McCormick munched a sandwich as he took a break from his latest project. He looked up at Hardcastle who was, also, engrossed in a sandwich. He had been back at the estate for a little over a week. Time had healed his recent wounds.
“You know, Mr. Richardson called again,” McCormick ventured as he mentioned Sandy Knight’s appointed counsel. “He says that Sandy really wants to talk to you.”
“Knight and I don’t have anything to say to each other,” said Hardcastle, as he placed his sandwich back on the plate.
It bothered McCormick that Hardcastle had reverted to using Sandy’s surname. “I won’t mind if you did. Sandy must have had a lot of problems. Maybe you can help.”
Hardcastle thought back to those damnable tapes. He had finally listened to them. There were a lot of things he could forgive. But when he heard Knight’s cold order to kill McCormick and worse, he knew Sandy was dead to him.
“I know you mean well, McCormick,” Hardcastle said as he looked up at McCormick. “But it’s over. Let it go. Besides you got spring semester to be worrying about. You got tax law this term, don’t you?”
“Yeah,” McCormick said with a grimace as he bent down to pick up the box of junk that he had brought up from the basement..
“I don’t envy you. That was some of the most boring lectures and reading I ever had to study.”
“Well, I got a plan to help with the studying. I figure about four more loads and I’ll have that basement storeroom cleaned out. Then all I’ll need is a chair and a lock for the door. I can trust you with the key, can’t I?” McCormick asked as he headed out to the trash bin.
“Anytime, kid, anytime.”
Hardcastle and McCormick: Virtual Season Four
NEXT, ON HARDCASTLE and McCORMICK – Virtual Season 4:
“I just want to know if you’re saying she might be dangerous,” said Hardcastle solemnly.
Sheriff Larcom was indignant. “‘Course not. I didn’t say anything like –“
Hardcastle cut him off. “Good. Just thought I oughta ask. I’m stuck here overnight, looks like, and I figured since she’s got rooms to spare, I’d ask if she’s willing to take a boarder.”
Hardcastle began taking things out of his satchel: toiletries, some folded items of clothing. The room was a little fussy and old-fashioned but he seemed perfectly at home there. As he arranged the items, he heard an odd keening whistle outside. It was just the sort of sound one might hear on the sound track of a movie thriller. Hardcastle stopped unpacking and cocked his head, then stepped over, turned the table lamp off, and moved toward the window, edging up on it slightly from the side. He peered intently out the window as he heard the whistle again, closer. He frowned, turned and headed for the hallway, where he encountered his temporary landlady, Kitty McCray. She stood there, clutching her nightgown and robe closed, looking anxious. He put a finger to his lips and motioned for her to stay put, then headed for the darkened front room, picking up a fireplace tool as he passed through.
Sheriff Larcom looked straight at him. “Mr. McCormick, the van Lester Kooms was last seen driving was found abandoned on a back-road near the cemetery. The steering wheel and shift had been wiped, but those boys the State sent over, they’re real thorough. They lifted a set of prints from the driver’s side door, and another set off a map they found under the seat. He cast a look at Hardcastle. “You know your 'clerk' here is a two-time felon?”
Hardcastle shrugged. “I oughta, I sentenced him the second time.”
McCormick looked at the judge in irritation. “I don't think that's exactly helping.” He then tirned to the sheriff and added, “Cuffs? I'm already in the cell, for Pete's sake.”
McCormick threw him a wry look. “So, do I need a lawyer?”
Hardcastle wrinkled his nose. “Kinda looks that way, at least for now.”
“You know a good one?”
“I let you go off on your own and look what happens,” said McCormick.
Hardcastle and McCormick were sitting at a kitchen table in mid-conversation, McCormick looking irritated.
With an air of innocent indignation, the judge replied, “All I did was take the scenic route.”