John Brown’s Body

“Getting tricky?” said Terry. Blackbeard took the picture from the hit and run victim, put it in the John Brown folder, and they walked in and went to the manager’s office in the back.

“That’s him,” said the manager, looking at the picture of the hit and run victim, a department store manager from Panama City. “Said his name was John Brown. Used to come around here, trying to sell me jewelry from time to time. Figured it was hot, thought he was some kind of a small time fence, told him not to come around. Came around anyway last week, said he was going to have some electronics, other stuff, cheap, wanted to know if I was interested. I threatened to call the cops, he left, and I thought I’d seen the last of him. Except when I read the paper today, I thought, ‘Maybe he was working with those kids. Maybe they got into a fight and killed him.’”

“Maybe. Anything stick out about him, way he walked or talked, anything he did?” Terry asked, looking bored.

“No. Kind of looked like he might have been hung over some, you know how those people are.”

“Yeah. Those people.”

They went over his story a couple of times, new details coming out each time, not matching the things he said the last time. As they were leaving, Terry turned, big chamber of commerce smile now.

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