Someone outside the city limits stumbled onto a dead body dumped under a bridge in the county. Sheriff Choate wants someone from the office to take a look at the scene.
Chuck turned back to face the boss. You need to make contact with the sheriff, work with the law enforcement personnel. She stood, making a neat stack of her notes to signal the end of the meeting. You can bounce your ideas off of me. When he rolled his eyes, she said tersely, Hey. You owe me. You took my manslaughter right out from under my nose.
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Now, you take me to see this dead guy. Chuck Harris and Elsie exited his car and walked over to the deputy who stood nearby. He smoked a cigarette as he jotted notes on an incident report form. Harris asked Elsie before they reached the deputy. Franks eyed Elsie with interest. Not wearing any, Elsie replied shortly, containing a flash of irritation. A tall, solidly built plainclothes detective sporting aviator sunglasses ducked under the crime scene tape and approached them. Chuck Harris waved in greeting. Hey, Ashlock! Did Madeleine manage to hustle you out here?
Chuck addressed him again: What did you see down there? How long has the body been there, you think? Franks, you better get down there and collect what you need before the doctor fucks up the crime scene. He glanced at Elsie and said, Pardon my French, Elsie. Have you been around her? She swears like a sailor! Harris turned to gaze down through the bushes at the trickle of the dry creek. What do you make of the dead guy? Ashlock shook his head. Michigan license says her name is Glenda Fielder. Chuck followed Ashlock as he turned and walked to his car, peppering him with conversation as Ashlock leaned against the car door and pulled out his cell phone to dial the police station.
Elsie wandered past the shoulder of the road, to the area roped off with crime scene tape.
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Elsie ducked under the tape and walked briskly down the rocky grade to the creek, where several officers were milling around. A sign identified the spot as Muddy Creek, though currently, with rain scarce at this time of year, it had dried up to a feeble trickle of water. The smell struck Elsie as a warning, but it was too late; she stumbled so close to the creek bed, where the dead woman lay, that she could reach out and touch her, if she dared.
She tried not to scream, but a shriek burst out before she could stifle it. Blindly, Elsie backpedaled until she fell on her backside; she turned over and scrambled on her hands and knees to bring herself to a standing position and run for the road, away from the creek and the horrible sight. Ashlock put a supporting arm around her and walked her a short way into a wooded stretch, away from the road.
She wiped tears from her cheeks with both hands. He pulled her into his arms and rubbed her back.
First time anyone sees a sight like that, it makes them sick. Every cop I ever knew lost their lunch at their first murder scene. She sighed.
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Yeah, we better go back, she said with regret. She wished she could linger, leaning against Bob Ashlock in the shade of the old hedge apple tree. But they both had work to do. They walked side by side through the high weeds and up to the spot where the police cars were parked on the shoulder of the road. Chuck Harris hopped off the hood of his car. Ashlock looked to Elsie, but she just shrugged nonchalantly, unwilling to confess her skittishness to Chuck Harris.
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Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Big Mac. Large fry, medium Dr Pepper. Want to try the Mac Wrap? He shook his head. I want what I ordered. When he departed, a fry cook was walking out into the parking lot at the same time.
Hey, man, the fry cook said to him, can I have a light? Come on, man. I can see it in your pocket. Fuck off. Eat shit! It was a bloody knife. Or a preacher. Elsie Arnold, the protagonist of my Ozarks Mystery series, is a cussing, hell-raising, beer-chugging wild child of the Ozark hill country. Oh hell yeah. I was assigned a heavy load of sex cases. My home county has the highest rate of sex crimes involving children in the State of Missouri. And once I gained courtroom experience, I was assigned my first homicide: a murder prosecution of a juvenile.