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Книга Whiplash. Содержание - 60

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He giggled. It creeped her out, the conceit in that giggle, the unmistakable whiff of madness. She felt his arrogance, his dismissal of her, when he said, "I was already here on a forged passport. After I killed Blauvelt, I quickly returned to New York and left on the red eye back to Frankfurt."

"Now you've depressed me. I guess we're just too trusting of our foreign counterparts. And I must say you arrived with a reputation as a straight-arrow cop, Agent Kesselring. Who would have thought you're really a stone cold murderer?"

"One does what one must." He sounded calm again, and it scared her. The last thing she wanted was to have him thinking clearly.

Push him, push him. "Sounds to me like Schiffer Hartwin had a great duo working for them, you and Blauvelt. How many people did you kill between you? How many officials did you bribe to run Schiffer Hartwin's illegal tests? Africa is a particularly nice drug testing ground, isn't it? So what happened with Blauvelt? Why'd you kill him? What did he do?"

She heard him snort, but he didn't answer.

"Come now, what does it matter? Inquiring minds want to know, Andy. Hey, had Blauvelt simply had enough of the intimidation and killing? Maybe the Culovort scheme finally got to him? That's why he wanted out?

"Did Dieffendorf know he'd become a liability? Did he send you over here to make sure Blauvelt was dead and buried, no longer a problem? What, Andy?"

He said something to her in German, something low and vicious. He'd probably sent her right to hell. Was he about ready to boil over?

"You're afraid to talk to me, aren't you, Andy? You, the big hollow cop in the expensive Armani suit-you're actually afraid of a butch cop half your size? You've told me everything else, why don't you want to tell me why you murdered Blauvelt?"

Jane Ann moaned again.

Sherlock heard the slap of flesh against flesh, knew he'd struck Jane Ann with his open palm. Better than his fist.

She shouted, "You're a psychopath, Andy, but I didn't figure you for a coward, too."

Hallelujah, that did it. He yelled, "The break-in, you idiot! The pathetic little man found out too much. Once that damned Erin Pulaski stole the information on Culovort right off Royal's computer, I knew he'd tell the one person who could cut the cash flow. Blauvelt would not listen, so I had no choice. I would have been exposed. To him I was nothing.

"Well, I showed him he was nothing. Less than nothing. I even erased his damned face. He always liked to say he was the big fish. Well, he got himself devoured by a bigger fish, didn't he?"

"You didn't want him identified, did you?"

"Of course not, at least not until I was safely back in Germany. But once I started smashing his face, I realized I rather enjoyed it. Then I cut off his fingers, left the rest for the local yahoos to try to identify. I didn't know Van Wie Park was federal land. It was just bad luck Agent Richards realized Blauvelt had foreign dental work, and you found out who he was like that-" Kesselring snapped his fingers. "It was a much quicker flight back than I expected. I've always found that to be true. Going home is always faster.

"Still, it should have worked, all of it, except for Royal. He was the weak link, ready to roll over on us."

"Who could have stopped it all?"

He laughed. "Good try, Agent, but I will keep that close to my vest, isn't that your American slang?"

"You nailed it, Andy. Is that when you decided to visit Jane Ann?"

"Ah, Jane Ann. Now she was a surprise, I'll admit it." He gave that insane giggle again. "She was something in bed, I'll tell you."

"A match made in heaven. You and Jane Ann and Mick Haggarty?"

"Was that the boy's last name? What a waste he was, no guts at all. He was shaking so hard when I shot Royal I thought he would piss his pants."

"Then you and Mick were waiting for us, and you were careful not to hit us since we were Jane Ann's alibi."

Sherlock wondered if she could shoot above Jane Ann's head with her precious second bullet and miraculously strike him in the forehead. Time was running out. She had to bring him out, she had to bring him closer to her, she had to end it.

"Schiffer Hartwin isn't paying you what you're worth, are they, Andy? Not a share of the real profits like others are getting, you know, a big slice of the windfall profits from Laboratoires Ancondor? Sounds to me like you're the one who makes everything work. What good are they without you, these men you work for? Surely the whole company isn't in on this? Who's running this show? Who could put a stop to it?"

"They will pay me now, every single penny I ask for. Enough, Agent! There is no more reason to talk."

"I've got a surprise for you, Andy. Jane Ann forgot all about my cell phone. I've got it in my pocket, and not only is it recording our entire conversation, it's giving out a nice sharp signal. We've talked so long now, there are probably FBI agents and local police officers in position around this place right now, just waiting for you to come out. Best not to kill Jane Ann, Andy, or you'll go down so fast you won't even know you're dead. You know how good our snipers are, don't you? Right through the forehead, and you're gone.

"You want to die here, Andy? Or do you want to deal with me and live another day?"

He dropped Jane Ann, jumped over the sofa, and ran toward the sound of her voice, and he didn't stop firing until the clip was empty. Then he pulled her SIG from his belt and kept coming, firing with every step.


"Kesselring! Stop right there or I'll shoot!"

It was Bowie. Thank you, God, thank you, God. She had a chance now. Her SIG had to be nearly empty, but he didn't stop, it was as if he couldn't-and he was looking her right in the face when he took his next shot. Sherlock felt the bullet whistle not an inch from her right ear, felt the sting of it, and smelled the cordite. She had no choice but to rise up and try for a kill shot with her only bullet. Then there were two quick shots from the door, and thank the merciful Lord, Kesselring fell hard to the floor.

There was a moment of dead silence.

Sherlock shouted, "Bowie?"

"Sherlock, you all right?"

"Miracle of miracles, I am."


It was Erin.

Sherlock called out, "Is Kesselring down for good?"

Erin said with a good deal of pleasure, "Yeah, looks like Bowie shot out his hip. He's lying on his side, panting and moaning. Blood on his neck, too. Did you do that?"

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