Raven’s Run 82

“Tell the Senator that you did your best in an impossible task. What else could he expect?”

“I’m worried about Raven.”

“Don’t be. If we couldn’t find her, neither will Skinny and Davis.”

Susyn toyed with a piece of lettuce. “I need to call California. I can’t abandon the chase without talking to the Senator.”

While she was gone, I drank coffee and watched the gondolas and vaporettos slip past on the Grand Canal. Eventually, I stole one of her lamb chops.

When she returned, she was much subdued. She said, “The Senator asked me to get some more information from you before you disappear.”

“Sure.”

“Raven’s assailants – why do you call them by those names?”

“One called himself James Davis when he tried to strike up a conversation with Raven in Bermuda. We assume that it is an alias. The other one was skinny, so I call him Skinny. I don’t know him by any other name.”

“How many times did you see them?”

“Twice. Once when they were throwing Raven off the cruise ship . . .”

“You actually saw that!”

“Through binoculars. I was half a mile away. We talked about this before.”

“I want to get it absolutely straight to tell the Senator. Could you identify the two?”

“Yes.”

“From that far away.”

“No. But they came at us again in Marseilles, and I got a good look at them. They were closer to me than you are right now.”

“So you could pick them out of a line-up?”

“Yes.”

“Or a mug book?”

“Yes.”

Her brows had drawn together, and there was a strange intensity in her violet eyes. She sighed, then made a wry mouth and said, “I guess if you have to go, you have to go.”

“My train is leaving in an hour.”

“Then we’d better get back.”

She paid while I waited, then we stepped out. The streets were less crowded than before. Beyond the street, near the canal, all was inky darkness, and I could just see figures silhouetted against the light reflecting off the water.

“Let’s look at the canal one last time,” she said, and caught my right arm in a passionate grip. We moved into a patch of darkness, toward the water. A figure waiting there moved aside.

“Now!” Susyn hissed in a new and strident voice. Her grip on my arm tightened and she let her knees go slack. I was pulled off balance, and before I could jerk her upright, the figure who had moved aside, lunged forward and jammed the cold steel barrel of a pistol into my throat.

A stray flicker of light caught his face. It was Davis. more tomorrow

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