Comeback (Gun Pedersen Book 1)

Free Comeback (Gun Pedersen Book 1) by L. L. Enger

Book: Comeback (Gun Pedersen Book 1) by L. L. Enger Read Free Book Online
Authors: L. L. Enger
this is such a time. I know it’s important to keep our land and waters healthy. I know our lakes are under strain from farmland drainage and acid rain ...” Gun tried to pin down Larson’s eyes with his own, but Larson was watching his hands. “Still, we need the jobs. We need the tourism dollars. Mr. Hedman has promised me he’ll guard against the destruction of the existing lakefront,” Larson said. Hedman clasped his hands behind his back, nodding his acknowledgment. “I believe him,” Larson said. “I’m asking you to vote yes on the Loon Country referendum.”
    Gun saw Carol’s pen hand pause and her black eyebrows point up at the center. She turned to look at him, and he walked past Geoff out of the room.

11
    At one o’clock a slow breeze from the east was reshaping what had been a pleasant forecast, and people were exiting the Muskie Lounge. Most seemed slightly dazed from Hedman’s gift drinks, and willing enough to go to the polls with such generosities in mind. Gun stood in front of the lounge entrance. He was waiting for Larson.
    He had to wait a long time. The first people out were mostly young, hurrying back to untenured positions, checking the creases in their slacks. Then came the sociable threes and fours, holding discussions about the pros of a paved tourist haven in the midst of pines and bright lakes. Gun didn’t hear any suggestions about the cons. He stood at the T where the Muskie Lounge sidewalk met the grass boulevard and listened to the voices die when they passed him. A few said lopsided hellos, looking at Gun’s chin when they spoke. He didn’t answer. Hedman came out, taller and skinnier than most of his entourage. He was
    encircled by them, and they moved eagerly around him as if waiting for his autograph, never losing their places. Only Hedman seemed to see Gun as they went by, his beer-colored eyes glistening with confidence.
    Larson came out near the end. His tie was hanging loose on his shoulders, and a damp undershirt showed at the neck.
    “You’ve seen my land before,” Gun said.
    “Aw, damn,” moaned Larson. “Now, suddenly, he cares.”
    “You’ve been over every foot of lakeshore. You’ve been there in the early spring, watching the walleyes spawn.”
    Larson closed his eyes. “Gun,” he said. “I know.”
    “Explain.”
    “Can’t do it,” said Larson. He took a wasted step away from Gun and was halted by a hand against his chest. “Aw, Gun,” he said, “it’s not your land. It’s not even Mazy’s land now. It’s Hedman’s. Everything’s Hedman’s.”
    “Tell me something, Tig. How did Hedman know it was all in Mazy’s name?”
    Larson shrugged, looking down at Gun’s hand, still hard against his chest. “How well do you know your lawyer?” he said.
    “Not well enough, I guess.”
    Larson inhaled with effort, pulling air through a pinhole. “Gun,” he said, “please let me go. I didn’t know about his plan to get your land. Believe me, I would’ve told you. Now really, I have to go.”
    “It’s not like you to back down, Tig. Hedman make good on those threats?”
    Tig shrugged. “I didn’t have any choice. Not this time, anyway.”
    “A person’s always got a choice,” Gun said.
    Tig smiled, his eyes flaring. “Of course. And how about Devitz? That poor old bastard have a choice?
    Did you know he died last night? Hear anybody at the meeting talking about that?”
    Gun closed his eyes. “No. No, I didn’t.” He took his hand away. A sour knot rose in his stomach like yeast. Jeremy Devitz hadn’t lasted a month without his land. “I’m sorry.”
    “I have to go,” said Tig.
    “Sure. Where to?”
    “I don’t know.” His eyes closed, and when they opened they looked flat as the eyes of the dead. “Yes, I do. I’m going to Holliman’s Bluff.”
    “It’s a quiet spot,” said Gun.

12
    Nash Sidney’s office, the only law office in Stony, occupied what had once been the town’s only five- and-dime store until Ronnie

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