Friday, December 02, 2005

Just One Night, part 4

(Part 4 of the crime story from 1985.)

Brougher and Camaro took their guns out of the holsters and went to the door. A big, red Fury had been parked near the hotel. A man stood beside it and seemed to be having a conversation with someone in the car.
Suddenly the car spurted into motion. When it was passing the hotel, a shotgun showed at the window and fires flashed. Moose got hit in the arm. Camaro and Brougher sent three bullets after the car, but missed.
”Are you okay?” he asked Moose.
”It’s a scratch”, Moose said.
Brougher nodded even though he could see that there was quite a lot of blood in Moose’s arm.
”Hey, where’s the guy?” Camaro shouted.
Brougher took a look. The man, who’d been talking to the driver of the Fury, was gone.
”Camaro, stay here. Moose, get Doc. I’m going to Suzie”, Brougher said and ran through the lobby and up the stairs. Brougher heard nothing and he knocked on the door. He felt excited and worried, even though he didn’t really know why. This was his job, after all.
Suzie came to the door. ”What was the shooting?” she asked. She was wearing a tight black skirt and a velvet blazer.
”It was Hersey. Get your bag and let’s get out of here”, Brougher said.
Then they heard a window breaking in the bedroom.
”Get down”, Brougher said and pulled Suzie down on the floor. Someone had come into the apartment.
”Stay there”, Brougher said and got up quietly. He backed against the wall. A man came from the bedroom with a sawed shotgun in his hands. It wasn’t Hersey. Of course it wasn’t.
Brougher shot a bullet through the man’s belly. The man twisted and blood came spurting from his stomach, but his hand rose up and he tried to shoot.
Brougher shot again. The man dropped the shotgun and fell on the floor.
”Get your bag”, Brougher said to Suzie, who looked terrified. Suzie rose from the floor and kept watching the corpse.
”It’s Hersey’s gang alright”, Brougher said. Who else would it be? He felt he had to calm Suzie down. It had been necessary to shoot the man.
Suzie gulped and nodded. She looked as she was about to burst into tears any minute.
”Do you know him?” Brougher asked.
Suzie nodded slowly and shakily.
”What’s his name?” Brougher felt he had to focus Suzie’s attention to something and not let the panic get over her. He knew the man and had seen him, but he wanted Suzie to have something to think about.
”I don’t know. I’ve just seen him once or twice…” Suzie’s voice was collapsing. ”He was some sort of a bodyguard.”
”Okay, it’s alright now. Get your bag.”
”Wouldn’t it be safer here?” Suzie said.
”No. Just go and don’t ask any questions”, Brougher said.
Suzie nodded and went to the bedroom. Brougher saw the broken window and felt a cold breeze coming through. Weird, he thought. It’s warm outside.
In the lobby, Doc, a short, shabby man, who handled all the emergencies in the hotel, was putting bandages over Moose’s arm. Camaro was standing by the door.
”What was the shooting?” Moose asked.
”I had to kill one of Hersey’s guys”, Brougher said.
”Who?” Moose asked.
Brougher looked at Suzie. ”I think it was Taylor.”
Suzie said: ”You knew him?”
Brougher said: ”Yes” and went to the door. Camaro said: ”Fury came back.”

(The dialogue after the shooting is new. In the original version they didn't say a word, which seemed a bit too hardboiled.)

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