فصل 03

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فصل 03

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  • زمان مطالعه 14 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER THREE

Sloth

Somerset needed to know if the fingerprints he had found matched those of a known criminal. He and Mills watched the computer operator as he began to search.

“I’ve known this to take as long as three days,” the operator said. “So why don’t you wait outside?”

Outside the computer room was an old sofa. Somerset sat down and looked at his watch. It was 1:20 a.m. Mills got a can of Coke from a machine and sat next to Somerset.

“You think our guy is crazy and asking for help? Is that his problem?” Mills asked.

“No, I don’t think so. It doesn’t fit. I don’t think he wants us to stop him. Not until he’s finished.”

“I don’t know. There are plenty of people doing things they don’t want to do because they have voices in their heads telling them to do bad things.”

Somerset shook his head. “Not this guy. He may be hearing voices, but these murders were well planned. He’s not going to stop until he’s finished what he wants to do.”

Mills said nothing. He drank some Coke, looking at Somerset.

“Something wrong?” Somerset asked.

“Why is it that nobody believes you’re going to retire?”

Somerset didn’t know how to answer this because sometimes he didn’t believe it himself. Instead, he said, “You meant what you said to Mrs. Gould tonight about catching this guy, didn’t you?

“Of course.”

“I could never say that to her. I’ve seen too many killers plead madness. The ones that can pay get a lawyer like Gould to defend them. And a lot just disappear. They kill for a few weeks or months, and then we never hear from them again. I can’t think the way you do. That’s why I’m going.”

“If you think that, then what are we doing? Tell me.”

“We just get all the facts, all the evidence. We write it down and hope that some day it will be used.” Somerset knew that whatever he did, it rarely ended the way he wanted. In the end, twelve ordinary people decided whether a criminal was guilty or not guilty.


“Wake up, sleepyheads! You have a winner!” It was the captain standing over them. Mills and Somerset had fallen asleep on the sofa. Mills looked at his watch. It was 6:25 a.m. Never enough sleep, he thought.

“Here’s your man.” The captain showed a photo to Mills and Somerset. It showed the thin face of a young man with long, stringy hair and lots of rings in his ears. Victor Dworkin was his name, age twenty-five.

“We know Dworkin. He’s been in prison for robbery and sex crimes. The last time he was in trouble with the police, his lawyer helped him go free. That lawyer was Eli Gould. Mr. Greed.”

Millss eyes lit up. “That’s our link!” he said.

“Wait. Nobody has seen or heard from Dworkin for months. But we do have an address, and we’re checking it now.”

A red-haired officer called California, and four other policemen in uniform, came running toward them. The captain began giving them their orders.

“What do you think?” Somerset asked Mills. “Is Dworkin our killer?”

Mills thought for a moment. “He doesn’t seem like our man, does he? I don’t see our killer fitting that description.”

Somerset nodded. “No,” he said. “Our guy seems to have more purpose. Dworkin looks like the type who has trouble getting out of bed in the morning.”

“Yeah, but what about the fingerprints?”

Somerset took a deep breath. “Yes, they’re his. So I suppose it must be him.”


Mills and Somerset were in their car, following the black police van taking California and the uniformed men to Dworkin’s apartment. Somerset took out his gun and checked.

Mills nodded at the gun. “You ever get hit by one?”

“A bullet? No. Twenty-three years on the job, and I’ve only taken out my gun three times. Never fired it, though. Not once.” He put his gun away. “How about you?”

Mills shook his head. “Never got hit. Pulled my gun out once… And fired it.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah… It was my first time on something like this. The guy had killed his wife. I didn’t think he was the kind who would shoot at the police. But when we broke through the door, he was holding a gun on a cop outside the window. He fired once. I fired five times.”

“How did it end?” asked Somerset.

Mills thought for a moment. He changed the story a little because he felt so guilty. “I killed him. The other cop was hit in the leg.” He wondered if he should tell Somerset what really happened to Rick that night.

“So how did it feel? Killing a man?”

“I thought that it would be bad. You know… But that night I slept well.”

But that was only because he hadn’t known about Rick then. Later, when he knew that Rick would never walk again, he didn’t sleep so well. He still didn’t.

Somerset was thoughtful for some time. Then he said, “Well, I’ve been lucky so far. I never killed anyone.”

Mills just nodded. Would today be like that night? he wondered. Would Somerset get shot because Mills was too slow? No way, he thought. He wasn’t going to let that happen again.


The van stopped in front of them. This was Dworkin’s apartment block. The uniformed police ran into the building. Somerset and Mills followed them in. Mills’s mouth was dry. It had been just like this when Rick was shot. He pulled out his gun as they climbed the stairs.

On the third floor, they stepped over a man who was so drunk he couldn’t move. Then they got to Dworkin’s apartment.

California waved everyone back to make room for the two men breaking down the door.

“Move!” California shouted as the door broke open. “Police!” he shouted as he pushed through the broken door, holding his gun. “Police officers!”

When Mills finally got inside, he saw that the apartment was small, dirty, and very dusty. The uniformed cops were everywhere.

“In here!” California shouted.

Mills moved fast to get into the bedroom first. There was a body under a dirty sheet lying on a small bed. California moved slowly toward it, his gun in both hands. Mills had both hands on his gun too. All he could think of was that Dworkin might have a gun under the sheet. He might shoot California just as Rick had been shot.

“Good morning!” California shouted.

The body didn’t move.

“Get up!” California shouted again. “I said get up! Now!”


Somerset looked in from the door. There was a terrible smell inside, SLOTH was written on the wall above the bed.

California lifted the sheet. Then everyone could see that Dworkin wasn’t going to shoot. The body was tied to the bed. It was so thin that there seemed to be nothing but skin and bones. A bandage was tied over his eyes.

Somerset took out a photo of Dworkin. “Is it him?” Mills asked.

“Yeah. It’s him.”

California pointed with his gun at the man’s right arm. The hand had been cut off at the wrist.

Mills kept shaking his head. He couldn’t believe what he saw. “Oh, no, no,” he was saying.

One of the policemen showed Somerset some photos pinned to the wall. They showed Dworkin tied to the bed. Each one had the date written under it, and in each one the body was thinner.

“There are fifty-two of them,” the policeman said. “I counted.”

Somerset pointed to the date on the first photo. “Exactly one year ago today,” he said. “What kind of man is this killer?”

Suddenly a loud noise came from the body. California jumped back and fell over a chair. “He’s alive!” he shouted.

Dworkin’s mouth was open and his lips moved a little. A strange sound came from his throat.

“He’s alive!” said California again. “Get an ambulance. Now!”

Somerset and Mills were back in the office that afternoon. Somerset looked as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. It annoyed Mills. Somerset wasn’t he only cop on this investigation.

“I want to catch him too.” Mills said. “You know that. I want to hurt him.”

Somerset picked up some papers. “Did you read this?” he asked. “The money tor Dworkin’s apartment was paid regularly. The killer planned and worked hard to keep Dworkin alive so long. Exactly a year to the day. And he paid for his apartment. He knows what he wants to do. And he’s patient.”

Somerset remembered the note he had found: Long is the way and hard… And the seven deadly sins…? Somerset liked to read books. Perhaps the killer did too. That gave him an idea.

He took Mills with him to the public library. Somerset seemed to have friends everywhere. In a short time, he had a computer list of people who had borrowed books on subjects like crime, sin, the church, homicide, anything that would interest the killer.

They sat in Somerset’s car and checked the list. Mills thought they were wasting their time.

“You got a better idea?” asked Somerset.

“Maybe this is one we should check,” said Mills, suddenly sitting up. “This guy’s had…” he counted, “…over thirty of these titles.”

“What’s the name?”

“You won’t believe it,” said Mills. “John Doe.”

Somerset started the engine. “What address?” he said, as the car pulled into the street.

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