The Legend of Smuggler's Cave

By: Paula Graves


“Height and weight?”

“I have no idea. He was kind of stooped over when I joined him at the car. He could’ve been short, but I think he was probably medium height because he was bent over. I think he only straightened up when he was behind me.”

“And was he a thin guy? Big?”

“Seemed heavyset, but he was wearing a jacket so it was hard to tell.”

“Other clothing?”

“Jeans, dark shirt, that bulky gray jacket.” She snapped her fingers. “Wait. He was wearing a jacket with elastic at the sleeves and had both sleeves pushed up. That’s how I saw the cast. And on the other arm, the one not in the cast, he had a tattoo.”

“Perfect. What was it?”

“It was a bird, a bird with wings spread open.”

The detective lifted his gaze from his notepad and drilled her with his dark eyes.

A chill zigzagged down her spine. Had she hit on something? He must know this killer. This had happened before.

He unbuttoned the left cuff of his pressed white shirt and pushed it up. “Do you know what kind of bird it was?”

“No—dark colors. It was hard to see. I just noticed the bird’s wings.”

Then he extended his forearm toward her. “Was it like this?”

A tattoo of a dark blue bird spreading his wings, his claws rising from a flame, decorated the detective’s forearm.

Elise clapped a hand over her mouth and jerked back against the bed. “Exactly like that.”

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