The police chief pulled into Sticks at the same time as the forensic investigator. Each had a team of people assigned to assess the fire damage. Chief Trummel called to Jimmy when he saw the workmen carrying the supplies to the fire area, “Hey, Jimmy, you can’t start anything here until we’ve finished.”
Jimmy joined him and scratching his head, looked at the damage. “Chief, this is going to be quite a job to fix. Listen, I told my men to stay out of your way until you’re finished. Let me know if we can do anything to help.”
“Just don’t let anyone near the fire area, we don’t want the evidence tampered with.” He patted Jimmy on the back and started for the kitchen.
The forensic inspector was already on site and he looked at the Chief, looking dismayed. “Chief, I have my people collecting evidence, but it’s gasoline that did this. At first look, I have no doubt in my mind that it was arson, so in all honesty, I believe we’re looking at murder.”
“Ok, I’ll get working on suspects.” He looked across the field to Templetons and pulled out a cigarette, lit it, and took a deep breath. “Gary, get me your report as soon as you can, and I’ll start talking to people.” He walked over to his deputy. “Stay here until they’re finished and report back to me. This isn’t going to be pleasant.” He turned, looking for Jimmy.
“Hey, Jimmy. Where’s Katie? I’m going to need to talk to her.”
“Oh, come on, Chief, you know she couldn’t do anything like this. Anyway, she was out of town last night.”
The chief seemed cross when he replied. “Look, Jimmy, I need to get some background information, that’s all. Who are her enemies, that sort of thing? And could you tell me where they took Cue?”
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