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I wondered by how many minutes we had missed Skunk showing up. He was out there, and his stinky self was looking for us. Then Terry scratched around for the key he said was hidden in the door frame. Maybe it was another effort by Sumners to keep him on the outside. The problem was that the man despised him. It was a deep wound and there was nothing Stratton could do to heal it, not that he particularly cared to. Then his sense of civic responsibility took over and he informed them without charge that there was a dead body out at Dikken. The other blow, on the back of his head, is more interesting. You can kill a horse with a blow like that. Reinhart remained by the slab, contemplating the dead body.
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It became instantly dark and they continued to fall, both still ablaze, the wind fanning the flames on their clothing as they dropped into utter darkness. Neither of them could remotely comprehend what was happening. It was as though they had died and were accelerating straight into hell. The force hit them like a hammer blow and they plunged beneath the surface, arms and legs flailing in desperation, fighting for their lives. Stratton pushed the water behind him madly, stroke after rapid stroke in the direction he thought was up. Somebody stabbed him to death with a knife. Especially when it was to do with his own speciality, of course. Nothing about sudden winnings had emerged from the conversation with the wife. I can see how he might have figured it out. We know you were injured in the car and now we know how you got there. He knocked you out and killed Nolan while you were sitting right there and unconscious. Then he took your phone and wallet. Instead, he tried to frame me by putting the gun in my backpack. Did he keep trying to find me afterward to confess because he felt guilty for setting me up.
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