A Jump To Conclusions No. 15

She raised an eyebrow at me. “Dramatic, I admit, and it isn’t more than informed speculation, but it serves for the sake of the argument,” I said. “McKenzie had little to live for and one man the target of his ire, the destroyer of his happiness. For two months he plots, and finally he is ready. He climbs his balcony, puts the gun to his forehead, and pulls the trigger. Who would guess that a man engaged in a borderline suicidal activity would commit suicide by some other means entirely?”

Amber held her own counsel for a moment or two. I considered it less likely that she was in awe of my brilliance and more likely that she was grasping for a tactful way to call my idea stupid. “I should like some concrete evidence, and you don’t account for the man we saw on the security footage.”

I shrugged. “I’m hardly infallible,” I said. “Our man on the footage may have been unrelated.”

“Some coincidence that would be,” Amber said. She glanced over at me sympathetically. “I do see where you have an argument,” she added. “Stranger things have happened.”

“Strange it would be were I to be correct here,” I said. A moment later, I snapped my fingers. “You were to ask a favor of someone.”


Calling in that favor turned out to require the comm, so when we reached One Port Authority Plaza, Amber went to her desk while I set about bringing the big board up to date. I boxed off one corner and put down my thoughts, ending with ‘suicide?’ Amber rolled her eyes at me, then said, “Yes, hello,” into her desk comm. I didn’t eavesdrop any further, instead outlining on the board the interviews we had conducted. I looked around for somewhere to set my notepad, and instead found a note from Baker and Carpenter on the table; the summary was that they’d be back shortly. I looked up toward the elevators, and there they were, as good as their word.

Amber hadn’t finished her call when they reached the table. They wore that expression of terrier-like joy particular to detectives on the scent, but they sat without speaking. Eventually, I said, “Well?”

Baker coughed. Carpenter said, “We dinna want to have to repeat it for the lieutenant, unless she can spare an ear.” Amber glanced over and gave him a thumbs-up. “Alright. We found no dealer in Upside who recalls selling to McKenzie, but we did find a display case at McKenzie’s flat. It was made to fit the murder weapon and another identical pistol, which we didn’t find. We have it on good authority that McKenzie had a collection of firearms, which has been in local museums for some time now.”

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