The Police Detective motioned toward the door and Nan picked up her briefcase and began walking with his urging hand on her back. “Oh, oh, oh.”
“Huh?” The officer stopped at Nan’s words.
“The blood, the blood. Don’t you see?” She turned quickly and headed back into the room where two uniformed police officers and another detective were squatting next to a gun shot victim’s body. Nan, was a reporter for the Herald Bagatelle, a local competing Newspaper in New Orleans. After venturing into the scene she was escorted out of the room by the detective walking at her side.
“See what?” The young detective turned and rushed to catch up with Nan.
Nan crossed the threshold of the tiny office and was about to come near the victim when a police officer caught her arm.
“Let me go, look.” Nan pointed at the blood flowing across the floor.
“It’s blood.” The uniformed officer tightened the grip on her arm.
“Yes, yes, it’s blood, but it’s moving. Call the EMTs, Otis is alive.”
The swatting detective put two fingers the victim’s throat. “She’s right, there’s a slight pulse. It wasn’t there while ago.”
The detective with Nan quickly dialed his cell phone. “Forget the coroner, get EMTs here fast.”
Nan gave another pull on the officer’s grip. “Let me go, please.”
“Aw, come on, I won’t move,” she tried her sad face, but the officer looked at the detective standing with them and Nan guessed the detective shook his head no.
“Nope, I think they still want you to go down town.”
“But, at least let me pray for Otis.” Nan begged.
The policeman adjusted his grip. “Pray here.”
Nan dipped her chin. “Lord, the man in pain before me, lay your hand of grace upon him. I pray that you would give him another day, another moment to know you, to know your love and heading power. Precious savior help Otis in his time of need. Thank you Jesus.” The officer’s grip softened. “In Christ’s Holy name I pray.” Amen.
The officer whispered, “amen.”
The uniformed officer next to Otis knelt and spoke directly in his ear. “Who did this to you?”
Otis didn’t respond. The detective picked up Otis’s weathered hand. "I think his hand feels warmer."
Nan noted that there were no adornments to the hand or wrist. Days of living on the street made his skin appear to be a chalky color.
Minutes later the EMT’s rushed into the room and took over attending to Otis.
The kneeling detective walked up to Nan. “Ma’am, it’s a good thing you noticed the moving blood. When we got here he wasn’t breathing and I couldn’t find a pulse.”
“Understandable.” Nan figured it was better to act consolatory.
The detective nodded over his shoulder. “If we can get him well enough to say something we will have a case and you will have a bit more of a story to follow.”
“Well, I hate for Otis, but that will be nice to have an easy story. I really wasn’t looking forward to looking at books of pictures.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” he chuckled. “You will still get to look at the pictures.”
A gurney pushed past the two detectives and Nan. Then with the help of the other uniformed officer the two EMT’s moved Otis to a back board before lifting him onto the rolling bed.
When they raised the stretcher to roll it out Nan touched Otis’s foot. “I’ll pray for you.”
A soiled finger extended from the bed and seemed to point at Nan.
The detective stared at Nan. “I think he is indicating you.” He moved closer to Nan. “I asked him if he knew who shot him, and now he is pointing at you.”
“Miss Machow. I think we better go down town indeed. We better find out what you were doing down here so fast. Maybe he is saying you did this to him.”
Nan jerked her head around. “Huh?”
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