Outlaw Road (A Hunter Kincaid Novel) - Page 84

“About seven or eight miles. She didn’t go into Ojinaga. When I left Hunter, the tracks were still angling around the perimeter, like she was circling the town. Hunter thought that’s what she was doing.”

“You think so?”

“If the trail doesn’t break off and angle into the mountains, through the big canyons, then yeah, I think so, too.”

“When will you know?”

“Tomorrow, in the morning. We can’t find much more tonight. If we find her tomorrow, you still gonna be down here, or do we need to call Marfa?”

“I’ll be in Presidio tonight. Back over here in the morning. I’ll be in touch. And hey, nice work, Raymond. Tell Hunter, too.”

Raymond raised one eyebrow, then said, “I will.” He returned to his car and drove away.

Wayne watched the car until it was out of sight, then dropped coins in the pay phone and dialed another number.


Truman glanced at the empty chair beside him, and so did the Judge, even after Truman told him Hunter had suddenly become ill. Ronald was finishing up with the widow Garcia and Truman had not objected once, preferring to let the woman talk. He almost laughed out loud when Ronnie asked her to clarify several issues that contradicted her initial story.

The widow went into detail to explain away the three specific pictures of her and her “cousin”. On the one where she was shown giving the young man a kilo package of white powder, the widow said it had been plain sugar in the package. With Ronnie’s suggestive questions, she said her cousin needed the sugar to bake some pastries for the little children in his neighborhood, and that he had promised them he would do it that day, but then found he had no sugar. He called his beloved cousin and asked for some and she told him to come over. When she looked in her pantry, alas, she discovered she only had a single five pound container, nothing smaller. She looked and looked, until finding some plastic wrap, and then she divided the sugar into two parts to give her cousin half, then wrapped it in the plastic and taped it to hold until he could get back to his kitchen and bake the pastries for his tiny friends.

About sucking the man’s thumb, the widow said her beloved cousin had been stung by a wasp, and she was trying to kiss his finger, like a mother would do for a child, but at the same time she moved her head forward, he moved his hand toward her

, and by accident his thumb went into her mouth. It was a little embarrassing, she said, and they both laughed about it later.

The widow’s explanation of her kissing the young man while he grasped her buttocks caused one female juror to roll her eyes. The widow said that it was all perfectly innocent, and that her cousin, who was a shy man, had asked her, his most cherished cousin and friend, to teach him how to kiss. She did so out of respect and sisterly love for him. She told him that, in a passionate kiss, which they were practicing, one should use his hands, but only with a fiancée or wife, not some casual date. There are moral standards, after all, she said.

Judge Pelham adjourned court after that, to everyone’s relief. Truman drove home and when he opened the door, found a large manila envelope on the carpet. He took it to the kitchen table and opened the flap.

Inside was part of a color 8 x 10 photograph depicting Julian Garcia, El Lobo, shirt unbuttoned and bare chest showing, smiling at the camera while holding a Colt .45 semi-automatic in profile. The pistol was exactly as Hunter described it, down to the yellowed ivory grips with the engraved image: a three-quarters side view of a snarling wolf’s head.

Truman studied the background and the portion that had been cut. Part of a white shirtsleeve and blue jeans showed. At what would have been knee level, part of a stack of kilo bricks were visible. The majority of the pile had obviously been behind the person who was cut out. Truman picked up the manila envelope and shook it, dropping a short handwritten note onto the table.

Tru, The guy would only part with this portion. We didn’t see the rest, but it is in his office. We had to pay five big ones for this one-third of a photo. Hope that wasn’t too much. Maybe this will get your client off. Stay loose.--Elvin D.

Truman tapped the note, then placed it in the manila envelope. Tomorrow was going to be a good day, yessir. He would blow the socks off ol’ Ronnie and his client.


Raymond picked up Hunter at the road. When she got in, she said, “The trail’s still swinging around town. She never even made a move toward the canyons.”

“We’ll try some big jumps in the morning, maybe get right on top of her.”

“I wonder where she’s goin’. She’s got someplace particular in mind.”

“Well, she needs to veer off sometime or she’s gonna wind up at Outlaw Road.”

Hunter turned sideways in the seat to look at Raymond. “Have you ever been there? I’ve heard of it, but that’s all.”

Raymond glanced at her as he drove. “I wound up there once, back when I’d just gotten out of the service. I had been there five minutes when I saw a pimp use nails and a hammer to anchor a prostitute’s hands to the side of a wooden shack because she held out two dollars on him. Things got worse after that.”

“So the stories they tell are true?”

“Hunter, it’s the roughest place I’ve ever seen. The law doesn’t go there, fire trucks don’t go there, the military doesn’t go there. It has some of the toughest, meanest people you’re gonna find on the planet. Every person handles his or her own trouble. There aren’t any forms of government, just a loose group of people operating on the fringes of the law at best, and way outside it all the other times.”

“I hope we find Anda before she stumbles into that place.”

“Me, too.” Raymond reached Hunter’s pickup at the slaughterhouse and they talked about where to spend the night. Raymond said he knew a place, and Hunter followed him in her vehicle as he turned onto the pavement and drove into town, stopping at the first hotel. They booked separate rooms and Raymond slipped the desk clerk ten dollars and asked him if he could get them some food delivered. The clerk said it would be no problem, and he made the call as they went to their respective rooms.

Tags: Billy Kring Thriller
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