The Pace Picks Up
MacGowan comes bearing important news. Jo Summer has been to see him, asking for directions to the town of Traverse, which apparently is where Bozey is waiting with the hijacked truck. (Macdonald was always a careful plotter—by making Jo his granddaughter he gives MacGowan a good reason to be interested in what happens.) It’s a narrow mountain road to Traverse, but it’s passable for a big truck if driven carefully. When Archer asks MacGowan to draw him a map, the old man refuses—he insists on going along to rescue his granddaughter, bringing along his hunting rifle.
As Archer and MacGowan are on the mountain road to Traverse a filling station attendant tells them that a woman answering Jo’s description, driving a sports car (the MG stolen from Kerrigan’s motel) passed by heading that direction several hours before.
After some miles of torturous mountain road they encounter Jo driving the MG coming back from Traverse.
- Jo has been beaten and repeatedly raped by the men buying the liquor from Bozey.
- There were three of them, and before raping her they took Bozey’s gun away from him and beat him up.
- Jo managed to sneak away while they were busy loading the truck. She has the stolen money from the bank robbery in the car.
- She admits that she stole the money from Kerrigan’s motel office after she found him dead.
- She is surprised to learn that the money can’t be spent, which undercuts the D.A.s theory that she was simply bait.
- She knows more about the hijacking than she is willing to admit, but she tells them that Tony Aquista followed Anne Meyer to the Lake Placida cabin Saturday and saw Anne with another man that night.
- When Aquista went back to the cabin Sunday and looked through the window again, Anne was dead on the floor.
- Don Kerrigan drove to the cabin Monday, found the body and disposed of it in the desert.
- Bozey followed Kerrigan out into the desert and brought him back to Las Cruces afterwards.
A Bloody Conclusion to the Hijacking
Leaving the MG in the road, Archer and MacGowan continue to Traverse. They find the three thugs in the process of transferring the last of the liquor to a van. Archer and MacGowan open fire, killing one of them and wounding another. The two survivors drive away in the van, headed back up the mountain road toward Las Cruces.
Bozey is there, badly beaten but able to answer questions.
- Bozey offers to set up Archer in criminal enterprises in Las Cruces and assures him that the sheriff will leave him alone because he has something on him that involves Anne Meyer.
- Archer demands that Bozey lead him to her body.
- While they are talking they hear an explosion in the distance; the laden van, probably being driven too fast, came upon the MG blocking the road and went over the edge.
- It is morning before they reach the spot in the desert where Kerrigan left Anne’s body. It is in the trunk of her car, with a bullet wound in the chest. The heel of one of her shoes is missing.
The Beginning of the End
- An autopsy back at the courthouse soon establishes that she was shot with a .38 and that she has been dead since the previous Sunday, just as Tony Aquista said.
- Although the D.A. is anxious to hang all the killings on Bozey, Archer continues to insist that he could not have killed anyone except possibly Aquista. He points out that Church let the hikacked truck pass on the day of the theft and that he must have had a reason.
- After a long interrogation, Bozey tells what he knows about the hijacking. He says that he waited at the spot Kerrigan told him to wait; the truck went past and stopped half a mile down the road. By the time he got to the truck it was empty. He saw Tony Aquista driving off in a car with a woman who appeared to be Anne Meyer—which he admits doesn’t seem possible because she had already been dead for several days.
- Forensics confirms what we suspect—that all three victims were killed by the same .38 revolver that Meyer had loaned to his daughter Anne.