The woman answered the door carrying a bucket of raw vegetables. Ready to feed the pigs. She scowled at him. “What you want?” she asked.
Mac tried his folksy manner. “Ma’am we’re still questioning Dan. If you could give me some background on his movements this last week or so, we might be able to speed up the process and eliminate him from our enquiries.”
She put down her bucket. Frowned suspiciously. “Enquiries into what?” she asked.
Mac decided to be blunt. “He’s a murder suspect. Two homicides in Longfield last week.”
She laughed. “Dan? You got to be kidding me.”
Mac shook his head. “Ma’am he has an unhealthy interest in sexually molesting young women. You included.”
The woman frowned. “I think you and me need to have a little talk. Inside.” She gestured for him to follow her, and told him to take a seat while she made coffee.
Mac sat down in an old worn-out armchair resting on a threadbare carpet that smelled of manure, and gazed around the living room. Pictures of wild birds hung from the walls, a real log fire, a dining table and two chairs, an untidy assortment of odds and ends scattered around. In his estimation, a budget life style.
Yvonne, the woman, brought out two mugs of coffee and sat down on the carpet facing Mac. She carefully put her mug beside her, and brought Mac up to date on her life history at the farm. “Like I said, with my husband away for weeks on end, a girl gets lonely and needs some company. Since Dan got into town, we’ve been at it non-stop. That is, when he’s not needed at the stadium. I need him to sexually molest me. He must be worn out by now.”
Mac thoughtfully sipped his coffee from the side of his cup that didn’t have a chip. That’s probably why it took them so long to get a sperm sample.
“So you can account for his movements over the last two weeks?” he said.
She laughed. “Believe me, detective, he has some mighty fine movements, that’s for sure. Must be the operation that did it.”
Mac raised his eyebrows. “Operation?”
“Yeah, while he was in hospital he had a vasectomy. Thought it would cure his urges, but it only made it worse.” She shrugged. “He ain’t going to produce any offspring now, that’s for sure.”
Mac nearly dropped his cup. “We sent a sperm sample off for test,” he replied. Like he didn’t believe what he was hearing. How had they missed that?
She laughed again. Where you been mister? He can produce seminal fluid like it was Niagara falls, but he fires blanks.”
Mac stood up and put his half finished cup on the table. “Ma’am, I need you to come down the precinct and make a statement. Like now.”
She looked up at him, smiling. A suggestive look on her face. “You got a good body from where I’m sitting. Do you want some action, first?” Arching her back and making it clear what was on offer.
Six months ago before he met Katie, Mac might have taken her up on it. A few weeks ago he might have considered it. But not after that morning’s romp with Katie. No way. He shook his head. “Sorry, ma’am. It might prejudice the investigation.” Just like the book says.
She was still in there, unbuttoning her overalls. “You wanna watch while I change?”
Mac turned away and moved to the door. “I’ll wait in the car,” he replied.
Yvonne was a voluble witness and certainly not inhibited. Her statement ran into several pages. Mostly uncensored, as she described her activities with Dan Shepherd. And then she started to rant about her husband. Wished she’d never set eyes on him, but was stuck in a financial hole.
“Where is your husband now?” asked Mac.
“Out in some field, hiding away probably. So he don’t scare the wildlife. I don’t ask. He calls me at night, sometimes.”
Mac had a sudden premonition. “He notice anything unusual, this week?”
“Like gunshots, or maybe limos being driven off road.”
She shook her head. “He ain’t called for a couple of days. Some fly-by-night bird he’s watching. But he records everything; date, time, weather conditions, even when he scratches his scrotum. Bores me to death.” She looked at him. “You want me to ask him, next time he calls?”
It was a long shot, but Mac gave her his card and ushered her to the door. “Yeah, you do that,” he replied. He smiled his James Garner smile. “My name’s Mac. Call me, ok?”
“You got any hard cop going to give me a ride?” she asked. “Someone like you Mac?” Looking all innocent like.
Mac grinned. “Sure, I’ll rustle one up especially for you,” he replied.
At the next interview break, Mac took Elmer to one side and updated him on Yvonne’s statement. “Take a break and get your ass over to the lab, pronto. See if her story stacks up. I’ll deal with Bernstein.”
“That lawyer’s a right pain in the ass,” said Elmer. “Anything’s better than him complaining non-stop.”
Mac gave him a friendly tap on the arm. “Keep this under wraps, buddy. We don’t want to start an almighty panic.” He looked at his watch. One thirty. Time was running out.