فصل 07

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CHAPTER SEVEN

Sandy Again

I was dreaming about Hawaii again. The sun was shining on my face. The sound of the sea was around me. There was a beautiful woman standing next to me.

Suddenly, a hand was touching my arm. I opened my eyes. It was Sandy Bonner! She was standing beside me. Her hand was on my arm. My arm was painful.

‘Ouch!’ I said.

‘Mr Samuel! Are you OK? Have you been in a fight?’ she asked.

‘I’m OK,’ I said. I looked at my watch. It was 10.30 a.m. I looked at Sandy.

‘I phoned you yesterday evening,’ she said. ‘You weren’t here. But I left a message on your answering machine. Have you found The Chief?’

‘No,’ I said. ‘But I’m learning a lot about horse racing. I want to ask you a question, Sandy. Who was your tall slim visitor yesterday?’

Suddenly, Sandy’s face became pale. She was very frightened.

‘I told you not to come to the ranch. They’ll kill-‘ She stopped speaking.

‘Who will they kill, Sandy?’ I asked. ‘Your tall slim friend tried to kill me yesterday.’

‘You?’ Sandy was surprised. ‘Where did you meet him?’

‘Forget about that,’ I replied. ‘Is there anything that you want to tell me? I must have some more information.

‘No, Mr Samuel,’ said Sandy quietly. ‘I can’t tell you anything more.’

‘Sandy,’ I said. ‘I want to help you. But you must help me. Tell me about Lou Weaver. Why does he walk around your ranch with a gun?’

‘Lou is a good man,’ she replied. ‘He works for me. He takes care of the horses. He’s worried about me. I can’t tell you anything more!’

‘Miss Bonner,’ I said. ‘Why won’t you give me any information?’

‘I can’t tell you anything more,’ Sandy said again. ‘Now I must leave. If they see me here, they’ll kill The Chief. I’ve paid you for the work that you did yesterday. But you made a mistake. I don’t want you to do any more work for me. I won’t come here again. And I won’t phone you. Please forget about me and The Chief. And please stay away from the ranch!’

Sandy turned and she ran out of the room.

So, I wasn’t working for Sandy Bonner any more. But I owed Herman money!

I took the $200 and the blue security pass from my pocket. I threw the pass into the waste bin. I put $50 back into my pocket and I put $150 in an envelope. I wrote Herman’s name on the envelope. I left my office and I pushed the envelope under Herman’s door. Then I drove home.

Two hours later, I was much better. At home, I had had a hot shower and some breakfast. And I had put on some clean clothes.

I decided to enjoy myself. I had only $50 but I decided to go to the races at Santa Rosita.

First, I drove back to my office. When I got to the office door, the phone was ringing. I picked up the phone.

‘Hello,’ I said. ‘Lenny Samuel speaking.’

‘Mr Samuel!’ said a voice. It was Sandy Bonner. ‘I’m sorry, Mr Samuel. I was wrong. A horse called Golden Dragon -‘

Suddenly she stopped speaking.

‘Sandy?’ I said. ‘What do you want to tell me?’

But there was no reply. I put the phone down.

I was going to Santa Rosita. But I wasn’t working now. It was a lovely day and I was going to enjoy myself. I was going to forget about Sandy Bonner. I wasn’t going to look for a horse called The Chief. And I wasn’t going to ask about a horse called Golden Dragon. But I took the blue security pass from the waste bin. Then I opened the drawer of my desk and I took my gun from it. I put the pass and the gun in my pocket.

‘Perhaps they’ll be useful,’ I said to myself. Then I left the office and I got into my car.

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