As she goes up the sidewalk she sees another female opposite, coming down. Skirt, heels. Hard to see at night. Who in the hell besides herself would be down in this part of town looking like that?

They meet at the open door of the Coney Island, facing each other on the sidewalk. Gayle: "Have you. . ?" Kelly: "No. Haven't you. . ?" They peer together into the narrow corridor of the restaurant. A couple of grinning faces in cartoonish invitation. No Martin, no Mac, no Ret, not even Paletello. Just the sullen whore behind the counter.

They move away a few steps out of the doorlight to a short stretch of blank brick wall. "The answering machine just beeps and cuts off."

"It does that after about fifty messages."

"I've been by the apartment a hundred times since four o' clock. You've got a key too?"

"Just empty cans on the table."

"Well. I don't know then."

"So how did they find out?"

"Here it is: Pat found Ret, then went to the grandmother. Turns out, Glasseye has been gone since the Reverend's disappearance. Nobody's seen him. The grandmother mentions relatives in Arkansas. Eldorado. Pat sends the police department there the Reverend Sarah's license number, and soon enough they have him."

"So they got the right one, did he do it?"

"Why not? Somebody did it."

"Why? What happened? Why did he do it?"

"They found marks on her arm, where she'd struggled to keep her purse. He wanted something inside."

"Her purse? What?"

"Her gun. He wanted it. Dr. Sarah carried a pistol."


"For protection." They consider this, standing on the sidewalk.