“Murphy—why do you still work here?” Gregson asked.
“It pays the bills—why else?”
“I thought you wanted to get-out, on your own?”
“I can’t say no to good benefits.”
“But what about a good life?”
“I’m not like you, Gregson—I need a safety net, especially in this line of work.”
“Tell me about it…”
“Well, I called you in because I suspect those crimes in Canada are committed by a creative psychopath.”
Gregson walked into Murphy’s office. “So, this is where a man can end up, if he dots all his I’s and crosses all his T’s…?”
“No—anybody can do that—it’s the first lesson learned in a bureaucracy—turn in your substandard paperwork with all the right punctuation. To get where I’m at, you have to make important people feel even more important.”
“How do you do that?”
“I’d rather not say. What I was going to tell you, was…”
“Sir, would you like some coffee and a doughnut?” A hot red-head asked.
She had a delicious chest—only partially covered by her tight black blouse.
“I’ll take two,” Gregson said.
“Intelligent choice—I’ll be right back.”
“Now I know why you stay here, you dog—it’s the food and the service,” Gregson said. He watched her pants disappear. “Too bad women feel empowered today.”
“Yeah,” Murphy sighed. “Back to what I was saying… What the news doesn’t know is that each one of these murders is unique.”
“First off—they were all killed within 50 miles of civilization, in the Canadian wilderness. Second, they were all creative killings.”
“Creative? –Is the killer displaying their victims?”
“No—it’s the method of killing—as if there are multiple murderers.”
“How can that be?”
“A killing club, of some sort.”
“Like a gun club?”
“Yeah—wannabees, who want to hunt on the weekend, maybe.”
“Hunting human beings…” Gregson mused. “I guess, I can see the attraction. Most men have never been in a fight—let alone killed anybody. Who are the victims?”
“Some of them are homeless, with military experience—others, are unemployed lawyers.”
“But even a bad lawyer should be able to get government work.”
“You would think…”
“So, the murder victims were offered money?”
“It’s a theory. A lot of people want to kill lawyers. Three victims were shot with a high-caliber hunting rifle, two, got a bolt in the back with a crossbow, and one, was killed with a knife—”
“Your coffee sir, and your doughnuts… Can I ask your name?”
“Are you a friend of the Director’s?” She extended her fingers, painted in red polish.
“Any friend of his, is a friend of mine. He’s helping me with my career.”
“Really?” Gregson said.
“Call, if you need anything…”
“How do you live with yourself?” Gregson asked.
“I don’t have a choice.”