Sweet Dreams, Irene
at his computer, entering a story with lightning speed. I watched his long, black fingers flying over the keys. I always admire that kind of keyboard mastery. I don’t exactly hunt and peck, but I’m no speed queen either.
    Mark looked up and smiled. “You lived!”
    “Only a reprieve, not a pardon. John would like my head right now.”
    “Why?”
    “Same reason you’re going to, unless I can smooth-talk you.”
    He laughed. “You know I’m helpless before you, you silver-tongued devil.”
    “Bull. But thanks, my bruised ego needed that. Anyway, here’s the deal. I suppose you know that I’m not supposed to be doing any kind of crime coverage?”
    “Because of Frank.”
    “Right. Well, last night, in a purely personal capacity—not as a reporter—I followed Frank into the Fremont house—before the cops got there. He discovered her body. John wants me to tell all I know. My better self tells me if I had been there as a reporter, this would be no problem; but Frank was not dealing with me as a reporter.”
    “No kidding,” he said with a grin.
    “Mark, I need to talk this over with somebody who can avoid making double entendres out of everything I say.”
    “Sorry. I could tell you were upset this morning. I like Frank, you know that.”
    I nodded. “I suppose this rule on crime stories is set up so that I don’t give Frank information on what the paper is doing, or try to write pieces that might end up being too pro-police or whatever. But I think it ought to be a two-way street. I don’t think it’s any more ethical for me to hand out information to the paper, if that information happens to come my way as a result of my relationship with Frank. It would be abusing our relationship. Am I wrong, Mark?”
    “You’re in a pickle, that’s what you are.”
    “Very helpful.”
    He grinned. “I thought you had ink in your veins.”
    “Maybe so, but I have to pump it through a heart.”
    “No wonder Walters can’t relate—don’t think he has one.”
    “Oh, it’s not John’s fault. In fact, I see his side of it all too clearly. I don’t like doing this. It really goes against the grain.”
    “He must have pitched a real hissy fit.”
    “To be honest, I don’t know how long it’s going to be before he really loses it with me. Anyway, thanks for listening. As for what I can tell you, I can give you some information, so long as we’re talking as friends and no one has any wrong ideas about me getting involved in crime coverage.”
    “Why, Irene—I just figured it out. You’re interested in this Fremont case, aren’t you?”
    “For a whole lot of reasons.”
    “I can imagine. Frank working on this?”
    I felt myself wince, and saw him look at me with curiosity.
    “No, he’s not. He’s busy with the Gillespie case. Anyway, you asked if there’s a tie-in. The Montgomery campaign claims Jacob Henderson is a Satanist and published a photo. You’ve seen the flyer?”
    He nodded.
    “Well, first of all, we have nothing that really proves that the people in the photo are engaging in Satanism, witchcraft, or a weenie roast, for that matter. No credit is given for the photo, so we don’t even know where it came from or who took it. No date or location. So I’m not saying right at the moment that the photo shows much of anything.
    “As for the Fremont murder, there was a drawing of a goat’s head on the door, and that’s supposedly a symbol connected to satanic cults. There might be other reasons that a person would conclude that it was an occult group of some kind.”
    “So a certain person might have seen other signs of a satanic cult at work if she happened to see the inside of the house?”
    “I’m not saying that at all, Mark. In fact, something really bothers me about this whole satanic business. I don’t know, there’s something not quite right about it.”
    “What?”
    “Well, maybe Mrs. Fremont’s death is the work of Satanists or some other offbeat group, but it could also

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