“Ah come on gal, I’m as harmless as I am toothless,” the old man droned. “For all you know, you left your purse in that hole.”
“What do you want?” I asked while checking that my purse was in my passenger seat.
“I see what you’re doing, and I like it. I approve.”
“Good to know. What do you approve of though?”
“That Welsh feller, he comes in there every afternoon. His lips get awful unforgiving after a few sips of Canadian Club. You should stay on him. You’re a reporter, right?”
I rolled down the window. I could smell a suffocating mix of B.O., chew, and whiskey radiating off the guy as soon as the glass started sliding down into the door. I stopped it halfway.
“He comes in most afternoons, sips his medicine, and then starts getting real cocky, not realizing what he’s saying. He thinks because he is all New York Times famous, pipe-smoking, jacket-wearing professor to the world outside of here that he can say whatever he wants, but he lets it slip all the time.”
I looked over at the door of The Filling Station. No movement.
“He talks about the case when he gets drunk?”
“Loose lipped, and based on what that ringtail has told Olivia in there, I’d bet every cent in my bank account that that guy at least had something to do with slaughtering those kids the other day.”
“Just keep asking the right questions, at the right time.”
The old timer gave me a wink and then headed back to The Filling Station. I watched his dirty-assed overalls head away until they slipped back into the dark bar and I peeled out of the parking lot.