He hid his fear well.
Doctor Peter Stockham, originally of New York City, came to a stop just outside the entrance of the Department of Languages. Despite the calm smile on his face, the hand on the door-latch betrayed his nerves.
There was nowhere for him to run.
No safety he might find. Neither inside the building nor outside of it.
And he knew it.
“Duncan,” he said, clearing his throat, his smile broadening.
“Would you care to walk with me?” he asked.
I shook my head. “Let’s go inside.”
His face paled. “Well, you know, I really can’t. Not right now. There’s a bit of work that needs to be done, and I’m to meet with the Hope brothers for dinner.”
I smiled. “They’ve had to cancel, I’m afraid.”
Peter’s Adam’s apple bobbed nervously, and his grip on the door-latch tightened. His eyes darted from left to right, and I said softly, “Best not to try and run.”
“Would you shoot me down?” he asked, eyes fixing on the Colts on my hips.
“As easy as I draw breath, Peter,” I replied. “But it won’t be to kill.”
His eyes widened, horror spreading over his features.
“Why?” he whispered. “What have I done?”
“You helped to kill the boy.”
“That was Hank Killingly’s idea!” Peter hissed. “I only wanted to get rid of you.”
“But you went with it,” I reminded him.
The man took a step forward, releasing the door-latch and fumbling in his overcoat. I waited until he drew the pistol he’d hidden within it, and I drew down on him.
The Colts roared, slugs tearing through his thighs and sending him spinning backward. Blood was smeared across the old doors, and despite being knocked down, Peter didn’t lose his grip on the pistol in his own hand.
With a howl, he rolled onto his stomach and pulled the trigger, his body shuddering once.
Disgusted, I flipped him onto his back and saw the coward had shot himself in the heart.
I considered mutilating the body for a moment, but then I decided against it.
My anger was stoked and hot.
It was time to deal with Hank Killingly.