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343 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1948
[Alvin] Dewey’s ears ring with it – a ringing that almost deafens him to the whispery rush of Smith’s soft voice. But the voice plunges on, ejecting a fusillade of sounds and images: Hickock hunting the discharged shell; hurrying, hurrying, and Kenyon’s head in a circle of light, the murmur of muffled pleadings, then Hickock again scrambling after a used cartridge; Nancy’s room, Nancy listening to boots on hardwood stairs, the creak of the steps as they climb toward her, Nancy’s eyes, Nancy watching the flashlight’s shine seek the target (“She said, ‘Oh, no! Oh, please. No! No! No! No! Don’t! Oh, please don’t! Please!’ I gave the gun to Dick. I told him I’d done all I could do. He took aim, and she turned her face to the wall”); the dark hall, the assassins hastening toward the final door. Perhaps, having heard all she had, Bonnie welcomed their swift approach.
I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat.