Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Author:T. Greenwood
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: St. Martin's Press


“Hello,” Al said. “This is Al Panaro. I’m just calling to see if there’s any new information in the Sally Horner case.”

Every week through that spring and early summer, Al called the police stations in both Camden and Baltimore, inquiring if there had been any progress in the investigation. And every week, the detectives politely yet firmly told him they’d call just as soon as there was any news to share. Still, Al checked in. Because with every passing week, Ella seemed to grow more and more despondent and withdrawn. She’d essentially stopped working, and Al knew it was only a matter of time before she wouldn’t be able to pay the rent anymore. Three or four days a week he would drive Sue and the baby all the way to Camden so Sue could help Ella out. The baby was crawling now, getting into everything, and he knew Sue was exhausted. Al felt like he was spinning his wheels, but what choice did he have? He couldn’t just give up.

“Baltimore County Sheriff’s Office,” the woman said. “How may I direct your call?”

* * *

Finally, in early June he got through to someone.

“Nobody’s called in with any information? Nobody at all?” he asked, desperate for anything.

“You know, come to think of it,” the Baltimore officer said. “I seem to recall there was somebody. A nun. Called in about a girl over at St. Ann’s School over in the Barclay neighborhood. East Baltimore.”

East Baltimore? He’d been there! He’d driven up and down Twenty-fifth Street for nearly an hour, searching for any signs of Frank La Salle. Was it possible they’d been there, right under his nose?

“Didn’t pan out,” the officer explained. Al could hear him shuffling through some papers. Sally’s file, perhaps. “Yep. Here it is. Address for the girl on file at the school turned up nothing when we sent a couple officers over to check it out.”

“When was that?” Al asked.

“Not long after La Salle got indicted again. The sister read about it in the papers and thought there might be a connection. Says here around St. Paddy’s Day.”

“March?” Al said in disbelief. “That was months ago! Why didn’t anyone call me? What is the address? Who lives there?”

“Guy named … uh … here it is … Sammy DePaulo. But I told you. Nothing turned up. She wasn’t there.”

“What was her name?” Al asked, trying to keep his voice steady. “The child at the parochial school?”

“Hold on,” the officer said. “Fogg. That’s it. Florence Fogg.”


“She goes to that school?” Al asked, jotting down St. Ann’s on the notepad he kept by the telephone.

“Well, it’s summertime now, sir. School’s been out for a couple of weeks already.”

Damn it. And sure enough, when he called St. Ann’s the phone just rang and rang.

* * *

“Come to bed, honey?”

Sue had just put the baby down; she was finally sleeping through the night now. Probably the only one in the house who was.

Al had been scouring the news clippings he’d collected again, looking for something, anything that he’d missed before.


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