Pat tells Mike that Velda is in the hospital
|Pat's office was dismal and overheated, the rattling and groaning of steam pipes providing a background music well suited to the gray officers that inhabited the aging police station.
Mike leaned over Pat's desk, waiting for answers. Pat meanwhile was talking on the phone, dealing with officers that intruded into his office constantly, and writing on a yellow tablet. Looked like a busy day at the cop shop.
Finally Mike walked over to the door and eased it shut, before leaning down to rip the telephone cord from the wall.
“What the?” Pat exclaimed, looking up startled, still hanging onto the useless phone.
“Where is she?” Mike said.
Pat surveyed his desk and looked around the room before answering.
“Velda is at General Hospital,” he said carefully, finally looking Mike in the eye, “She was beaten badly and may not recover.” His eyes slid away from Mike's and he took up a pencil to doodle something on the pad.
Mike watched Pat carefully for a long moment then reached down to turn the writing pad around. He glanced down for a moment then nodded curtly. He was headed for the door when Pat stopped him.
“What are you gonna do Mike?”
Mike hesitated and half turned back, “You don't wanna know Pat.” Then the door swung closed behind him.
Pat sighed and leaned back in his wooden chair. “What do you do with a guy like that?” he muttered to himself, then reached out to tear the top paper from the pad.
Mike's old jalopy was running this week. It didn't always. The Studebaker was halfway to the Hospital before Mike cooled down enough to realize he should have gone to the office first and called in some help. No way he was gonna leave her there on her own without someone watching over her. He didn't know for sure who it was that did it but he had a pretty good idea, and he needed to be free to move around, not tied down to a hospital bed. Two guys, he thought, two guys on opposite shifts and one to backup.
The hospital parking lot was full so he parked in the ambulance's spot. An orderly caught his eye as he heaved himself out of the car seat, but turned quickly away after seeing Mike's face. It wasn't a pretty face at the best of times and now was not a best time. It was a face that could frighten a gargoyle off the hospital roof.