Danni California, Part 10

Continued from Part 9, here.
Start the story here.

* * *

I knew two things that I hadn’t known before, I reflected, as I leaned back against the springs of the uncomfortable hotel bed.  The springs beneath me squeaked and groaned in protest against my weight, but I paid them little mind.  I had slept on far worse.

First, I knew the girl’s name.  Danni, she was called.  The girl had an accomplice, a boy waiting outside with a stolen car, and some of the bystanders heard him call out her name.

The name wouldn’t do me much good, however, now that I knew the second fact.

Danni had flown the coop.  She was nowhere to be found in Indiana.
I’d spent the last few days plumbing contacts far and wide, trying to get a bead on this girl.  The automobile stuck out, those weren’t exactly common around here.  When I heard that she was making her getaway in a car, I hoped that I’d be able to use that tip to locate her.

The next day, the car turned up abandoned in a ditch off one of the main roads.  My contact told me that the thing was shot to hell – broken rods, a bent axle, and the engine was basically slagged.  “Only good for scrap,” he confided in me.

Didn’t do me much good.  That just meant that Danni and her male driver had ditched the vehicle.  Danni probably just flagged down the next car or cart to come along, pointed that big .45 of hers at the driver, and continued merrily on her way.

For some reason, the thought of that little slip of a girl, her red hair flying out on the loose as she happily hijacked some poor sap’s vehicle, made me smile a bit.  It was probably just the ridiculousness of the image in my mind.

Shifting a little, trying to find a halfway comfortable position on the sharp and complaining bedsprings, I felt something poking into my leg.  I reached into my pocket, and my fingers closed on the offending object.

I drew out the small metallic object.  It was the pair of bullets, one from my gun, one from Danni’s gun.  I had tucked the fused mass into a pocket after the robbery, and had been carrying it around ever since.

I knew that I ought to throw it away.  Priests were trained to travel light, after all.  It served no purpose.

Yet staring at it, I couldn’t shake the feeling that it meant something, that the two bullets colliding, a little miracle of physics, had some deeper implication for me.  I was not a religious man, but holding this bullet sent a little shiver down my spine.

After a minute, I tucked the little lump of copper and lead away.  Ignoring the prodding of a spring in the small of my back, I turned my attention back to the problem at hand.

But no matter how I turned around the question in my mind, there was no other answer.  I’d have to wait for Danni to strike again, hit another bank, to tell me where she was.

I wasn’t looking forward to telling my supervisor that I’d missed my chance to bring her down when I had the upper hand.

Still, there was something about the hunt, the chase, that always got my blood pumping.  I was a wolf, out on the hunt, stalking and tracking my prey.  I would be slow, deliberate – but I’d keep on coming, until Danni could run no further.

I didn’t know how long it would take, but I would catch her.

To be continued . . . 

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