Ben had called Mac and told him to meet him at the Hospital ER entrance. Getting there early, he was dialing his cell as Mac drove up.
“Did you find anything?”
“Nothing. No weapon. No spent shell casings. No sharp objects. No needles or other drug paraphernalia. Not one damn thing. This must have been a professional hit.”
“And what profession might that be?
“Mob ties, organized domestic terrorists, maybe even radical redneck, religious groups.”
“Well, the kids thought they found a drunk Indian, but my online search this morning said he was an Army vet who had recently got hired as a Security Guard at the Lucky Seven Casino in Airway Heights.”
“That’s a different twist. Where does that take us?”
At the ER entrance, the Triage Nurse stopped them again. Ben flashed her his badge and they were sent directly to the Nurses station.
“We need to talk to Nurse Running Eagle again.”
The Supervisor on duty said, “She’s with a patient right now. If you take seat over there by the vending machine you can get your coffee and doughnut. I’ll let her know you’re here when she’s available.”
Coffee in hand and killing time, Mac said,
“Do you think there’s any chance she’s gonna cop to knowing the guy?”
“Probably not. We don’t have any evidence, but that’s one line of questioning I plan to pursue.”
“Her family ties; parents, siblings if any, marriage, divorce, places she’s lived and travels, etc.”
When the skinned shin bike accident she was treating was finally under control, Edna Running Eagle returned to the Nurse’s Station in the ER. Muttering to the Supervisor on duty, she said, “I know it’s late, but I’m taking my lunch break now.
Ben interrupted them both with, “Sorry to interrupt your lunch, Nurse Running Eagle. We want you to stop by the office again. There are a couple more things we’d like to clear up.”
“You know I wasn’t with the boys when they found your victim. I thought you got what you needed from Sean and Randy.”
“We thought we had, too, but some other stuff has come up that has sorta muddied the waters a bit. We need to ask you about your extended family.”
Edna’s hunger and fatigue was getting the better of her social judgment.
“Wait a damn minute. Is this continued interrogation because we live on the reservation?”
“No. Not exactly. Just questions. This is a murder investigation. We have to eliminate as many possibilities as we can in order to limit the pool.”
“ The pool? Am I a suspect?”
“No. We know you were probably at work when the shooting occurred, but we thought you might have some information that could be helpful.”
“That sounds like a fishing expedition. Like you’re trying to find a way to pin something on somebody from the Reservation.”
“No way. It’s just a different line of inquiry.”
“Shooting fish in a barrel is the same as casting a wide net at the falls. You can’t see what you caught until ya drag ‘em in.”
“Alright. OK. You win for now. We’re not taking you in right now. I expect you to drop into my office at your earliest convenience for a few friendly questions. Just don’t leave town.”
Edna, swallowing any further angry words and smothering her smoldering thoughts, grabbed her brown bag lunch and headed for the break room.