arts?"

"No, Dad died of cancer three years ago. He couldn't dance a step even after a dozen Arthur Murray dance lessons with Mom. She finally gave up. He was a Navy SEAL." And he could pick locks and strategize how to break into places where you shouldn't be. He taught me everything he knew- "Well, that's enough about me, isn't it?"

Bowie bit into an egg roll. "Erin's primarily a private investigator."

"Whoa," Savich said. "That seems an odd combination. How did you pick investigation as a field, Erin?"

"I'm good at finding out things," she said, "always have been. As a kid, my friends would ask me to help them find missing candy bars, video games, schoolbooks, whatever. I got better and better at it. Dad was always giving me hints on how to track things down. Then their folks started coming to me when they lost something or they had a problem with their kids, like a fight at school or something, and they needed information, or wanted to know what really happened. I could usually find out what they needed. And they'd give me a buck. My mom was embarrassed."

"And your dad?" Sherlock asked.

Erin laughed, couldn't help it. "He was very proud of me, said I was earning my college fund."

"What exactly did your dad do?"

"He was a security consultant," Erin said. "By the time I went to college, I knew what I wanted to do. My degree was in forensic science, lots of options there. I moved to Stone Bridge five years ago, got my license, and set myself up in business. I've supported myself very nicely, at least after my first two years or so in business. Most of my income came from teaching ballet in the lean years. Now, it's become more a hobby, something I enjoy and it keeps my hand in. Or my feet," she added and gave them a fat smile.

Georgie said, "Erin found my house key once. I looked and looked. I nearly called you, Daddy."

"That wasn't a biggie," Erin said. "You'd stuffed it inside your sock and tossed your sock in the waste basket because you found a hole. My dad told me all about how to find where missing keys were hiding."

Bowie waved his glass at her. "Thanks."

Erin grinned at him, waited a beat, and gave the agents a bright interested look. "Enough about me. Bowie told me you guys were sent here to assist him in his investigation into this Helmut Blauvelt's murder."

Sherlock shot Bowie a look, saw that he was concentrating on helping his daughter stuff moo shu pork into her burrito. Well, Erin was a professional, and she seemed smart and savvy. Evidently Bowie thought so. Why not use her brain? Sherlock said, "We've got a witness who saw our girl wriggle out of Caskie Royal's bathroom window, land in the bushes below, bounce right up, and take off running into Van Wie Park."


Erin nearly fell off her chair in a dead faint. She cleared her throat. "Did the witness give you a description?"

"Yes, he did. Longish hair flopping up and down out the back of a baseball cap. Probably brown, like yours, Erin. She was tall and rangy, the guy said. Slender. He said she didn't look like a runner, but he was struck by how gracefully she moved. Fluidly, smoothly, he said. Isn't that interesting?" And Sherlock held her eyes.

She can't know, she can't know, she can't- Erin laughed to keep the terror out of her voice. "That is an odd thing to say. I wonder who she is."

Bowie said, "Whoever she is, she's got Caskie Royal's fate in her hands, and he knows it. His lawyers sure know it, and I'll bet now his bosses in Germany know it. He's scared, but not enough to let us help him yet, the idiot."

Sherlock added, "We also had a gorgeous German agent added to the mix today. Dolores Cliff, one of Bowie's agents, thinks he looks like Adonis. He's not Dillon, but I've gotta be honest here-he's a pretty close second."

Bowie said to Georgie, "You remember Agent Cliff ?"

"Oh, yes, she kicked my soccer ball clear out of the field. It took Coach and a bunch of parents to find it. She showed me how to do the splits. I'll bet Erin does the splits better than anybody."

"Don't kiss up," Bowie said. "Yeah, that's Agent Cliff, a real hardnose. Only thing is, she's acting like you'd better not act when you turn thirteen, kiddo, and discover Y chromosomes."

"What's Y chromosomes?"

"Y chromosomes give fathers nightmares." He ruffled his daughter's hair. "Boys," he added.

Erin said, "You mean this guy, this Adonis, bowled her right over?"

"Yeah. I had to team him up with a guy who wouldn't care what he looked like."

"Why does he look like Adonis?" Georgie asked.

It was left to Sherlock to describe Kesselring, and she did him justice.

Georgie thought about this as she took another bite of her moo shu pork burrito. "I bet Krissy would really like him."

Bowie blinked. "Why do you think Krissy would like this foreign agent, sweetheart?"

"I heard Krissy tell you that she really likes your sexy stomach muscles. I'll bet this guy has sexy stomach muscles like you."

Bowie looked appalled. Erin thought he looked like his heart had seized.

Savich said easily, "This makes me wonder if Sean has passed along any phone conversations he's overheard. Scary, isn't it, Sherlock?"

Sherlock laughed. She leaned over to Georgie. "Do you know, I've probably said the same thing about Dillon. Hmm. I have to say that Agent Kesselring does look like a real dish. But you know what? Even though he looks like a chocolate sundae, I don't like him much. He isn't a straight shooter like Dillon or your dad, and that's something super important. I don't think he's got much respect for us women, either."

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