Knock Out

Knock Out

Page 36

Maitland said, “Sit down, Sherlock; let’s talk about what happened at the airport.” He took a sip of coffee, sighed, and smiled. “Okay, after Buzz called me, we got over there fast, but Victor and Lissy were gone.

“We looked at the security videotapes, saw Victor helping Lissy across the terminal, straight to the Caribbean Air counter, then flat-out running with her toward the line at security. But they missed Buzz; he was already through and on his way to the gate.

“Next we saw them ducking through an employees-only door that led down to the tarmac. This part borders on the hard to believe—Buzz was not only sitting in a window seat, his seat was on the terminal side. To top it off, he just happened to be looking out the window to see Victor sticking his head out the door, Lissy behind him. Then he calls me, tells me what a lamebrain he is because he didn’t suspect a thing when he dropped off his car at his mechanic’s, didn’t think about anything hinky until he saw Lissy and Victor eyeing him from that employees’ doorway.

“We sent the bomb squad over to the car, but it wasn’t rigged. They only found water mixed in with the gasoline in the gas tank. Buzz was lucky he got as far as he did.”

Maitland paused a moment, took a drink of his coffee. “I guess because of how close this was, I decided to make doubly certain Buzz will be safe. He’ll stay only one night in Aruba, then one of our agents is escorting him to Barbados on a private plane so there’ll be no earthly way for Victor and Lissy to trace him. I may be going overboard on this, but I like the guy.”

Maitland grinned. “Buzz said he was going to visit the horse-racing tracks in Barbados first thing—he was feeling real lucky.”

Savich said, “Okay, so that means Victor and Lissy got to his neighborhood just a few hours after she escaped. They found Buzz still home, spiked his gas, and followed him to the car shop, then on to the airport. What undoubtedly saved him was that Lissy’s injuries slowed them way down. Pretty smart, though, not taking Buzz on at home where he was armed. They knew he wouldn’t be carrying a gun on his way to the airport.”

Sherlock nodded. “I’m wondering, though, what would they have done even if they’d caught up with Buzz? Would they have shot him right there in the terminal?”

“I believe she’d sure give it a try,” Savich said. “During the bank robbery, Lissy Smiley was out of control, whether from drugs or a misfiring brain, I don’t know.”

Sherlock said, “The word nuts comes to mind.”

Maitland set down his coffee cup, picked up the plate with the small slice of apple pie in the center, the only slice left after Sean had demolished it. “But why sneak out to the tarmac? Were they thinking they could shoot him as he boarded? Blow out the landing gear? What?”

Savich said, “I can see Lissy pushing it to the end, without hesitation. Each moment for itself, no thought or reflection of what might happen, that’s Lissy.”

Sherlock said, “All spur-of-the-moment, just reaction when they saw Buzz hop into that taxi.”

Maitland said, “So now they look like losers again. And that leaves you, Savich. I really don’t want them to blow up your new Porsche.”

Sherlock said, “Our insurance carrier would kick and moan, that’s for sure.”

Maitland saw she was both mad and worried, and that was good. She said, “I wonder why Lissy went after Buzz first when you were the one she threatened?”

Savich shrugged, sipped his tea. “I’m thinking I’m the frosting on her cake.”

“She and Victor will figure out we live in Georgetown,” Sherlock said. “After all, you were in one of the local banks.”

“I expect they’ll find out our address. Remember, they found out about Buzz’s flight to the Caribbean, so one of them’s pretty clever. We’ll know which one soon enough. Sherlock and I are going down to Fort Pessel, see what we can find out.

“One other thing, sir, can you get round-the-clock surveillance on both the Smiley house in Fort Pessel, Virginia, and Victor Nesser’s apartment in Winnett, North Carolina?”

Maitland got to his feet. “All right, for three, four days. You think we can get them in that time?”

“From your mouth to God’s ear,” Sherlock said.

Savich said, “I’ve got this gut feeling they’ll go back to one or both places before they come after me, hunker down, and try to come up with a plan. Too, Lissy Smiley can’t be feeling great. How she managed to run at all at the airport is astounding. She must be feeling the results of that now. She’ll have to rest, maybe several days.”

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