The Big Thaw

Read The Big Thaw for Free Online

Book: Read The Big Thaw for Free Online
Authors: Donald Harstad
Tags: Fiction, General, Mystery & Detective
crunch of footsteps behind me. “Who you talkin’ to?”
    It was Mike.
    “These two, here…”
    He was still just outside the doorway, about eighteen inches behind me. I stepped aside, pointing to my discovery as he stepped over the threshold.
    “These dudes,” I said, holding up the same corner of the tarp.
    “Holy shit,” he said, quietly.
    “Yeah.” I released the corner of the tarp. Being frozen, it very slowly fell back toward its original position. “We better get out of here, before I disturb any more than I have. We’re gonna need the crime lab up here on this one.”
    “Yeah.” He stared at the slowly descending tarp. “Any idea what killed ’em?”
    “Not the faintest.” I pulled my muffler up about my face. “Nobody’s in the house, far as I know, but there’s some evidence in there. These two might have been done in the house. No idea how. Just remember we don’t let anybody in…”
    “Okay.” He looked up toward the house, then back at the shed. “Are these Fred’s two cousins?”
    “I dunno,” I sighed. “Don’t let anybody say anything to Fred, yet.”
    “Sure,” said Mike.
    “I suppose he’s now a murder suspect … but don’t say that.” I doubted that he really was, but we had to be safe.
    “Right. Yeah. So, what? Just leave him with John when he gets here?”
    “Yeah. For right now. Just don’t talk to him.” Fred was officially in custody, and Mirandized, but I didn’t want anybody talking to him without him having access to an attorney. I wasn’t a raging liberal, it was just that there was absolutely no reason to blow a case at this point. Time to start dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s in earnest. I looked around the shed. “I sure as hell hope there aren’t any more in here.”
    “Shit, don’t say that…”
    Mike and I trudged back up the slope together. I told him I was going to get my camera and do some quick preliminary shots through the door of the shed, and try to get some photos of the tracks in the headlights of our cars. If it was to snow again, or to warm up, all the remaining exterior evidence would be lost.
    When I got to my car, I called the office. Radio being so closely listened to on scanners, particularly when everybody was in their homes to escape the terrible cold, I had to be pretty circumspect with my requests, and hope that the dispatcher got the oblique references. I felt secure that my transmissions on the 5 watt walkie-talkie had gone unnoticed, but the 100 watt car radio and the 1,000 watt main base transmitter were a different story. I didn’t want anybody to know we had found bodies. Not yet.
    “Comm, Three?”
    “Go ahead…”
    “Yeah, look, we have a seventy-nine here, and we’re going to need the whole shebang. Ten-four?”
    There was a pause. “I, uh, copy the seventy-nine. Could you ten-nine the rest?”
    Well, I could repeat it, but I chose instead to try to clarify. “We will need the usual ten-seventy-eight here.”
    Silence. 10-78 was the code for assistance. There was no code for crime lab, none for requesting a DCI agent. But, at a homicide, we always needed both. But, cagey soul that I am, 10-78 tends to vary depending upon the situation. Of course. All I had told her was that we needed a coroner, and the usual assistance.
    She was new. “Copy you need ten-seventy-eight?” The edge to her voice told me right away that she thought we needed more cops, and fast.
    “Negative. Negative, Comm. Look, I’ll ten-twenty-one in a minute.” That meant that I would call her on a phone. That would be best, naturally, and I could explain everything in detail. I hated to do it, though, because it meant that I had to reenter the Borglan residence. Each time you do that, a defense attorney will try to make it sound like you strolled through the scene, scattering bogus evidence like they used to scatter garlands in front of Roman emperors.
    Never try to clarify with more obscurity, though. Especially on a

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