Wednesday, January 20, 2010

jsut like the poet . . .

It was a gray, wintry day in Boston. Dark clouds scudded across the sky, while shards of ice shaped like tears pummeled the people running down the sidewalks. Men gripped their hats, clasping them tight to their skulls, while the secretaries from the office building across the way, held their coats together, trying to signal for a taxi.

Spenser turned from the scene outside his window as Hawk walked in, carrying a box of fresh crullers.  Setting them on the desk, he took one and, after pouring himself a cup of coffee, sat down on the couch, where Pearl was curled up, chasing squirrels in her sleep.

'You heard?' Spenser asked. Hawk nodded impassively, 'Yeah. Don't suppose the twittering masses got it wrong, do you?'  'I wish,' Spenser replied, taking a bite and brushing crumbs off his shirt, 'but it doesn't look good.' 'You told Susan yet?' Hawk asked, already knowing the answer by the look in Spenser's eyes. 'She took it hard, she always had a soft spot for the guy.'  'He had a way with words, I'll give him that,' said Hawk, running his hand over his cleanly shaved head.

Just then, Quirk came through the door, his footstep heavy, his face gray with fatigue.  'Thought I'd find you both here.' Spenser nodded at the coffee pot, and pushed the box of crullers towards Boston's finest.

'So,' the ex-boxer asked the policeman, 'anything Hawk and I need to look into about this?' 'No,' replied the captain, hanging his cashmere coat carefully on the rack.

'It looks like he died of a heart attack.  He and his wife had breakfast, she went for her walk, came back an hour later and found him slumped at his writing desk.'

'Just like he would have wanted,' murmured Hawk, as Pearl put her head on his lap, looking up at him with mournful eyes.

'Yeah,' said the hardboiled Spenser, as he gazed once more out the window, looking up at the sky, remembering - and hoping it was the rain that was blurring his vision.

(c) 2010 Thom M. Shuman

(Robert B. Parker, prolific author and creator of one of the best duos - Spenser and Hawk - in detective writing since Holmes and Watson died suddenly on January 19, 2010)