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McBain, Ed [aka Evan Hunter] - [SS] The Confession [v1 0]

McBain, Ed [aka Evan Hunter] - [SS] The Confession [v1 0]

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Published by: toubib on Jun 04, 2008
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06/14/2009

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The Confession
By Ed McBain [aka Evan Hunter]
Scanned & Proofed By MadMaxAU
* * * *I said Look, all I want is the truth, Liz. I just want to know what the hell’sgoing on. I can’t walk in that squadroom tomorrow and not be able totake a stand on this. It’s been going on too long up there, the guys talking behind my back. I got to be able to tell them they’re wrong. Whatever you done or didn’t do, that’s
our 
 business. If it’s true what they’re saying,well then we’ll have to talk it over. I don’t know what we’ll do if it’s true,Liz, I just don’t know. I know I love you. So if it’s true, I guess we’llhave to talk it over, find out how we can patch things up. I hope it isn’ttrue, Liz. I love you so much, I... I just hope it isn’t true. What I’m hopingis I can go in there tomorrow and tell the guys Look, I know what therumble’s been around here, I wasn’t born yesterday. And I talked to mywife last night, and I’ve got the straight goods now, and if I ever hear anybody else around here even
hinting 
she’s playing around, I’ll personally break his arms and legs. That’s what I’m hoping I can dotomorrow, Liz. But if it’s true what they’re saying, then I got to knowthat, too, so I can figure some way of handling it. You understand me,Liz? We been married twelve years now, we never had any trouble talkingabout anything before. I want to talk about it now. I want your side of it.So you want to tell me about it, or what?So she sat on the edge of the bed there, this was in our bedroom.I’d been home maybe ten minutes, I was still wearing the shoulder holster. I was in my shirt-sleeves and wearing the harness. So I took it off and hung it on the back of the chair, and still she didn’t say anything, justsat on the edge of the bed there and stared at me. This was maybe a littleafter midnight. I’d been sitting that liquor store on Twelfth with O’Neill;the guy closed at eleven and I went straight home. She sat there staring atme, not saying anything, and then she took off her shoes, and stood upand walked barefooted to where I was standing by the dresser, and turnedher back to me so I could lower the zipper on her dress. Then she said,‘All you want is a confession.’I said, ‘No, I don’t want a confession, Liz. I just want to set things
 
straight between us.’She took off the dress, and carried it to the closet and hung it up.Then she went to the dresser in her bra and panties, and shook a cigaretteloose from the package there, and searched around for a match, and gotthe cigarette going. She took an ashtray to the bed with her, and sat on theedge again, and let out a stream of smoke, and crossed her legs and said,‘Tell me exactly what they’re saying.’I told her I’d pieced the thing together little by little—that wasanother thing, Liz. A detective isn’t supposed to spend half his workingday putting together facts on whether or not his wife is playing around behind his back. That liquor store, for one thing, it’s been held up four times in the past six months, and we still ain’t got a hint who’s doing it.I’m supposed to be working on
crimes,
and not acting like a private eyelooking for proof in a divorce action. Not that I’m talking divorce, Liz, Iswear to God I’m not even
thinking 
divorce. If this is true, what they’resaying, then we’ll work it out someway, there’s nothing we haven’t yet been able to work out, we’ll work this out, too.So she said again, ‘Tell me exactly what they’re saying.’I told her I’d first got wind of it in the locker room one night. I waschanging into my longjohns because we had a stakeout later on, and Iexpected to be outside on a street corner. This wasn’t the liquor store, thiswas that numbers runner we finally busted; this must’ve been last monthsometime, when I first got wind of it. There were these two guys on thesquad talking behind the lockers. They were talking about Harris, who’dgot a court order to put in a wire downtown, and he was getting somevery juicy conversations on that phone, conversations that had nothing todo with narcotics. The reason the wire was in there, I told her, was because the guy was suspected of running a dope factory, cutting and packaging shit for sale on the street. Now you either 
know
all this, Liz, or you don’t, I told her. Because if it’s true what they’re saying, then you’ve
 got 
to know the guy is in narcotics. He’s a cheap gangster in narcotics. Idon’t know how you could’ve got involved with somebody like that, if it’s true, but that’s not the point, I don’t care about that. If it’s true, thenwe’ll talk about it, and work it out. The point is that the guy was getting phone calls all day long from this woman, and it didn’t take Harris longto figure out the woman’s husband is a cop. This had nothing to do withHarris’s case; he was just being
entertained 
 by all these conversations.Because here’s a guy he’s setting up for a bust if he gets anything good onthe wire, and at the same time the guy is getting calls from a woman
 
who’s married to a cop, and who he’s banging regularly when the cop’sworking. That was the first I heard of it, Liz. In the locker room there.The two guys talking about it while I changed into my longjohns. Theonly name mentioned was Harris’s, who was sitting the wire. At the time,I didn’t know the narcotics bum was a guy named Anthony Laguna, that’snot his real name, that’s what he goes by on the street, I guess you knowhis name, if the stories are true. I looked up his B-sheet, Liz, he’s got arecord going back to when he was seventeen, including one arrest for rape, which he got off with. Just the idea of your having anything to dowith somebody like him, though I can’t imagine how’d you’d ever havemet a guy like him, well, just the idea . . . though I swear to God it never crossed my mind that first time I heard them talking in the locker room.All I knew was it was a cop’s wife involved with this Laguna bum. That’swhat I told her.She put out the cigarette then, and carried the ashtray back to thedresser, and then she unclasped her bra and put it on the chair where thegun was hanging, and then she slipped out of her panties and walkednaked to the bed. She fluffed up a pair of pillows against the headboard,and then she got on the bed and leaned back against the pillows and said,‘What else did you hear?’I told her the next thing I heard was that the cop with the horns wasworking out of our precinct. I figured at the time it was a patrolman; aguy with fixed shifts, you know, his wife could easily be playing aroundwhile he was on the four-to-midnight, or the graveyard or whatever. Imean, it was a perfect setup for a patrolman’s wife, because while the poor stiff was out there walking his beat, he couldn’t be checking up onher at the same time. So I figured it was a patrolman. There was, in fact, alot of joking in the squadroom. About the guy being a patrolman, youknow. Harris is giving us detailed reports on the juicy conversationsLaguna and his broad are having, and by now we all know it’s a cop inthe precinct, and we figure it’s a patrolman, it
has
to be a patrolman.Harris is complaining about he’s not getting anything on the wire but sextalk. He’s supposed to be setting up a narcotics bust, and nobody’s talkingabout dope, all they’re talking about is screwing. This girl has got to be anympho, Harris says, she calls the guy every ten minutes, describes indetail what she wants him to do to her next time she sees him. We’re allfeeling pretty sorry for the patrolman, whoever he is. But at the sametime, we’re making jokes about him. You know the kind of jokes that goon in a squadroom, Liz, it’s like the Army. It’s like when I was in theArmy.

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