A Nose for Danger, part 20

“That’s a nine digit number. What do we know about nine digit numbers?”

“Social Security?” I suggested.

“The first thing we thought of, had it checked out this morning. That’s not a valid range for social security numbers.”

“Good point Chief.” I nodded. “Besides, It’s not like Sam would have that kind of thing in his head. Whatever he was thinking, it had to be something he could come up with right then and there.”

“Yeah,” the chief added, “even after he’d taken a bullet.”

“Maybe it’s the beginning of a phone number. He could have passed out before he got to the last digit.”

“We checked on that too. No such area code. Nearest number is 450 — Quebec.”

“Somehow,” I said, “I doubt Sam was fingering a perp in Quebec. So where does that leave us?”

“A kind of substitution code maybe. But a code needs a key.” the chief shook his head. “There’s something missing.”

“Maybe if we could see the files Sam told me about.”

“Our men looked thoroughly. No files left lying around. Very neat. Maybe too neat. Whoever the killer is, he sure did a good job of cleaning up the crime scene.”

“Or she did,” I said, under my breath.

“What was that, Smellephant?” the chief said. “I didn’t catch that.”

“Oh nothing. I just remembered I have an appointment.” I grabbed my hat.

“You’ll keep thinking about this right? We’ve got 451614295 reasons to catch this killer.”

“Yeah, lots of reasons Chief,” I said, thinking about my friend Sam. “But I only need one.”

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