The girl with big eyes

  • 177


  • 0




r might not register

 "Americans?" "Two Americanos del Norte. Hunters." "Real Gringos or just transplanted Mexicans?" He drew a fingertip slowly along the fawn-colored cloth above his knee. "I think one of them could well have been of Spanish origin. He spoke border Spanish. Very inelegant." "They go near Lennox's room at all?" He lifted his head sharply but the green cheaters didn't do a thing for me. "Why should they, sefior?" I nodded. "Well, it was damn nice of you to come in here and tell me about it, Se.or Maioranos. Tell Randy I'm ever so grateful, will you?" "No hay de que, se.or. It is nothing." "And later on, if he has time, he could send me somebody who knows what he is talking about." "Se.or?" His voice was soft, but icy. "You doubt my word?" "You guys are always talking about honor. Honor is the cloak of thieves—sometimes. Don't get mad. Sit quiet and let me tell it another way." He leaned back superciliously. "I'm only guessing, mind. I could be wrong. But I could be right too. These two Americanos were there for a purpose. They came in on a plane. They pretended to be hunters. One of them was named Menendez, a gambler. He registered under some other name or not. I wouldn't know. Lennox knew they were there. He knew why. He wrote me that letter because he had a guilty conscience. He had played me for a sucker and he was too nice a guy for that to rest easy on him. He put the bill—five thousand dollars it was—in the letter because he had a lot of money and he knew I hadn't. He also put in a little off-beat hint which might o. He was the kind of guy who always wants to do the right thing but somehow winds up doing something else. You say you took the letter to the correo. Why didn't you mail it in the box in front of the hotel?" "The box, se.or?" "The mailbox. The cajdn cartero, you call it, I think." He smiled. "Otatoclán is not Mexico City, se.or. It is a very primitive place. A street mailbox in Otatodán? No one there would understand what it was for. No one would collect letters from it." I said: "Oh. Well, skip it. You did not take any coffee on any tray up to Se.or Lennox's room, Se.or Maioranos. You did not go into the room past the dick. But the two Americanos did go in. The dick was fixed, of course. So were several other people. One of the Americanos slugged Lennox from behind. Then he took the Mauser pistol and opened up one of the cartridges and took out the bullet and put the cartridge back in the breech. Then he put this gun to Lennox's temple and pulled the trigger. It made a nasty-looking wound, but it did not kill him. Then he was carried out on a stretcher covered up and well hidden. Then when the American lawyer arrived, Lennox was doped and packed in ice and kept in a dark corner of the carpinterla where the man was making a coffin. The American lawyer saw Lennox there, he was ice-cold, in a deep stupor, and there was a bloody blackened wound in his temple. He looked plenty dead. The next day the coffin was buried with stones in it. The American lawyer went home with the fingerprints and some kind of document which was a piece of cheese. How do you like that, Se.or Maioranos?" He shrugged. "It would be possible, se.or. It would require money and influence. It would be possible, perhaps, if this Se.or Menendez was dosely related to important people in Otatoclán, the alcalde, the hotel proprietor and so on."