No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess. – Isaac Newton
No Great Discovery
Lieutenant Joanna Reece is in her office, putting her name to some paperwork, when her phone rings.
“Lieu,” the caller says when she answers. It’s Detective Martinez’s voice, in a tone that says she’s trying to sound less worried than she is. “Have you heard from Henry? I – He was right with me at Perrier’s, and then he must have had one of those thoughts of his that he’s too damn impatient to share with the class, and he – well.” She doesn’t want to get Morgan into trouble (admirable in a way, considering all the trouble he causes her), but Reece hears the unspoken ‘ran off’ just as clearly as if she’d said it. “I lost track of him, and by the time I caught up with him…. I don’t know, I don’t know, Perrier seems to think he’s dead, but I can’t find him, and I was hoping, I don’t know, maybe you’d heard something.”
By the time the last panicked sentence trails off, Martinez seems to remember that Morgan doesn’t own a cell phone and, thus, that him checking in with her or anyone is vanishingly unlikely – something she really should bring up with him – but she answers the question anyway. “I haven’t,” she says.
But the story is slotting into place in her head, a piece in the puzzle that is Dr. Henry Morgan, and she thinks the picture might be starting to take shape.
She’s learned to trust her people’s hunches. She trusts her own, too.
The river is bracingly, bitterly cold this time of year. Henry had broken the surface and swam quickly, mind unhelpfully on how much he hated being stabbed. Every breath an agony, and death slow to come…. That it had been relatively quick, this time, is a mercy that he puts down to luck.
He’d called Abe with borrowed coins and is presently sitting on a bench, having covered his lap as best he could in now-damp newsprint, thinking that perhaps he might be pressing his luck.
It had been close, very close. Mere chance that Jo hadn’t found him before he succumbed to his injuries. But Perrier said something, surely, and while he still has some time to come up with a story to explain everything away, he isn’t sure it’ll be enough. Or that any explanation will be enough.
He hears a car slow as it approaches him. Much too soon for Abe to have arrived already, but Henry looks over anyway. The car’s not one he recognizes, but it bears exempt plates – police, then. He shifts uneasily, hoping it isn’t some overeager uni about to arrest him – or, worse, Jo.
When the car stops and Lieutenant Reece steps out holding a pair of sweatpants, he startles so violently he nearly dislodges his makeshift blanket. “Lieutenant, what are – I… I can explain.” It’s almost a question.
“Really,” she says, and it isn’t. “How about the truth this time?”
Slowly, he nods. Definitely out of luck. “It’s a long story….”