32

Freddy Denton grabbed Officer Henry Morrison’s shoulder. Denton was not his favorite person tonight, and was never going to be his favorite person again. Not that he ever was, Henry thought sourly.

Denton pointed. “Why’s that old fool Calvert going into the PD?”

“How the hell should I know?” Henry asked, and grabbed Donnie Baribeau as Donnie ran by, shouting some senseless shit about terrorists.

“Slow down!” Henry bellowed into Donnie’s face. “It’s all over! Everything’s cool!”

Donnie had been cutting Henry’s hair and telling the same stale jokes twice a month for ten years, but now he looked at Henry as if at a total stranger. Then he tore free and ran in the direction of East Street, where his shop was. Perhaps he meant to take refuge there.

“No civilians got any business being in the PD tonight,” Freddy said. Mel Searles steamed up beside him.

“Well, why don’t you go check him out, killer?” Henry said. “Take this lug with you. Because neither of you are doing the slightest bit of damn good here.”

“She was going for a gun,” Freddy said for the first of what would be many times. “And I didn’t mean to kill her. Only wing her, like.”

Henry had no intention of discussing it. “Go in there and tell the old guy to leave. You can also make sure nobody’s trying to free the prisoners while we’re out here running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off.”

A light dawned in Freddy Denton’s dazed eyes. “The prisoners! Mel, let’s go!”

They started away, only to be frozen by Henry’s bullhorn-amplified voice three yards behind them: “AND PUT AWAY THOSE GUNS, YOU IDIOTS!”

Freddy did as the amplified voice commanded. Mel did the same. They crossed War Memorial Plaza and trotted up the PD steps with their guns holstered, which was probably a very good thing for Norrie’s grandfather.

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