Rand found another car, a smoke-gray Plymouth coupé, standing on the left o_is Lincoln when he went down to the garage. Running his car outside and dow_o the highway, he settled down to his regular style of driving—a barely lega_ifty m.p.h., punctuated by bursts of absolutely felonious speed whenever h_ound an unobstructed straightaway. Entering Rosemont, he slowed and wen_hrough the underpass at the railroad tracks, speeding again when he was clea_f the village. A few minutes later, he was turning into the crushed-limeston_rive that led up to the buff-brick Gresham house.
A girl met him at the door, a cute little redhead in a red-striped dress, wh_ave him a smile that seemed to start on the bridge of her nose and lift he_hole face up after it. She held out her hand to him.
"Colonel Rand!" she exclaimed. "I'll bet you don't remember me."
"Sure I do. You're Dot," Rand said. "At least, I think you are; the last tim_ saw you, you were in pigtails. And you were only about so high." He measure_ith his hand. "The last time I was here, you were away at school. You must b_ld enough to vote, by now."
"I will, this fall," she replied. "Come on in; you're the first one here.
Daddy hasn't gotten back from town yet. He called and said he'd be delaye_ill about nine." In the hall she took his hat and coat and guided him towar_he parlor on the right.
"Oh, Mother!" she called. "Here's Colonel Rand!"
Rand remembered Irene Gresham, too; an over-age dizzy blonde who was stil_iving in the Flaming Youth era of the twenties. She was an extremely goo_gg; he liked her very much. After all, insisting upon remaining an F. Scot_itzgerald character was a harmless and amusing foible, and it was no mor_han right that somebody should try to keep the bright banner of Jazz Ag_nnocence flying in a grim and sullen world. He accepted a cigarette, share_he flame of his lighter with mother and daughter, and submitted to bein_ushed over.
"… and, honestly, Jeff, you get handsomer every year," Irene Gresham rattle_n. "Dot, doesn't he look just like Clark Gable in _Gone with the Wind? Bu_hen, of course, Jeff really is_ a Southerner, so … "
The doorbell interrupted this slight non sequitur. She broke off, rising.
"Sit still, Jeff; I'm just going to see who it is. You know, we're down t_nly one servant now, and it seems as if it's always her night off, o_omething. I don't know, honestly, what I'm going to do… ."
She hurried out of the room. Voices sounded in the hall; a man's and a girl's.
"That's Pierre and Karen," Dot said. "Let's all go up in the gunroom, and wai_or the others there."
They went out to meet the newcomers. The man was a few inches shorter tha_and, with gray eyes that looked startlingly light against the dark brown o_is face. He wasn't using a cane, but he walked with a slight limp. Beside hi_as a slender girl, almost as tall as he was, with dark brown hair and brow_yes. She wore a rust-brown sweater and a brown skirt, and low-heeled walking- shoes.
Irene Gresham went into the introductions, the newcomers shook hands with Ran_nd were advised that the style of address was "Jeff," rather than "Colone_and," and then Dot suggested going up to the gunroom. Irene Gresham sai_he'd stay downstairs; she'd have to let the others in.
"Have you seen this collection before?" Pierre Jarrett inquired as he and Ran_ent upstairs together.
"About two years ago," Rand said. "Stephen had just gotten a cased dueling se_y Wilkinson, then. From the Far West Hobby Shop, I think."
"Oh, he's gotten a lot of new stuff since then, and sold off about a doze_ulls and duplicates," the former Marine said. "I'll show you what's new, til_he others come."
They reached the head of the stairs and started down the hall to the gunroom, in the wing that projected out over the garage. Along the way, the girl_etached themselves for nose-powdering.
Unlike the room at the Fleming home, Stephen Gresham's gunroom had originall_een something else—a nursery, or play-room, or party-room. There were window_n both long sides, which considerably reduced the available wall-space, an_he situation wasn't helped any by the fact that the collection was abou_hirty per cent long-arms. Things were pretty badly crowded; most of th_ifles and muskets were in circular barracks-racks, away from the walls.
"Here, this one's new since you were here," Pierre said, picking a long muske_rom one of the racks and handing it to Rand. "How do you like this one?"
Rand took it and whistled appreciatively. "Real European matchlock; no, _ever saw that. Looks like North Italian, say 1575 to about 1600."
"That musket," Pierre informed him, "came over on the Mayflower."
"Really, or just a gag?" Rand asked. "It easily could have. The Mayflowe_ompany bought their muskets in Holland, from some seventeenth-centur_orerunner of Bannerman's, and Europe was full of muskets like this then, lef_ver from the wars of the Holy Roman Empire and the French religious wars."
"Yes; I suppose all their muskets were obsolete types for the period," Pierr_greed. "Well, that's a real Mayflower arm. Stephen has the documentation fo_t. It came from the Charles Winthrop Sawyer collection, and there were onl_hree ownership changes between the last owner and the Mayflower Company.
Stephen only paid a hundred dollars for it, too."
"That was practically stealing," Rand said. He carried the musket to the ligh_nd examined it closely. "Nice condition, too; I wouldn't be afraid to fir_his with a full charge, right now." He handed the weapon back. "He didn'_ose a thing on that deal."
"I should say not! I'd give him two hundred for it, any time. Even without th_istory, it's worth that."
"Who buys history, anyhow?" Rand wanted to know. "The fact that it came fro_he Sawyer collection adds more value to it than this Mayflower business. Pas_wnership by a recognized authority like Sawyer is a real guarantee of qualit_nd authenticity. But history, documented or otherwise—hell, only yesterday _aw a pair of pistols with a wonderful three-hundred-and-fifty-year documente_istory. Only not a word of it was true; the pistols were made about twent_ears ago."
"Those wheel locks Fleming bought from Arnold Rivers?" Pierre asked. "God, wasn't that a crime! I'll bet Rivers bought himself a big drink when Lan_leming was killed. Fleming was all set to hang Rivers's scalp in his wigwam… . But with Stephen, the history does count for something. As you probabl_now, he collects arms-types that figured in American history. Well, he ca_rove that this individual musket was brought over by the Pilgrims, so he ca_e sure it's an example of the type they used. But he'd sooner have a typica_ilgrim musket that never was within five thousand miles of Plymouth Rock tha_ non-typical arm brought over as a personal weapon by one of the Mayflowe_ompany."
"Oh, none of us are really interested in the individual history of collectio_eapons," Rand said. "You show me a collection that's full of known-histor_rms, and I'll show you a collection that's either full of junk or else cos_hree times what it's worth. And you show me a collector who blows money o_istory, and nine times out of ten I'll show you a collector who doesn't kno_uns. I saw one such collection, once; every item had its history neatl_ritten out on a tag and hung onto the trigger-guard. The owner thought tha_he patent-dates on Colts were model-dates, and the model-dates on Frenc_ilitary arms were dates of fabrication."
Pierre wrinkled his nose disgustedly. "God, I hate to see a collection al_ouled up with tags hung on things!" he said. "Or stuck over with gumme_abels; that's even worse. Once in a while I get something with a label paste_n it, usually on the stock, and after I get it off, there's a job getting th_ood under it rubbed up to the same color as the rest of the stock."
"Yes. I picked up a lovely little rifled flintlock pistol, once," Rand said.
"American; full-length curly-maple stock; really a Kentucky rifle in pisto_orm. Whoever had owned it before me had pasted a slip of paper on th_nderside of the stock, between the trigger-guard and the lower ramro_himble, with a lot of crap, mostly erroneous, typed on it. It took me si_onths to remove the last traces of where that thing had been stuck on."
"What do you collect, or don't you specialize?"
"Pistols; I try to get the best possible specimens of the most importan_ypes, special emphasis on British arms after 1700 and American arms afte_800. What I'm interested in is the evolution of the pistol. I have a coupl_f wheel locks, to start with, and three miguelet-locks and an Italia_naphaunce. Then I have a few early flintlocks, and a number of mid- eighteenth-century types, and some late flintlocks and percussion types. An_bout twenty Colts, and so on through percussion revolvers and early cartridg_ypes to some modern arms, including a few World War II arms."
"I see; about the same idea Lane Fleming had," Pierre said. "I collec_ersonal combat-arms, firearms and edge-weapons. Arms that either influence_ighting techniques, or were developed to meet special combat conditions. Fro_hat you say, you're mainly interested in the way firearms were designed an_ade; I'm interested in the conditions under which they were used. And Ada_rehearne, who'll be here shortly, collects pistols and a few long-arms i_heel lock, proto-flintlock and early flintlock, to 1700\. And Philip Cabo_ollects U.S. Martials, flintlock to automatic, and also enemy and Allied Arm_eapons from all our wars. And Colin MacBride collects nothing but Colts. Od_ow a Scot, who's only been in this country twenty years, should becom_nterested in so distinctively American a type."
"And I collect anything I can sell at a profit, from Chinese matchlocks t_ommy-guns," Karen Lawrence interjected, coming into the room with Do_resham.
Pierre grinned. "Karen is practically a unique specimen herself; the onl_eneral-antique dealer I've ever seen who doesn't hate the sight of a gun- collector."
"That's only because I'm crazy enough to want to marry one," the girl deale_eplied. "Of all the miserly, unscrupulous, grasping characters … " Sh_xpressed a doubt that the average gun-collector would pay more than ten cent_o see his Lord and Savior riding to hounds on a Bren-carrier. "They don'_ive a hoot whose grandfather owned what, and if anything's battered up _ittle, they don't think it looks quaint, they think it looks lousy. An_hey've never heard of inflation; they think arms ought still to sell for th_ort of prices they brought at the old Mark Field sale, back in 1911."
"What were you looking at?" Dot asked Rand, then glanced at the musket i_ierre's hands. "Oh, Priscilla."
Karen laughed. "Dot not only knows everything in the collection; she knows i_y name. Dot, show Colonel Rand Hester Prynne."
"Hester coming up," Gresham's daughter said, catching another musket out o_he same rack from which Pierre had gotten the matchlock and passing it ove_o Rand. He grasped the heavy piece, approving of the easy, instinctive way i_hich the girl had handled it. "Look on the barrel," she told him. "On top, right at the breech."
The gun was a flintlock, or rather, a dog-lock; sure enough, stamped on th_reech was the big "A" of the Company of Workmen Armorers of London, th_eventeenth-century gunmakers' guild.
"That's right," he nodded. "That's Hester Prynne, all right; the firs_merican girl to make her letter."
There were footsteps in the hall outside, and male voices.
"Adam and Colin," Pierre recognized them before they entered.
Both men were past fifty. Colin MacBride was a six-foot black Highlander; black eyes, black hair, and a black weeping-willow mustache, from under whic_ stubby pipe jutted. Except when he emptied it of ashes and refilled it, i_as a permanent fixture of his weather-beaten face. Trehearne was somewha_horter, and fair; his sandy mustache, beginning to turn gray at the edges, was clipped to micrometric exactness.
They shook hands with Rand, who set Hester back in her place. Trehearne too_he matchlock out of Pierre's hands and looked at it wistfully.
"Some chaps have all the luck," he commented. "What do you think of it, Mr.
Rand?" Pierre, who had made the introductions, had respected the detective'_resent civilian status. "Or don't you collect long-arms?"
"I don't collect them, but I'm interested in anything that'll shoot. That's _ood one. Those things are scarce, too."
"Yes. You'll find a hundred wheel locks for every matchlock, and yet ther_ust have been a hundred matchlocks made for every wheel lock."
"Matchlocks were cheap, and wheel locks were expensive," MacBride suggested.
He spoke with the faintest trace of Highland accent. "Naturally, they go_etter care."
"It would take a Scot to think of that," Karen said. "Now, you take a Scot wh_ollects guns, and you have something!"
"That's only part of it," Rand said. "I believe that by the last quarter o_he seventeenth century, most of the matchlocks that were lying around ha_een scrapped, and the barrels used in making flintlocks. Hester Prynne, ove_here, could easily have started her career as a matchlock. And then, a grea_any matchlocks went into the West African slave and ivory trade, and wer_romptly ruined by the natives."
"Yes, and I seem to recall having seen Spanish and French miguelet musket_hat looked as though they had been altered directly from matchlock, retainin_he original stock and even the original lock-plate," Trehearne added.
"So have I, come to think of it." Rand stole a glance at his wrist-watch. I_as nine five; he was wishing Stephen Gresham would put in an appearance.
MacBride and Trehearne joined Pierre and the girls in showing him Gresham'_ollection; evidently they all knew it almost as well as their own. After _hile, Irene Gresham ushered in Philip Cabot. He, too, was past middle age, with prematurely white hair and a thin, scholarly face. According to Hollywoo_ype-casting, he might have been a professor, or a judge, or a Boston Brahmin, but never a stockbroker.
Irene Gresham wanted to know what everybody wanted to drink. Rand wante_ourbon and plain water; MacBride voted for Jamaica rum; Trehearne and Cabo_avored brandy and soda, and Pierre and the girls wanted Bacardi and Coca- Cola.
"And Stephen'll want rye and soda, when he gets here," Irene said. "Come on, girls; let's rustle up the drinks."
Before they returned, Stephen Gresham came in, lighting a cigar. It was jus_ine twenty-two.
"Well, I see everybody's here," he said. "No; where's Karen?"
Pierre told him. A few minutes later the women returned, carrying bottles an_lasses; when the flurry of drink-mixing had subsided, they all sat down.
"Let's get the business over first," Gresham suggested. "I suppose you've gon_ver the collection already, Jeff?"
"Yes, and first of all, I want to know something. When was the last that an_f you saw it?"
Gresham and Pierre had been in Fleming's gunroom just two days before th_atal "accident."
"And can you tell me if the big Whitneyville Colt was still there, then?" Ran_sked. "Or the Rappahannock Forge, or the Collier flintlock, or the Hall?"
"Why, of course … My God, aren't they there now?" Gresham demanded.
Rand shook his head. "And if Fleming still had them two days before he wa_illed, then somebody's been weeding out the collection since. Doing it ver_leverly, too," he added. "You know how that stuff's arranged, and ho_onspicuous a missing pistol would be. Well, when I was going over th_ollection, I found about two dozen pieces of the most utter trash, thing_ane Fleming wouldn't have allowed in the house, all hanging where some reall_ood item ought to have been." He took a paper from his pocket and read off _ist of the dubious items, interpolating comments on the condition, and a lis_f the real rarities which Gresham had mentioned the day before, which wer_ow missing.
"All that good stuff was there the last time I saw the collection," Gresha_aid. "What do you say, Pierre?"
"I had the Hall pistol in my hands," Pierre said. "And I remember looking a_he Rappahannock Forge."
Trehearne broke in to ask how many English dog-locks there were, and if th_naphaunce Highlander and the big all-steel wheel lock were still there. A_he same time, Cabot was inquiring about the Springfield 1818 and the Virgini_anufactory pistols.
"I'll have a complete, itemized list in a few days," Rand said. "In th_eantime, I'd like a couple of you to look at the collection and help m_ecide what's missing. I'm going to try to catch the thief, and then get a_he fence through him."
"Think Rivers might have gotten the pistols?" Gresham asked. "He's th_rookedest dealer I know of."
"He's the crookedest dealer anybody knows of," Rand amended. "The only thing, he's a little too anxious to buy the collection, for somebody who's jus_kimmed off the cream."
"Ten thousand dollars isn't much in the way of anxiety," Cabot said. "I'd cal_hat a nominal bid, to avoid suspicion."
"The dope's changed a little on that." Rand brought him up to date. "Rivers'_ffer is now twenty-five thousand."
There was a stunned hush, followed by a gust of exclamations.
"Guid Lorrd!" The Scots accent fairly curdled on Colin MacBride's tongue. "W_anna go over that!"
"I'm afraid not; twenty would be about our limit," Gresham agreed. "And wit_he best items gone … " He shrugged.
Pierre and Karen were looking at each other in blank misery; their dream o_stablishing themselves in the arms business had blown up in their faces.
"Oh, he's talking through his hat!" Cabot declared. "He just hopes we'll los_nterest, and then he'll buy what's left of the collection for a song."
"Maybe he knows the collection's been robbed," Trehearne suggested. "Tha_ould let him out, later. He'd accuse you or the Fleming estate of holding ou_he best pieces, and then offer to take what's left for about five thousand."
"Well, that would be presuming that he knows the collection has been robbed,"
Cabot pointed out. "And the only way he'd know that would be if he, himself, had bought the stolen pistols."
"Well, does anybody need a chaser to swallow that?" Trehearne countered. "I'_loody sure I don't."
Karen Lawrence shook her head. "No, he'd pay twenty-five thousand for th_ollection, just as it stands, to keep Pierre and me out of the arms business.
This end of the state couldn't support another arms-dealer, and with th_eputation he's made for himself, he'd be the one to go under." She stubbe_ut her cigarette and finished her drink. "If you don't mind, Pierre, I thin_'ll go home."
"I'm not feeling very festive, myself, right now." The ex-Marine rose and hel_ut his hand to Rand. "Don't get the idea, Jeff, that anybody here holds thi_gainst you. You have your clients' interests to look out for."
"Well, if this be treason make the most of it," Rand said, "but I hope River_oesn't go through with it. I'd like to see you people get the collection, an_'d hate to see a lot of nice pistols like that get into the hands of a damne_windler like Rivers… . Maybe I can catch him with the hot-goods on him, an_end him up for about three-to-five."
"Oh, he's too smart for that," Karen despaired. "He can get away with faking, but the dumbest jury in the world would know what receiving stolen goods was, and he knows it."
Dorothy and Irene Gresham accompanied Pierre and Karen downstairs. After the_ad gone, Gresham tried, not very successfully, to inject more life into th_arty with another round of drinks. For a while they discussed the persona_nd commercial iniquities of Arnold Rivers. Trehearne and MacBride, who ha_ome together in the latter's car, left shortly, and half an hour later, Philip Cabot rose and announced that he, too, was leaving.
"You haven't seen my collection since before the war, Jeff," he said. "I_ou're not sleepy, why don't you stop at my place and see what's new? You'r_taying at the Flemings'; my house is along your way, about a mile on th_ther side of the railroad."
They went out and got into their cars. Rand kept Cabot's taillight in sigh_ntil the broker swung into his drive and put his car in the garage. Ran_arked beside the road, took the Leech & Rigdon out of the glove-box, and go_ut, slipping the Confederate revolver under his trouser-band. He was pullin_own his vest to cover the butt as he went up the walk and joined his frien_t the front door.
Cabot's combination library and gunroom was on the first floor. Like Rand'_wn, his collection was hung on racks over low bookcases on either side of th_oom. It was strictly a collector's collection, intensely specialized. Ther_ere all but a few of the U.S. regulation single-shot pistols, a fai_epresentation of secondary types, most of the revolvers of the Civil War, an_ll the later revolvers and automatics. In addition, there were Britis_istols of the Revolution and 1812, Confederate revolvers, a couple of Spanis_evolvers of 1898, the Lugers and Mausers and Steyers of the first World War, and the pistols of all our allies, beginning with the French weapons of th_evolution.
"I'm having the devil's own time filling in for this last war," Cabot said. "_ave a want-ad running in the Rifleman, and I've gotten a few: that Nambu, an_hat Japanese Model-14, and the Polish Radom, and the Italian Glisenti, an_hat Tokarev, and, of course, the P-'38 and the Canadian Browning; but it'_oing to take the devil's own time. I hope nobody starts another war, for _ew years, till I can get caught up on the last one."
Rand was looking at the Confederate revolvers. Griswold & Grier, Haima_rothers, Tucker & Sherrod, Dance Brothers & Park, Spiller & Burr—there i_as: Leech & Rigdon. He tapped it on the cylinder with a finger.
"Wasn't it one of those things that killed Lane Fleming?" he asked.
"Leech & Rigdon? So I'm told." Cabot hesitated. "Jeff, I saw that revolver, not four hours before Fleming was shot. Had it in my hands; looked it ove_arefully." He shook his head. "It absolutely was not loaded. It was empty, and there was rust in the chambers."
"Then how the hell did he get shot?" Rand wanted to know.
"That I couldn't say; I'm only telling you how he didn't get shot. Here, thi_s how it was. It was a Thursday, and I'd come halfway out from town before _emembered that I hadn't bought a copy of Time, so I stopped at Biddle'_rugstore, in the village, for one. Just as I was getting into my car, outside, Lane Fleming drove up and saw me. He blew his horn at me, and the_aved to me with this revolver in his hand. I went over and looked at it, an_e told me he'd found it hanging back of the counter at a barbecue-stand, where the road from Rosemont joins Route 22. There had been some other pistol_ith it, and I went to see them later, but they were all trash. The Leech & Rigdon had been the only decent thing there, and Fleming had talked it out o_his fellow for ten dollars. He was disgustingly gleeful about it, particularly as it was a better specimen than mine."
"Would you know it, if you saw it again?" Rand asked.
"Yes. I remember the serials. I always look at serials on Confederate arms.
The highest known serial number for a Leech & Rigdon is 1393; this one wa_234."
Rand pulled the .36 revolver from his pants-leg and gave it a quick glance; the number was 1234. He handed it to Cabot.
"Is this it?" he asked.
Cabot checked the number. "Yes. And I remember this bruise on the left grip; Fleming was saying that he was glad it would be on the inside, so it wouldn'_how when he hung it on the wall." He carried the revolver to the desk an_eld it under the light. "Why, this thing wasn't fired at all!" he exclaimed.
"I thought that Fleming might have loaded it, meaning to target it—he had _istol range back of his house—but the chambers are clean." He sniffed at it.
"Hoppe's Number Nine," he said. "And I can see traces of partly dissolve_ust, and no traces of fouling. What the devil, Jeff?"
"It probably hasn't been fired since Appomattox," Rand agreed. "Philip, do yo_hink all this didn't-know-it-was-loaded routine might be an elaborate suicid_uild-up, either before or after the fact?"
"Absolutely not!" There was a trace of impatience in Cabot's voice. "Lan_leming wasn't the man to commit suicide. I knew him too well ever to believ_hat."
"I heard a rumor that he was about to lose control of his company," Ran_entioned. "You know how much Premix meant to him."
"That's idiotic!" Cabot's voice was openly scornful, now, and he seemed _ittle angry that Rand should believe such a story, as though his confidenc_n his friend's intelligence had been betrayed. "Good Lord, Jeff, where di_ou ever hear a yarn like that?"
"Quote, usually well-informed sources, unquote."
"Well, they were unusually ill-informed, that time," Cabot replied. "Take m_ord for it, there's absolutely nothing in it."
"So it wasn't an accident, and it wasn't suicide," Rand considered. "Philip, what is the prognosis on this merger of Premix and National Milling & Packaging, now that Lane Fleming's opposition has been, shall we say, liquidated?"
Cabot's head jerked up; he looked at Rand in shocked surprise.
"My God, you don't think… ?" he began. "Jeff, are you investigating Lan_leming's death?"
"I was retained to sell the collection," Rand stated. "Now, I suppose, I'l_ave to find out who's been stealing those pistols, and recover them, and jai_he thief and the fence. But I was not retained to investigate the death o_ane Fleming. And I do not do work for which I am not paid," he added, wit_endacious literalness.
"I see. Well, the merger's going through. It won't be official until th_ixteenth of May, when the Premix stockholders meet, but that's just _ormality. It's all cut and dried and in the bag now. Better let me pick yo_p a little Premix; there's still some lying around. You'll make a little les_han four-for-one on it."
"I'd had that in mind when I asked you about the merger," Rand said. "I hav_bout two thousand with you, haven't I?" He did a moment's mental arithmetic, then got out his checkbook. "Pick me up about a hundred shares," he told th_roker. "I've been meaning to get in on this ever since I heard about it."
"I don't see how you did hear about it," Cabot said. "For obvious reasons, it's being kept pretty well under the hat."
Rand grinned. "Quote, usually well-informed sources, unquote. Not the source_entioned above."
"Jeff, you know, this damned thing's worrying me," Cabot told him, writing _eceipt and exchanging it for Rand's check. "I've been trying to ignore it, but I simply can't. Do you really think Lane Fleming was murdered by somebod_ho wanted to see this merger consummated and who knew that that was a_mpossibility as long as Fleming was alive?"
"Philip, I don't know. And furthermore, I don't give a damn," Rand lied. "I_omebody wants me to look into it, and pays me my possibly exaggerated idea o_hat constitutes fair compensation, I will. And I'll probably come up wit_leming's murderer, dead or alive. But until then, it is simply no epidermi_ff my scrotum. And I advise you to adopt a similar attitude."
They changed the subject, then, to the variety of pistols developed and use_y the opposing nations in World War II, and the difficulties ahead of Cabo_n assembling even a fairly representative group of them. Rand promised t_ail Cabot a duplicate copy of his list of the letter-code symbols used by th_azis to indicate the factories manufacturing arms for them, as well as copie_f some old wartime Intelligence dope on enemy small-arms. At a little pas_ne, he left Cabot's home and returned to the Fleming residence.
There were four cars in the garage. The Packard sedan had not been moved, bu_he station-wagon was facing in the opposite direction. The gray Plymouth wa_n the space from which Rand had driven earlier in the evening, and a blac_hrysler Imperial had been run in on the left of the Plymouth. He put his ow_ar in on the right of the station-wagon, made sure that the Leech & Rigdo_as locked in his glove-box, and closed and locked the garage doors. Then h_ent up into the house, through the library, and by the spiral stairway to th_unroom.
The garage had been open, he recalled, at the time of Lane Fleming's death.
The availability of such an easy means of undetected ingress and egress thre_he suspect field wide open. Anybody who knew the habits of the Flemin_ousehold could have slipped up to the gunroom, while Varcek was in his lab, Dunmore was in the bathroom, and Gladys and Geraldine were in the parlor. A_e crossed the hall to his own room, Rand was thinking of how narrowly Arnol_ivers had escaped a disastrous lawsuit and criminal action by the death o_ane Fleming.