Chapter 21. Pastor Dick

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It was a terrible idea, just terrible. I hated myself for even thinking it, let alone getting this far into letting him know.

"What?" he asked, I was still silent, kind of hoping he would forget I ever said anything if I kept quiet long enough.

I never was a big believer in divine intervention, at least not until a sharp, electronic tone killed the sound of silence.

"I'll get it," I rushed, jumping after the phone to catch it before Sam could even react. I didn't think of the purpose of the car phone for the evening, or how to make an introduction. I just hesitated, again.

"Hello?" a gruff, masculine voice said, "did you put up the posters I saw down Pine Street tonight?"

"Uhm... yeah," I answered, kicking myself for not sounding particularly professional, the guy must have known he was just talking to some kids, "do you have anything worth sharing?"

Of course, he had something worth sharing, that's why he called. I felt ridiculous, the caller must have exposed me as a sixteen-year-old city girl already.

"Where are you?" the caller asked, if anything he sounded concerned, "are you with anyone?"

I looked at Sam, who nodded at me.

"We are two people, me and my... accomplice," I told him, "we are in our car right now."

The caller sharpened his voice with a cough, I took notice of his heavy breathing. I was lead to assume that whoever was calling was afraid someone might find out about it.

"Alright listen, Toots," the man said, "I wanna know about this reward."

While I certainly didn't enjoy being called names, I figured I had to go easy on him, I did promise a reward.

"You'll get it when we've heard what you have to say," I asserted, "I believe you'll find it more than satisfactory."

Sam's neck stretched up from the backseat, meeting my eyes. I knew what he was trying to accumulate: we didn't have a reward.

"I don't like getting conned, Sweetheart. I'll let that be a warning," he stated, I wondered if he was self-aware regarding his unpleasantness, "if you want to know what I know, meet me by the steps of the church in thirty minutes, no more, no less."

He hung up, and I was back to looking at Sam, who just had to ask what we were both thinking:

"What was that?"

"I don't know, Sweetheart," I answered. 

I sat up straight, in need of recapping the past few minutes.

Sam looked to be doing the same while getting one of his mother's home-made sandwiches out of the glove compartment.

Pressing my lips together was necessary to conceal how glad I was the phone rang. Coming forward to Sam with any big confession was nothing but a mere impulse, I was sure. And where had my impulses taken me before? I'll tell you, to this very moment; sitting in a freezing station wagon and trying to solve a murder.

It was time to think things through, and this time I was dead sure I meant it.

"So... Marcia," Sam said, interrupting my thinking, "what were you gonna say earlier?"

The question shouldn't have caught me off guard, I did leave Sam very much hanging.  Even if I felt bad about it, I was sure to feel worse if I let him know what I was thinking. Besides, this was not the time.

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