Authors: Day Keene
Her mouth was still working but her small chin jutted. “I’m going to try,” she told him. She looked at me. “Thanks. You know how much, Mike. And I — I’m sorry I let Johnny down.”
I squeezed her shoulder. “Forget it. I’m speaking for Johnny now. He’d want you to forget. Johnny lived in a few glass houses himself. Besides, he wasn’t much of a hand at throwing stones.”
“Yes,” she said, “I know.”
She and Clara kissed again. Then Mona left the office with a matron.
“And that,” Captain Corson said, “would seem to be that.” He looked at me. “Except for one thing. Now tell me this, Duval. How did you know there were two girls?”
I said, “It was something Johnny told me in the rest camp at Taegu, A one-time wealthy south Korean refugee wanted to sell Johnny some beautiful antique pearl earrings at a bargain. And Johnny wanted to buy them but he said his wife couldn’t wear them because her ears weren’t pierced.” I touched Clara’s old-fashioned gold loop earrings. “And Clara’s ears are pierced. After I’d seen her in the death house, something kept bothering me until I realized what it was.”
I stopped touching her earring and fondled the lobe of Clara’s ear. She put her fingers on mine.
“The little things,” the attorney general said.
Then he and Captain Corson and Warden Kane and the other big shots in the office began to talk about the best way to handle Olson’t part in the affair without destroying the public’s confidence in the state’s attorney’s office. Clara and I were alone for the first time.
I continued to fondle her ear.
Her big eyes searched my face. “I said it the first time we met. I’d forgotten guys like you still existed. So where do we go from here?”
For some reason it was difficult for me to breathe. I said, “That’s up to you.”
Her eyes continued to search my face. “I want to go where you go.”
We hadn’t even kissed, but I knew. She felt the same way about me as I felt about her. There was that certain something between us. I stopped fondling the lobe of her ear and put my arm around her. “Be sure.”
Her eyes were bright as she said, “I’m sure.”
“It will always be Army.”
She stood on her tiptoes and kissed me. Her body felt small and soft and warm in my arms. She talked against my lips. “As long as I’m with you.”
It was okay. It was fine. It didn’t matter that we didn’t know each other. It didn’t matter that it was only the second time we’d met. I was for her. She was for me. We could get acquainted after we were married.
We kissed for a long time. Then I tucked her hand under my arm and we crossed the office to the door.
Corson looked up from the conference of officials. “Where are you two going?” he grinned.
I grinned back at him. “You might be surprised.”
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Text Copyright © 1953 by Ace Books, Inc.
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Names, characters, corporations, institutions, organizations, events, or locales in this novel are either the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The resemblance of any character to actual persons (living or dead) is entirely coincidental.
ISBN 10: 1-4405-5966-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-4405-5966-2
eISBN 10: 1-4405-5965-1
eISBN 13: 978-1-4405-5965-5