The Long Snapper(8)
Author:Michael J. McCann

    “Thenwhat happened?”

    “Theguy had money in his hand, shoving it into his pocket. He had theknife in his other hand. I pointed the gun at him and told Nattie tocall 911. Then I made the bastard walk up to the front door so wecould wait for the cops.” Bell shrugged. “They were real fast,I’ll give you that. I didn’t have to wait more than a coupleminutes. Good job, or I might have shot the bastard right then andthere.”

    “Didhe say anything?”

    “Whatdo they always say? That he didn’t do it, that it was a bigmistake. So if he didn’t do it, who did? Some little green men fromMars who flew off in a spaceship? Lying sonofabitch.”

    “Howmuch cash would have been in the till, Mr. Bell?”

    “Idon’t know, I’d have to do an audit. We have a two hundred andfifty dollar float and I tell the guys at night to not let it getabove five hundred before they take the extra back to the safe in thestock room.”

    Karenwas waiting for him out in the corridor. “Mom doesn’t know adamned thing. Didn’t even get out of bed when all the ruckusstarted. Sleeping pill.”

    “Let’stalk to the daughter next.”

    NatalieNikolaou had her head in her arms as they walked into the interviewroom. It was a tiny space, with room only for the table and twochairs, all bolted to the floor. Karen looked at Hank, motionedmicroscopically with her chin at the vacant chair, and leaned backagainst the door, arms folded.

    Hanksat down. “Would you like anything, Mrs. Nikolaou? Coffee, water?”

    “No.”Her voice was muffled, emerging from behind the barrier of her armsas though from the back of a cave.

    “We’resorry for your loss. We understand how difficult this must be, but weneed you to talk to us for a few minutes about what happened.”

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