Brothers in Blood by P. D. Ballard

By P. D. Ballard

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Her eyes had been on her hands, lying in her lap. She raised them in one of those direct stares that he had found were her habit. ” He had come to expect the unexpected from her and to keep his guard up. ” She got up as she spoke and headed for the bedroom, peeling her dress over her head on her way. There was nothing underneath it except pantyhose, and she was shucking them off by the time he recovered himself enough to get on his feet and reach the doorway. This one he had not foreseen, had not ducked, and he was nicely trapped.

Outside, a car’s deep-throated engine roared, the sweep of headlights threw the curving drive into harsh relief, and then she was gone. A houseman poured brandy into two snifters and Clarence Howe slumped in his chair, warming the glass between both hands. He appeared smaller than when Dearborne had met him originally, smaller even than he had seemed before dinner, a shrunken figure with a round head pink and bare except for a spotty fringe above his ears, so fine the hair looked like silk. ” Howe spoke in a sighing voice, so low that Dearborne could not tell whether the words were intended for him to hear until the old man went on, louder, with a querulous impatience.

And called Dearborne out to play golf at the club, even riding around the course in a cart to see that he took the required exercise. He was on his way home from one of these excursions, the car radio tuned to the New York Times music station which was at the hourly news break, when the report was interrupted for a flash. “It has just been learned,” the newsman said without excitement, “that Mr. Forbes Adams was shot and killed moments ago as he crossed the parking lot of the Jersey City warehouse of Conglomerated Stores.

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