“Chief,” I said, “you know I would never do anything to hurt Sam.”
“Right now I don’t know anything, except where we found that gun.”
The clock was ticking, and I didn’t want to stay in this jail cell one minute longer than I needed to. Sooner or later the killer was going to figure out Sam was still alive. “Suppose,” I said, “I could prove to you it wasn’t me.”
“I’m listening Smellephant.”
“The evening Whiskers got shot, I was at the Crow Bar, drowning my sorrows. I was there until closing time that night, running up a tab. You can check it out.”
Fortunately the chief was smart enough to send somebody to check out my story. And that was all it took. Since all the murders were from the same gun, I needed only one solid alibi to knock me out of the running for everyone’s favorite murderer.
For another thing, the chief knew me long enough to know that at the end of the day, I would never shoot Sam. And that, I figured, might count for even more in his book.
It took a few hours, but eventually I got my name cleared, and I was a free elephant. But that wasn’t the end of things. It was just the beginning.
Because now the finger was pointed squarely at Rebecca. After all, somebody had to plant that gun in my office, they did it just around the time she was sleeping on my couch. Which meant there were several possibilities: One was that Rebecca was our murderer. Another was that somebody had planted the gun in my office to frame her.
The chief and I talked it out, and we went over all the angles. In the end, we figured the best thing was to bring her in and let her talk. One way or another, we would find out something.