Skip Case (David Dean Mysteries) (Chapter III, page 2 of 19)

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Plane tickets for the next day's flight to Virginia were on Dean's desk with a list of the time he was to leave his house, where he should park at the airport and a description of Detective Norman Hunter whom he was to meet in Norfolk. There was also a large note reminding him of a 10:00 court appearance today and two telephone messages. An assistant District Attorney had called about prosecuting a felony drug possession, but the second note was upsetting.

"Hey, Rita, how come I'm supposed to call back Ida Wassermann? I wasn't even in the office yesterday."

Harrigan looked up. "We drew lots. You lost."

"Oh, sure. I'll bet. Why didn't the person who answered her call talk to her?"

"I don't know. I was out too. But DeLeo said you won it fair and square. And you'd better call her right back. Mrs. Wassermann wants to hear from someone first thing."

Harrigan got up, still smiling, and went to the can, effectively cutting off further conversation. Rita laughed, but neither looked up nor broke the rhythm of her flying fingers. Dean gritted his teeth to retain his good mood.

"What's so funny?" he muttered to Rita.

"Not a thing, honey. Not a thing." She continued to bang away on her keyboard, the smile etched on her face.

Dean looked at the message again, sighed deeply and dialed the number.

Ida Wassermann was the mother of the Wassermann twins, a pair of 30-year-old misfits whose I.Q.'s didn't equal their waist sizes. Billie and Willie were journeymen criminals, and both had spent time in jail for a number of offenses, mostly physical in nature. They hurt people for fun and money, ran errands for more talented malefactors, and generally kept themselves in constant trouble. While the pair was a definite annoyance to the Parkside police, the two were seldom a serious problem, principally because they were too stupid to get away with much, and their size-six­-feet-five and at least 500 pounds between them-made escaping detection difficult. But they did have one thing going for them. No one, save possibly their mother, could tell them apart.

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