The Last Call: A Bill Travis Mystery
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Bill Travis believes that he may not live the most exciting of lives, yet when Julie Simmons steals two million dollars from North Texas quarter horse racer and illegal liquor baron Archie Carpin, the last of a dynasty of criminals from the 1920's, thus ensues a chase across the Lone Star State to recover the money. Carpin's cohorts may seem simple-minded, yet their penchant for sniper rifles and high-explosives makes for a reckless and deadly quarry. Yet, through all this action the compelling tale of another mystery--the 80-year unclosed missing-persons file of a U.S. Marshall--begins to unravel.
forgotten all about her. I moved to get up but felt a wedge of cold pain at my temples. “Take it easy, cowboy,” he said. “You’ve got a minor concussion.” “Feels like... Goddamn wasps nest in my head. Why the garage?” “No windows.” “Oh,” I said. “Say... What time of day is it?” Hank looked down at his watch. “About three in the afternoon. Anyway, I can’t let you go back to sleep. Not for awhile.” “I thought it was night. It’s sure dark in here.” “We won’t be leaving until it is dark, or at
yet. I did, however, want to know exactly what she was hiding, and why. I waited. A particularly heavy mass of air lifted the gauzy curtains and we both watched as they fluttered slowly back down. “You know I didn’t tell you everything, Bill.” “I know,” I said. “You’ve been... afraid.” “I hate that word. But yeah. Some things I maybe should have told you and haven’t. And there are definitely some things I’ve done that I shouldn’t.” “Like?” “Let’s go to sleep,” she whispered, turning toward
story here, in the side yard of a dilapidated duplex in a dilapidated neighborhood, in the little girl's eyes and her wan frame. I could already see the additional trouble brewing, coming on with the inevitability of bad storm. I looked at Julie and she was looking at the kid, seeing what I'd already figured out, maybe even more. And Julie being Julie, she invited the additional trouble right on in to pull up a chair and sit a spell. “Where's your mama, honey?” “She gone.” Of course she is, I
through. I hoped no one was home, or that the shot would be taken for thunder if there was. The rain runoff from the roof poured down on top of my head, trailed down my arm and spilled off the barrel of the gun I held at hip level. I began to squeeze the trigger. “Sasha!” A voice bellowed. “Come on!” The chain around the dog’s neck jerked back and the growl was cut off. It reminded me of killing a lawn-mower engine. The dog was gone. ***** I waited, shivering in the cold. I counted slowly
thought. Why is the beauty in our lives tempered with such sadness? “Anything you want to tell me before you have to tell everything to the Feds?” I asked her. “Be with me,” was all she said. “Both of you.” I guess she said it loud enough to be overheard outside the curtain. The two pairs of boots turned and walked away. “We’re here,” Jessica said. ***** You don’t just pull a magic trick and switch bags with a fellow who is carrying home two million dollars. That kind of stunt requires