By Thomas H. Cook
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Extra resources for Blood Innocents
All the legwork is being done. You can take a break. ” Reardon smiled. ” As he left the cage, Reardon’s legs felt unstable under him. He was afraid and he knew that he was afraid of something that did not seem to have anything to do with the fallow deer. He was afraid of a surging feeling that had plagued him during the first years of his career, when he had walked the streets as a young policeman. In the neighborhood where he had grown up, in the destitute tenements and littered streets, there had been three avenues of escape: crime, the priesthood or the police force.
Two patrolmen named Burns and Fitzgerald answered the call, and they said that according to one of the workmen …” He quickly turned through his notebook. “Here it is. According to one of the workmen — a guy named Gilbert Noble — they had to have been killed between three and three-thirty this morning. He works on the night crew. He saw the deer alive at three, and he saw them dead at three-thirty. ” “Nothing important. ” “Okay,” Mathesson said. ” Reardon nodded toward the open shed. ” “Yeah. It’s empty except for some dried leaves and deer shit.
Mathesson shrugged. ” Slowly Mathesson made his way to the other covered body and bent down to pull the tarpaulin back. He looked at Reardon. “This one’s not so bad. Not like the other one. ” When Mathesson pulled back the covering, Reardon saw what he meant. The deer’s spine had been severed at the neck in one powerful sweep, and the blood had surged from its throat in a broad, deep wave. As Reardon had suspected, death had come instantaneously to this fallow deer. Reardon nodded for Mathesson to cover the body and gently released the pen in his pocket.