morley had been waiting patiently to talk to detective fletcher.
about the book he was writing about larry landsdowne, a little known serial killer who had been convicted of murdering seven young woman but was thought to be guilty of murdering as many as a hundred more.
morley had first approached the police about his book a few months earlier. he had found them polite and helpful, despite his lack of credentials and qualifications.
detective fletcher had been especially helpful, answering many of his questions - which were mostly general questions about police procedure and not specifically about larry landsdowne.
but when morley returned a second time he did not feel he was so welcome. he thought detective fletcher had seemed a little impatient, and not so friendly, especially when he tried to ask more specific questions about murders possibly involving larry landsdowne.
later he found out that a reporter for an omaha newspaper was also researching a book about larry landsdowne. could that have been the reason for detective fletcher’s coolness - that she had promised, or been forced to promise, exclusive information to the established reporter?
he had hesitated about returning for a third time. but had decided to, at least to get an idea of where he stood.
also, he thought he had discovered a couple of good leads, which the police might appreciate his sharing with them.
he had been cooling his heels waiting for detective fletcher when the flabby guy in the old fashioned suit had come in and told the young officer at the desk that he wanted to help find missing children.
the flabby guy was told politely to take a seat - and he took one on the bench on the other side of the room from morley.
the young woman who had been at the desk disappeared into the back of the station.
morley got a good look at the guy on the bench.
and morley knew.
he just knew - that this guy was the real deal.
a serial killer if there ever was one.
morley’s heart beat a little faster. he almost forgot about larry landsdwne and detective fletcher and whether she would be polite and helpful.
he had to find out who this guy was!
unfortunately he had not given his name to the young woman at the desk. morley could not very well ask her to give it to him.
even less could he go over and ask the guy himself for his name - that would get him suspicious right away.
morley thought. if the flabby guy had driven over morley could get his license number and find out his identity from that.
there was a mcdonalds across the street from the police station. morley would wait in it by the front window and when the guy came out, if he got in his car morley would get his license number and if he walked away or waited at the bus stop morley would follow him.
this was the real deal! the newspaper man in omaha could have larry landsdowne, and if detective fletcher blew him off, well, wouldn’t she be surprised when he solved this brand new case all on his own!
morley continued to glance unobtrusively at the flabby guy - who was waiting expressionlessly on the bench across from him.
what a creep! he had probably killed a hundred hookers or young men or whatever and buried them on an old farm about ten miles out of town.
suddenly detective fletcher appeared, accompanied by the desk officer. she did not look over at morley but at the flabby guy.
she asked the guy to come with her. that was quick! morley thought. maybe they already have a line on this guy.
but he pushed away the thought that maybe he was too late to catch this guy on his own. the guy had not identified himself, or indicated he had ben asked to come in to the station. what could the police kmow?
detective fletcher turned and saw morley on the other bench. she gave him an are-you-still-here? glance.
morley stood up . “i can come back later,” he told her. “if it’s not convenient right now.”
“yes,” she answered politely. “that might be best.”
morley smiled and left, secretly delighted. now he could go ahead with his plan to follow the guy.
the flabby guy needed a name until morley found out his real one.
gorbachev. that was a good name. morley had heard the name somewhere but was not sure where. it had a serial killerish sound.
except for serial killers and rap stars and porn stars, morley was a little shaky about history and who famous people with famous names actually were.
outside the police station, the sky was blue and the sun was shining.
morley checked out the cars in the parking lot an in the street, wondering which might be gorbachev’s.
an ancient ford mustang - about 20 years old? - streaked with dirt, looked like a good candidate.
morley went into the mcdonalds. he bought a crispy chicken sandwich and a cup of cofee and took a seat by the window and waited for gorbachev.