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“Detective Corbett will explain when we arrive.”

“How about a hint?”

Two faces of stone. “We’d rather not, sir.”

Myron shrugged. “Let’s go then.”

Myron sat in the back of the squad car. The two uniforms sat in the front. They drove at a pretty good clip but kept their siren off. Myron’s cell phone rang.

“Do you guys mind if I take a call?”

Taller said, “Of course not, sir.”

“Polite of you.” Myron hit the on switch. “Hello.”

“Are you alone?” It was Linda Coldren.


“Don’t tell anyone I’m calling. Can you please get here as soon as possible? It’s urgent.”

“What do you mean you can’t deliver it until Thursday?” Mr. Throw Them Off Track.

“I can’t talk right now either. Just get here as soon as you can. And don’t say anything until you do. Please. Trust me on this.”

She hung up.

“Fine, but then I better get free bagels. You hear me?”

Myron turned off the cell phone. He looked out the window. The route the cops were taking was overly familiar. Myron had taken the same one to Merion. When they reached the club entranceway on Ardmore Avenue, Myron saw a plethora of media vans and cop cars.

“Dang,” the taller cop said.

“You knew it wouldn’t stay quiet for long,” Shorter added.

“Too big a story,” Taller agreed.

“You fellas want to clue me in?”

The shorter cop twisted his head toward Myron. “No, sir.” He turned back around.

“Okeydokey,” Myron said. But he didn’t have a good feeling about this.

The squad car drove steadily through the press gauntlet. Reporters pushed against the windows, peering in. Flashes popped in Myron’s face. A policeman waved them through. The reporters slowly peeled off the car like dandruff flakes. They parked in the club lot. There were at least a dozen other police cars, both marked and unmarked, nearby.

“Please come along,” Taller said.

Myron did so. They walked across the eighteenth fairway. Lots of uniformed officers were walking with their heads down, picking up pieces of lord-knows-what and putting them in evidence bags.

This was definitely not good.

When they reached the top of the hill, Myron could see dozens of officers making a perfect circle in the famed stone quarry. Some were taking photos. Crime scene photos. Others were bent down. When one stood up, Myron saw him.

He felt his knees buckle. “Oh no …”

In the middle of the quarry—sprawled in the famed hazard that had cost him the tournament twenty-three years ago—lay the still, lifeless body of Jack Coldren.

The uniforms watched him, gauging his reaction. Myron showed them nothing. “What happened?” he managed.

“Please wait here, sir.”

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The taller cop walked down the hill; the shorter stayed with Myron. Taller spoke briefly to a man in plainclothes Myron suspected was Detective Corbett. Corbett glanced up at Myron as the man spoke. He nodded to the shorter cop.

“Please follow me, sir.”

Still dazed, Myron trudged down the hill into the stone quarry. He kept his eye on the corpse. Coagulated blood coated Jack’s head like one of those spray-on toupees. The body was twisted into a position it was never supposed to achieve. Oh, Christ. Poor, sad bastard.

The plainclothes detective greeted him with an enthusiastic handshake. “Mr. Bolitar, thank you so much for coming. I’m Detective Corbett.”

Myron nodded numbly. “What happened?”

“A groundskeeper found him this morning at six.”

“Was he shot?”

Corbett smiled crookedly. He was around Myron’s age and petite for a cop. Not just short. Plenty of cops were on the short side. But this guy was small-boned to the point of being almost sickly. Corbett covered up the small physique with a trench coat. Not a great summer look. Too many episodes of Columbo, Myron guessed.

“I don’t want to be rude or anything,” Corbett said, “but do you mind if I ask the questions?”

Myron glanced at the still body. He felt light-headed. Jack dead. Why? How did it happen? And why had the police decided to question him? “Where is Mrs. Coldren?” Myron asked.

Corbett glanced at the two officers, then at Myron. “Why would you want to know that?”

“I want to make sure she’s safe.”

“Well then,” Corbett began, folding his arms under his chest, “if that’s the case, you should have asked, ‘How is Mrs. Coldren?’ or ‘Is Mrs. Coldren all right?’—not ‘Where is Mrs. Coldren?’ I mean, if you’re really interested in how she is.”

Myron looked at Corbett for several seconds. “God. You. Are. Good.”

“No reason for sarcasm, Mr. Bolitar. You just seem very concerned about her.”

“I am.”

“You a friend?”


“A close friend?”

“Pardon me?”

“Again, I don’t want to appear rude or anything,” Corbett said, spreading his hands, “but have you been—you know—porking her?”

“Are you out of your mind?”

“Is that a yes?”

Calm down, Myron. Corbett was trying to keep him off balance. Myron knew the game. Dumb to let it get to him. “The answer is no. We’ve had no sexual contact whatsoever.”

“Really? That’s odd.”

He wanted Myron to bite with a “What’s odd?” Myron did not oblige him.

“You see, a couple of witnesses saw you two together several times over the past few days. At a tent in Corporate Row, mostly. You sat alone for several hours. Very snuggly. Are you sure you weren’t playing a little kissy-face?”

Myron said, “No.”

“No, you weren’t playing a little kissy-face, or no—”

“No, we weren’t playing kissy-face or anything like that.”

“Uh-huh, I see.” Corbett feigned chewing over this little tidbit. “Where were you last night, Mr. Bolitar?”

“Am I a suspect, Detective?”

“We’re just chatting amicably, Mr. Bolitar. That’s all.”

“Do you have an estimated time of death?” Myron asked.

Corbett offered up another cop-polite smile. “Once again, far be it from me to be obtuse or rude, but I would rather concentrate on you right now.” His voice gathered a little more muster. “Where were you last night?”

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