He came and sat down on the edge of my side of the bed. In the filtering scraps of light his face looked drawn and sort of blasted, as if by shock. He tried to smile, but the tense muscles wouldn’t let him and it was only a crooked sketch of a smile. He said, “I nearly got us both killed again. I’m sorry, Viv. I must be losing my touch. If I go on like this I’m going to catch trouble. When the car went into the lake, remember a bit of the roof and the rear window was left sticking out of the water? Well, there was obviously plenty of air trapped in that corner. I was a damned fool not to have worked that out for myself. This fellow Sluggsy only needed to knock out the rear window and swim ashore. He was hit several times. It must have been hard going for him. But he got to our cabin. We ought to be dead ducks. Don’t go round the back in the morning. He’s not a pretty sight.” He looked at me for reassurance. “Anyway, I’m sorry, Viv. It ought never to have happened.”
I scrambled off the bed and went and put my arms round him. His body was cold. I hugged him to me and kissed him. “Don’t be silly, James! If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have got into all this mess. And where would I be now if it wasn’t for you? I’d not only have been a dead duck, but a roasted one too, hours ago. The trouble with you is you haven’t had enough sleep. And you’re cold. Come into bed with me. I’ll keep you warm.” I got up and pulled him to his feet.
He caught me to him. He reached down with both hands and pressed my body hard into his. He held me like that for a time, quite still, and I felt the way his body was gaining warmth from mine. Then he lifted me up and 长沙桑拿洗浴 laid me softly back on the bed. And then he took me fiercely, almost cruelly, and once again there came the small scream from someone who was no longer me and then we were lying side by side and his heart was pounding wildly against my breast and I found that my right hand was clenched in his hair.
I relaxed my cramped fingers and reached down for his hand. I said, “James, what’s a bimbo?”
“I’ll tell you when you’ve told me.”
He laughed sleepily. “It’s gangster language for a whore.”
“I thought it was something like that. They kept on calling me that. I suppose it must really be true.”
“You don’t qualify.”
“Promise you don’t think I’m a bimbo?”
“Promise. You’re just a darling chick. I’m cow-simple about you.”
“What’s that mean?”
“It means crazy for a girl. Now, that’s enough questions. Go to sleep.” He kissed me gently 长沙桑拿洗浴按摩论坛 and turned over on his side.
I curled up against him, fitting myself close in to his back and thighs. “This is a nice way to sleep-like spoons. Good night, James.”
“Good night, darling Viv.”
Fifteen: The Writing on My Heart
THOSE were the last words he spoke to me. When I woke up the next morning he was gone. There was only the dent down the bed where he had lain, and the smell of him on the pillow. To make sure, I jumped out of bed and ran to see if the gray car was still there. It wasn’t.
It was a beautiful day and there was heavy dew on the ground, and in the dew I could see the single track of his footprints leading to where the car had been. A bobolink flew crying across the clearing, and from somewhere in the trees came the dying call of a mourning dove.
The ruins of the motel were black and
hideous, and a ghostly 长沙桑拿信息 wisp of smoke rose straight up into the still air from the remains of the lobby block. I went back into the cabin and had a shower and began briskly to pack my things into my two saddlebags. Then I saw the letter on the dressing table and I went and sat on the bed and read it.
It was written on motel paper from the writing desk. The writing was very clear and even, and he had used a real pen and not a ball-point.
You may have to show this to the police, so I will be businesslike. I am on my way to Glens Falls, where I will make a full report to the police after telling the Highway Patrol to get to you immediately. I will also get in touch with Washington and they will almost certainly put Albany in charge of the case. I shall pull every string to see that you are not worried too much and that
they let you go on 长沙桑拿论坛 your way after getting your statement. Glens Falls will have my route and the registration number of the car, and they will be able to pick me up, wherever I am, if you need any help or they want to know anything more from me. You won’t be able to get any breakfast so I shall have the Patrol bring you a Thermos of coffee and sandwiches to keep you alive. I would much like to stay with you, if only to see Mr. Sanguinetti! But I very much doubt if he will be turning up this morning. I guess that when he heard nothing from his two strong-arm boys he went like hell to Albany and got on the first plane for the south on his way out to Mexico. I shall tell Washington that that’s my guess and they should be able to pick him up if they get a move on. He should get life for this, or what’s known as “from now on,” or “The Rosary,” in the language we’ve been learning. And now listen. You, and up to a point me, have saved the insurance company at least half a million dollars, and there’ll be a big reward. I’m not allowed to accept rewards by the rules of my job, so there’s no argument about that, even if it weren’t a fact that it was you who took the principal burden of all this and it’s you who are the heroine. So I’m going to make a real issue of this and see that the insurance company does the right thing. And something else. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if one or both of those hoodlums wasn’t wanted by the police and has a reward on his head. I’ll see to that too. As for the future, drive very carefully the rest of the way. And don’t have nightmares. These sort of things don’t often happen. Treat it all as just a bad motor accident you were lucky to get out of. And go on being as wonderful as you are. If you ever want me or need any help, wherever you are, you can get me by letter or cable, but not by telephone, c/o Ministry of Defence, Storey’s Gate, London, S.W. 1.
PS. Your tyre pressures are too high for the South.
Remember to take them down.
PPS. Try Guerlain’s “Fleurs des Alpes” instead of Camay!
* * *
I heard the roar of motorcycles coming up the road. When they stopped, there was the brief wail of a siren to announce who they were. I put the letter inside the front of my overalls and pulled up the zip and went out to meet the Law.
They were two state troopers, smart and young and very nice. I’d almost forgotten such people existed. They saluted me as if I was royalty. “Miss Vivienne Michel?” The senior, a lieutenant, did the talking while his Number Two muttered quietly into his radio, announcing their arrival.