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hauled out his magnum and slammed it into the window.
Brice dived behind a bush as the magnum threw a .44 slug that barely
missed the cop. The .38 barked back and Nick ducked the splinters as the
bullet chipped the window frame.
"Come out, you fool," Brice roared.
"You go to hell," Nick yelled and fired again. "Who tipped you off,
"You left Danson's watch where your flying saucer cracked up!" Brice
snapped another shot at the window.
Flying saucer? Nick blinked. What the hell was that stupid cop talking
"What'd you do with Nick," Brice roared.
Nick let the magnum answer for him, not trusting his voice. In the few
seconds that followed Nick, in his nervous excitement, emptied the
revolver at Brice, but never even grazed him. He cursed and began
thumbing cartridges into the Ruger. He was almost finished, when Nolan
caught onto the maneuver and decided to come in closer. He stood up and
began sprinting toward the house. Nick had just yanked the hammer of the
gun back to fire as Brice came into the open but he never made it.
Suddenly, in the middle of the yard, Detective Lieutenant Nolan Brice
disappeared into thin air! Nick heard him yell for help, but he could
see nothing. The yelling kept going straight up into the air until it
grew faint in the distance.
Nick stared dumbfoundedly at the area where the cop had suddenly faded
out of sight. What the hell was going on in this screwy place? Then he
heard the shout below him and he twisted to stare at the borders of the
small creek. It was the two men from Andy Hocum's gas station - the
blond giant and the sandy haired guy. Panicky, Nick snapped off a shot
and the blond dived for cover.
"The dumb bastard is shooting," the blond yelled to his companion
several yards away. "Let's get the hell out of here, before he hits
He got a brief glimpse of them as they took off through the brush and
snapped a shot at them to hurry them along, just as Beth's car rocked up
the rutty road and braked beside the police car. She leaped out yelling
for him and he went down the stairs to meet her, the gun still in his
Her face was drained of color as she came into the house, the red of her
lips looking even more red against the pale wash of her face. "Nick!
"Oh, my God, Nick! Have you killed him?"
"I couldn't hit him," Nick told her. "I emptied the magnum at him and he
disappeared into the air." His eyes had a wild look in them, "Right into
the air," he added inanely. Everything was so balled up. Everything was
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