فصل 11

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فصل 11

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

A Professional Job

A day or two after Christmas, Eddie Lomax was called out on an urgent job. A man calling himself Al Kilbury said that his wife was about to meet a man in a hotel in south Memphis and that he needed Lomax to take photographs. He tempted him with an offer of generous payment. They drove to the hotel together and waited in the car park. Another man silently opened the back door of the car and put three bullets into the back of Lomax’s head. It was a professional job. The killer and the man calling himself Al Kilbury left together.


Mitch found the bar near the airport where Tammy had asked him to meet her. He looked again at the letter she had pinned to the back door of his house: ‘Dear Mr McDeere, Please meet me at Ernie’s Bar on Winchester Avenue late tonight. It’s about Eddie Lomax. Very important. Tammy Hemphill, his secretary.’

Tammy arrived soon after he had ordered a beer. ‘Thanks for coming,’ she said. ‘What’s the matter?’

She looked round. ‘We need to talk, but not here.’

‘Where do you suggest?’

‘Why don’t we drive around? We’ll take my car.’

In the car she took a long time to say what she wanted to say. Eventually it started to come out.

‘You heard about Eddie?’ she asked.

‘Yes.’

‘When did you last meet him?’

‘A couple of weeks before Christmas.’

‘I thought so. He didn’t keep any file about the work he was doing for you.’ There was a pause. ‘Eddie and I were… we were lovers. My marriage isn’t so great, and my husband has other women friends. Anyway, Eddie told me a little about you and he said that lawyers from your firm kept dying.’

So much for secrecy, Mitch thought.

‘Anyway, just before Christmas he told me he thought he was being followed and that he thought it was connected to the work he was doing for you. Eddie was good at his job. It wouldn’t be easy to follow him. They were professionals, whoever they were - as professional as the killer. I’m frightened, Mitch. Can I call you Mitch?’

‘Of course.’

‘I haven’t been back to the office since his death. They probably think I know whatever it is that he knew.’

‘You’re right not to take any chances,’ Mitch said.

‘We can disappear for a while, my husband and I. He works as a singer in nightclubs and he can always get work somewhere else.’

‘That sounds like a good idea. Where will you go?’

‘Here and there,’ she said. ‘They’ve killed all those lawyers, and they’ve killed Eddie, and next they want you and me.’

‘We need to keep in touch, Tammy,’ Mitch said, ‘but you can’t talk to me on the phone and we shouldn’t meet. Write to me once a week from wherever you are. What’s your mother’s name?’

‘Doris.’

‘Fine. Sign your letters Doris.’

‘Do they read your mail, too?’

‘Probably, Doris, probably.’

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