Read Blue-Eyed Devil Online

Authors: Robert B. Parker

Tags: #Parker, #Everett (Fictitious character), #Westerns, #Fiction - Western, #Fiction, #Robert B. - Prose & Criticism, #General, #Virgil (Fictitious character), #American Western Fiction, #Westerns - General, #Hitch, #Cole

Blue-Eyed Devil

THE SPENSER NOVELS

The Professional
Rough Weather
Now & Then
Hundred-Dollar Baby
School Days
Cold Service
Bad Business
Back Story
Widow’s Walk
Potshot
Hugger Mugger
Hush Money
Sudden Mischief
Small Vices
Chance
Thin Air
Walking Shadow
Paper Doll
Double Deuce
Pastime
Stardust
Playmates
Crimson Joy
Pale Kings and Princes
Taming a Sea-Horse
A Catskill Eagle
Valediction
The Widening Gyre
Ceremony
A Savage Place
Early Autumn
Looking for Rachel Wallace
The Judas Goat
Promised Land
Mortal Stakes
God Save the Child
The Godwulf Manuscript

THE JESSE STONE NOVELS

Split Image
Night and Day
Stranger in Paradise
High Profile
Sea Change
Stone Cold
Death in Paradise
Trouble in Paradise
Night Passage

THE SUNNY RANDALL NOVELS

Spare Change
Blue Screen
Melancholy Baby
Shrink Rap
Perish Twice
Family Honor

THE VIRGIL COLE/EVERETT HITCH NOVELS

Brimstone
Resolution
Appaloosa

ALSO BY ROBERT B. PARKER

Double Play
Gunman’s Rhapsody
All Our Yesterdays

A Year at the Races

(with Joan H. Parker)

Perchance to Dream

Poodle Springs

(with Raymond Chandler)

Love and Glory
Wilderness

Three Weeks in Spring

(with Joan H. Parker)

Training with Weights

(with John R. Marsh)

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3,

Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) . Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England . Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) . Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) .

Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi-110 017, India . Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) . Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Copyright © 2010 by Robert B. Parker

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Published simultaneously in Canada

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Parker, Robert B.

Blue-eyed devil / Robert B. Parker. p. cm.

eISBN : 978-1-101-42942-6

1. Cole, Virgil (Fictitious character)—Fiction. 2. Hitch, Everett (Fictitious

character)—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3566.A686B

813’.54—dc22

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

http://us.penguingroup.com

For Joan: blue-eyed and devilish, in exactly the right proportion

1

L
AW ENFORCEMENT in Appaloosa had once been Virgil Cole and me. Now there were a chief of police and twelve policemen. Our third day back in town, the chief invited us to the office for a talk.

He was tall and very fat in a derby hat and a dark suit, with a star on his vest, and big black-handled Colt in a Huckleberry inside his coat. Standing silently around the room were four of his police officers, dressed in white shirts and dark pants, each with a Colt on his hip.

The chief gestured for us to sit. Virgil sat. I leaned my shotgun on the wall by the door and sat beside him.

“Heard ’bout both of you,” he said. “Heard ’bout that thing, too. What’s it fire, grapeshot?”

“It’s an eight-gauge,” I said. “Good for grouse.”

“Or fucking hippopotamuses,” the chief said.

“Them, too,” I said.

“Name’s Amos Callico,” he said. “Thought we should have a chitchat.”

Virgil nodded.

“You’re Virgil Cole,” Callico said.

“I am,” Virgil said. “Big fella here with the eight-gauge is Everett Hitch.”

“I know who he is,” Callico said.

Virgil nodded again.

“What I hear ’bout you is mostly good,” Callico said.

Virgil looked at me.

“Mostly,” he said.

“Probably meant ‘all,’ ” I said.

Callico paid no attention. He took a cigar from a box on his desk, didn’t offer us one, trimmed it and lit it, and got it burning right. The four policemen stood silently, watching us.

“I know your reputation, Cole,” he said. “And I know that you ran the town, ’fore I got here. And I want you both to understand that you don’t run it now.”

“That would be you,” Virgil said.

“And I’ve got a dozen officers to back me,” Callico said.

Virgil didn’t say anything.

“On the other hand, none of them are like you,” Callico said. “I could use couple of gun hands like you.”

Virgil shook his head slowly.

“Pay you fifty a month,” Callico said.

“Nope,” Virgil said.

“Make you a sergeant,” Callico said.

“Nope.”

“You speakin’ for Hitch, too?” Callico said.

“Yep.”

“Why the hell not?” Callico said.

Virgil looked at me.

“You think you’re important,” I said to Callico. “Virgil don’t think anybody’s important. Bad match.”

Virgil nodded.

“That right, Cole?” Callico said.

“ ’ Tis,” Virgil said.

Callico puffed on his cigar and blew some smoke past the lit end. He studied it for a moment.

“So, what are you going to do in town?” Callico said.

“Sit on my porch,” Virgil said. “Drink a little whiskey. Play some cards.”

“That’s all?” Callico said.

“See what develops,” Virgil said.

Callico smoked his cigar some more. Then he looked at me.

“You boys done a nice job when you was in this office,” Callico said. “Bragg and the Shelton brothers and all.”

Virgil nodded. Callico looked at me.

“Heard you killed Randall Bragg ’fore you left town,” Callico said.

“I did,” I said.

“Why?”

“Self-defense,” I said.

“Heard it was over a woman,” Callico said.

“I got nothing to do,” I said, “with what you hear.”

“Was it over a woman?”

I shook my head.

“You know why he killed Bragg?” Callico said to Virgil.

“Bragg come at him with a gun,” Virgil said.

“Why?”

“Have to ask Bragg,” Virgil said.

“Bragg’s dead,” Callico said.

“So he is,” Virgil said.

We all sat and thought about that. Callico nodded slowly.

“Don’t want no trouble from you boys,” he said.

“Don’t plan to give you none,” Virgil said.

Callico looked at me.

“Me, either,” I said.

“I’ll hold you to that,” Callico said.

Virgil stood.

“Nice meeting you,” he said.

He looked around the room at the four policemen.

“And you fellas,” Virgil said.

He turned and left, and I followed him.

On the street, I said to Virgil, “We’re gonna have trouble with him.”

“I believe we are,” Virgil said.

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