فصل 04

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فصل 04

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  • زمان مطالعه 12 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER FOUR

John Doe

John Doe’s apartment was on a narrow street in a poor part of the city.

They took the elevator to the sixth floor. Doe’s apartment was in the front of the building, but Somerset thought that even if he had seen them coming, Doe wouldn’t know who they were.

Mills knocked hard on the door. Somerset heard a noise, but it didn’t come from inside the apartment. He turned and saw a dark shape in the shadow of a door.

Then he saw the gun. “Mills!” he shouted. They both hit the floor at the same time. The noise hurt Somerset’s ears. Big holes appeared in the door of Doe’s apartment.

‘Hollow bullets’ thought Somerset. He imagined Mills getting shot. He would have to tell Tracy. But Mills had pulled his gun and run after Doe before Somerset could even think of stopping him.

Be careful, he thought. He was worried for Tracy.

Somerset followed Mills down the stairs. Doe was standing on the floor below, his gun in his hand. Mills jumped back just as Doe fired. The bullet hit the wall close to Somerset.

Mills waited for another shot. Instead he heard a door close. As fast as he could, he ran through the door and saw Doe running. Doe pushed a woman away and ran into her apartment.

“Police!” Mills shouted as he followed Doe into the apartment. He saw Doe climbing through a window onto the fire escape. Mills ran to the window Doe fired again, breaking the glass. When Mills looked again, he couldn’t see Doe, but he could hear him running.

Out on the fire escape, Mills ran and jumped to the ground. When he reached the street, he wanted to scream. There were people everywhere. In this crowd, he would never see Doe. Then, suddenly, impossibly, he saw him. Doe wras waiting to cross the street, looking for a break in the traffic.

Mills ran straight into the street. Cars and trucks rushed past him, the drivers shouting at him.

Doe could see that Mills was following him. He ran through the traffic and disappeared into a narrow, dark street. Mills was close behind him, running fast.

Suddenly something hit Mills in the face. He dropped his gun - he heard it hit the ground - then he fell. The pain made him weak. A board, he thought, a piece of wood. He didn’t see it coming, but that was all he could imagine. Doe had hit him with a board.

He was sure that his nose was broken. He was coughing blood. Trying to open his eyes, he saw a pair of legs and a hand picking up his gun. He tried to reach it and get it back, but the pain was too bad. Then he could feel his own gun pressed against his face. His mouth was full of blood. He couldn’t see. He was helpless.

After a moment, the gun was gone. He was still alive. Then he felt something hit his chest. Then again, and again. Bullets. Doe was throwing the bullets at him. Emptying his gun.

He heard Doe running again, and began feeling for the gun and the bullets like a blind man.

“Mills!” It was Somerset running toward him. “You all right?” Somerset knelt down next to Mills. “I’ll call an ambulance.”

“No. I’m fine.” Mills got to his feet.

“What happened?” Somerset wanted to know. But Mills was too angry to talk. He wiped the blood from his eyes and ran past Somerset as fast as the pain let him.

Somerset tried to keep up with Mills. Tried to get him to tell what had happened. But Mills was too angry. He was going to do something stupid. Somerset knew it.


The broken door of Doe’s apartment opened easily. Inside everything was dark because the walls were painted black. So were the windows. The living room had only a lamp and a chair in it. The next room they looked into was also painted black. There was one small bed with a dirty sheet on it. In the middle of the room was a small desk and a lamp. Inside the desk were neat rows of empty medicine bottles and boxes of bullets. Mills saw that some of the bullets were the hollow type that are called “cop killers.”

In a corner of the room was a small table. On it there was a careful arrangement of things around a large glass jar. In the jar was a human hand.

Victor Dworkin, thought Mills. Oh, man…

Mills found the bathroom. It had only a soft red light. Doe had made it into a photographic darkroom. Film hung all around. Photos were pinned to the wall everywhere. There were pictures of Peter Eubanks, still alive; Eli Gould cutting into his own body; Victor Dworkin, his face asking the camera for pity. There were also pictures of a blond woman sitting on a bed. She wasn’t hurt, but she looked very uncomfortable.

Mills could see how much work and preparation Doe put into his killing. There were also photos of Somerset and Mills at Dworkin’s apartment.

Suddenly a phone rang. Mills ran out of the bathroom. Somerset was running the other way. “Where is it?” he said.

Mills found the phone in the bedroom. He picked it up. “Hello,” he said.

Nothing. Someone was there, but he wasn’t saying anything. Mills said “Hello?” again.

“I admire you,” said a thin voice finally. “I don’t know how you found me. I admire you detectives more every day.”

“OK, John,” said Mills. “Tell me…”

“No, no, no! You listen to me. I’ll have to change my plans now. I just had to call to say how clever I think you are, and to apologize for hurting one of you.”

Mills was really angry, but he didn’t answer.

“I’d like to say more,” Doe went on. “But I don’t want to spoil the surprise.”

“What do you mean, John?”

“Until next time,” said Doe.

“John! Wait…”

But Doe was gone.

In another room Somerset discovered John Doe’s “library”.

Three of the walls were covered with books. The same kind of books that Doe had borrowed from the public library. Somerset wondered how Doe found time to read them all. One wall was covered with Doe’s notebooks. There were thousands of them. Each one with about 250 pages, all filled with Doe’s own writing, and with photos and pictures cut from magazines.

Mills thought that these notebooks were crazy, but Somerset disagreed. He thought that they were horrible but interesting. Doe’s writings frightened Somerset, but he spent hours reading the notebooks, trying to understand Doe’s thinking.

Doe didn’t like all the horrible things that people had to live with these days. Somerset agreed with Doe about a lot of this. That was why he wanted to retire and live in the country. But Doe wanted to change things. The problem was that Doe was also horrible. Murdering people couldn’t make anything better.

Mills came into the room where Somerset was reading. “Does he say anything about the murders?” he asked.

“No, I haven’t found anything yet,” said Somerset. “Do you have anything new?”

Mills showed him a photo of a blonde woman standing on a street corner. “There are pictures of her in the bathroom, with other pictures of Doe’s victims.”

Having your picture taken by Doe wasn’t a good sign, “Any idea who she is?” asked Somerset.

Mills shook his head. “Whoever she is, she caught Doe’s eye.”

“Better check it with the office,” said Somerset. “Maybe they know who she is. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and find her while she’s still breathing.”

Somerset looked at his watch. It was past eleven. “Better go home now and get some sleep,” he said.

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