TG Browning

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By: TG Browning
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Jimmy switched to PA again. “You can’t get out the front and more police are on the way. You won’t have a chance to run. Let’s slow everything down and think things through.”

Snap-pop, but there was no hit on the squad car. Must’ve been a target inside the house. Jimmy started getting visions of some poor woman down on the carpet, bleeding. “Unger! Owen! Take it easy and nobody has to get hurt. Now throw out your gun.” Jimmy heard the screech in the distance, behind him at the base of the hill and a floodgate of relief washed over him. That’d be Doris. She only lived a mile away.

He kept his eyes on the house as he heard a man’s voice, yelling back at him. “Throw out the gun? You crazy son-of-a-bitch! I don’t have a gun. Mary’s got the gun. She’s going to blow my damn head off if you don’t shut up and leave her alone.”

Jimmy froze. What the hell?

A second squad car came to a shuddering stop behind his and Doris emerged in a crouch, making good time. In but a second she was beside him and taking the mike. “Owen? You okay?”

“Doris, is that you?”

“Yeah. You hurt?”

“Christ yes! I’m hurt.”

“I’ll say he is. Next one’s going to be six inches higher and in the middle. Teach that son-of-a …”

“Mary, will you shut up! I ain’t talking to you yet. Where’d you take it, Owen?”

“Leg …” Owen’s voice cracked slightly and it trailed off for a moment. “Above the knee.” They heard what must have been a pained chuckle ending in a gasp. “Missed the knee, though. She never could shoot worth beans.”

“Oh, yeah,” a woman’s voice screamed. “How about I put one through your balls. That’s right here, right?” There came an agonized scream, choked off and Doris winced.

“Lay off that stuff, Mary. You’re going to make me mad and you don’t want that. Now, both of you, shut up.” Doris looked behind her, then back down the road, muttering, “Come on, Jerry, get here.” She looked at Jimmy suddenly. “Work yourself around the back. I don’t think she’ll try to run; she too pissed off right now. But she might think of it in five minutes or so. Don’t present a target. She may be a terrible shot right-handed, but I doubt she’s shooting right-handed. Blind drunk and left-handed, she can hit a nickel at fifty paces.”

Jimmy shook his head, clearly confused, but did as he was told, making a sudden break down the street, stopping after two houses and going into a yard. It had a wooden fence and no visible gate so he went over it, sending three toy poodles into quivering fits.

A back gate was in the middle of the fence and he ran for it, coming out on a dirt track that might have been confused for an alley if one were both blind and stupid. Basically, somebody ran a truck through there a couple of times a year, more or less to discourage blackberries which were, at present, undiscouraged and thigh high. Cursing to himself, Jimmy plunged on.

At the front, Doris got a status report from Meg; Fred would be in the station in another couple of minutes and Mort was ready to head out. Doris could tell Meg thought Doris was nuts to want Mort within a hundred yards of what was going on, but she squelched her. Mort was crucial to what she had in mind. “Get an ambulance on the way. Owen Unger’s been shot. I think we may be able to shut this down without anyone else getting hurt, but somebody’s going to need to look after him.”

“Okay, got it.” Meg keyed in. “Jerry’s got Martha with him and said to tell you it was going to cost. He didn’t appreciate getting hauled out of bed.”

“This late?”
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