No Excuse Now
The printer keeps spitting out paper. Bernie picks up the pages and studies them. I think this is about the Astrid case. Have I ever seen him this tired? “This is gold, Chet. I should be able to figure out the whole case right now on the spot.” Oh, good. Then maybe we’d get paid. I wait. Bernie gazes out the window. “Wish we could afford to hire Melanie and B. Stover.”
Background: 1: In addition to the flow chart: I believe the last post containing the Astrid case was Nov. 9, “Homing In” when Bernie, Chet and Ray are turning off the freeway onto Mesquite Road. Ray is wired and wants to take Bernie to Col. Bob; Bernie has silently pointed to the turn off so knows beforehand where they are going; earlier Bernie wrote something on a napkin for Ray to read. Chet is glad because he feels that Bernie is in control and having fun; he’s wondering if they are going home.
Here are the questions that I think need answers in order to solve the case:
Where is Astrid?
What was the motive for killing Albie and why put his body in the freezer?
Why set up Ray for the murder of Albie (if he was set up)?
What is the motive for killing Ratko, wrapping up his body and hiding it in a closet at Cactus Heights where he was caretaker for Albie?
What is Foster’s part in this?
Who is the “other dude” mentioned by Foster? (Albie divorced Astrid because he thought she was interested in him; Foster laughed off Bernie’s comment about Foster being the other dude).
Why did Astrid ask Tulip to watch her suitcases; what was in the suitcases; where are they now?
Why does Ray hate Col. Bob–is it something Astrid has told him? What did the two say to one another in Bakersfield?
What did Bernie learn when he went to LA (Sept. 15 post)?
Where is Col. Bob?
How did Ray know that Bernie was at Dry Gulch?
(From B. Stover)
Background: 2: Scents in order:
Albie Rose smelled like old cheese left in the sun.
Colonel Bob’s boots smelled of deserts, but not Chet’s desert.
At the empty housing development Chet smelled something important but was called away by Bernie.
The money Bernie paid Foster smelled of the perfume that Tulip wears.
Chet does not like the smell of pink insulation. (This is Patsy breaking in here, I tried eating that stuff once. Not good and Melanie made me drink a lot of milk afterward and eat bread. That was okay though.)
At Albie’s house just before they find Albie in the freezer: “First, I smelled me, of course: old leather, salt and pepper, mink coats, and just a soupçon of tomato; and to be honest, a healthy dash of something male and funky. And then Bernie, the best-smelling human male I’d ever smelled: apples, bourbon, and also salt and pepper. There were similarities in our smells, just another great thing about Bernie. . . there were lots of chemical smells coming from the walls, and cleaning fluid smells, and wax smells, and flower smells, and air-conditioning smells, and copper smells, and -” Also “Lots of cooking had gone on here, plus there was a mouse on the loose.”
Chet did not smell Albie until the freezer was opened.
When they find a confused Ray at the pool, Chet can smell the blood on the towels and the booze on Ray.
At Tulip’s hotel room, Chet smells deer musk and mint, a scent worn by Foster. Chet is amazed that Tulip says she can smell it. Tulip says it’s the scent worn by Ratko Savic.
A Dead Ratko was the smell that Chet smelled at the housing development.
Lt. Stein smells like potatoes.
Then there’s this whole weird thing about Chet smelling a quilt???
Ray smells of human fear at the Dry Gulch. Chet can also smell steak tips but there is no time to eat.
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