Friday, February 1, 2013

Part Forty-Six, Chapter Three - Wish Granted

Bang-Bang's gestures are to warn Krak of the approaching owner of this private hospital.  Krak does not react to his warnings that they should leave, and several footsteps later a blond physician, one Dr. Price, walks in, sees the unwanted visitors, and offers to reexamine Bang-Bang "for some other symptoms such as snooping."  But before the situation can go any further, Stonewall Biggs walks in, and Graves recognizes him and demands to have a pen and paper, because his arthritis is killing him.  Remember, Biggs is a county clerk, able to make scribbled confessions official scribbled confessions, so once he sees what Graves is writing, he ducks out and grabs two nurses to be additional witnesses.

While this is going on, the penny drops and Gris realizes that while Biggs and Heller left for the hospital together, only Biggs has shown up.

Suddenly I realized that Heller was unaccounted for.  His viewer was tipped a bit away from me and I had been too engrossed to watch it for his fate, which, after all, I considered sealed.  The view was of the silly French car, the Karin, seen in the distance in the gloom and I supposed they had intercepted him on the road and now had him standing somewhere securely cuffed.  I did not have time to play back the strips.  I could enjoy that later.

Never mind that even if Gris had been paying attention to what was happening around Heller, he'd be in no condition to do anything about it.  But we're supposed to go with his theory that Heller has been handcuffed and then abandoned by the cops, so when this turns out to be wrong we'll be shocked and excited.

Instead of paying attention to his nemesis, Gris is really interested in whether anyone will pick up on the "flagrant violation of all legal rules of evidence," Dr. Graves' unnatural enthusiasm for writing his confession.  Much like how he got sucked in by Graves' story last chapter instead of watching what happened to Heller.   Then he realizes wait a minute, I sent an assassin after Krak!  And she's standing there in plain sight of the window!  So he waits excitedly for Torpedo to do what Gris never considered attempting himself.

Graves finishes his confession, and his arthritis pain immediately ends.  Biggs makes him swear that it was all true, then attaches some paperwork and stamps the confession with a notary seal.  And Dr. Graves commits assisted suicide by declaring "I feel so comfortable, now I can die in peace!"

Immediately a rifle round shatters the window, followed by a "fusillade" of small-arms fire.  Bang-Bang tackles Krak to the floor and yells at everyone else to do the same, but Dr. Price takes a bullet to his coat.  Oh, and Graves is fatally shot, dying instantly.

Gris checks Heller's viewer, and what a surprise, he's not tied up but creeping along the bushes outside the hospital.  Biggs tells Krak that Heller decided to stay outside because he saw the French car and was checking to see if Harvey Lee the car salesman/car thief was about.  So: Harvey claimed that Heller stole the car he sold him, and tried to sic the cops on him.  This failed, Heller threatened him, and then went along his way to Biggs' house.  Harvey decided to follow him and steal the car back, and then deduced where Heller was going, and actually beat him and Biggs to the hospital.

This is pretty dumb, but the twist is that next chapter we're shown that there's cops outside the hospital too.  But Heller didn't spot the police cars either when they were approaching, or when they were parked in wait.  But if the cops weren't there already, how did Harvey know where to go, if he got there first?

We're not going to get any answers, are we?

Back to Chapter Two 

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