“Well, how can I help?” Gregson asked.

“My FBI guys aren’t that good at blending in. These killings are organized. I wouldn’t be surprised if the man doing it has a secretary.”

“I see, and you think I can seduce his secretary, and solve this thing?”

“Something like that.”

“What have you figured-out so far?” Gregson asked.

“I’ll need to read you in.”

“I didn’t know you could read.”

“Here’s the legal paperwork. Sign. And stop being a smart ass, Gregson.”

The PI gave his Handcock.

“The killings are unlike most murders because the heads were taken. The papers didn’t report that. All the bodies were decapitated. Ordinarily, this might be considered a crime of passion, but I think the skulls were stolen as trophies.”

“It’s a shame, everybody gets a trophy,” Gregson said. “I didn’t know we were dealing with head hunters. How many dead presidents are you willing to pay me?”

“Given your extensive military experience and training—if you bust this case—half-a-million dollars.”

“Okay,” Gregson said. “When do we fly-out?”

“It isn’t ‘we’. You need to fly-out right now, but before that, I need you to pair up with a partner.”

“You know I work alone,” Gregson said.

“I know—but we need you to be accepted in a masculine environment.”

“What are you saying?”

“The best way for you to accomplish that is with Tanya.”

“Your secretary?”

“She’s actually a special agent in charge. I trained her myself. She will report your progress to me and cover your ass.”

“It’s pretty big,” Gregson said.

“You’re half right. You will use a .44 Magnum, with a telescopic sight. It can bring-down a Grizzley Bear, with one shot. The point is, you need to have the equipment of a big game hunter.”

“Wouldn’t a rifle be more appropriate?”

“Of course—but these safari junkies from the city get-off by playing with their pistols.”

“I see—and Tanya is going to teach me how to use it?”

“That’s right.”

Tanya walked behind Murphy like a cat.

“Has he been properly briefed?” She asked.

“I like to go commando,” Gregson said.

“Well, Commando, follow me, and I’ll teach you to use your gun. It takes uranium bullets. They can put a hole through four inches of concrete. Here, watch me.”

She unbuttoned the scabbard and pointed the gun. Then she fired, and the Magnum kicked at a 45-degree angle. The hole went right through the man’s head.

“Have you noticed that paper targets are all men?” Gregson asked.

“Yes. Men hesitate, if they have to kill a woman.”

“What about a feminist?”

“You know, I could order some feminist paper targets. Perhaps, there is a shooting club at a university.”

“I just think it’s important that the targets are 50/50.”

“You are a progressive. Have you always been this toxic?”

“What do you think?”

4 thoughts on “Chapter 4 Have You Always Been This Toxic?

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