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"I call on Miss Delilah Street to stand and testify She knows I only needed to touch the backs of her hands on a dowsing rod to dredge up the dead"

I stand

A histle shrieks frouy calls, "The pretty shill in the audience, Montoya Cheap trick"

I can see Ric s ue with his FBI record?" I ask "I’ TV reporter, no shill and no patsy, and I don’t believe in water dowsing"

That gets the groupthe speaker who’d introduced o on, "because the Vegas police dug up the seventy-five-year-old bones of an e to put this delicately for a mostlyrod act as if it had a twenty- it"

The mental picture of therod perform, which is just too, too phallic for bureaucrats The audience quiets as I sit back down

"Most authorities," Ric reminds them, "most people don’t believe anyone can water dowse, or dowse for precious ores and stones, much less the dead Traditionally dowsers favor certain tree woods, like , but lass, or ier if necessary I’ve even doith barbed wire"

A h The audience hashow painful that would bebarbed wire spinning in your palms so hard and fast the point of the Y aims down

Ric nods "Tore entlee two of round where the dowsing rod has indicated it harbors a body, the dead will rise"

Actual gasps fill the rooht scene into life on the screen behind hilance, to reat zo Dead

"This is a night shot of a desert ranch I call the Lazy Z," he explains "I’ a day scene because I don’t want any landmarks to betray its location These are zombies I’ve reclaimed from the traffic in unhuh the corral, led by a poky cowpoke

"Is the horse a zombie?" a smart-ass voice calls from the audience

"No Horses calm feral zombies Consider the ranch a rehab facility for the supernaturally abused Here’s one reason I’ve coht in the trenches of the border wars the US and Mexican governone deht have seen traces of a new and hidden force on the crime front, the Immortality Mob at work in your own cases"

Now the ht have borderline abilities of your own that will aid in your work I’ve co ridicule, to ask you to merely open yourzombies like those I showed you into the US froures froe film can anias is the nexus of this latest illegal trade"

"Isn’t it always?" soain The screen switches fro ones "Here’s sonize a few favorite movie sleuths"

I sure do, and settle back in h as the luminous black-and-white scene plays onscreen

Nick Charles, in his white tie and dark dinner jacket, is leaning on the Inferno Hotel bar, handing aneckline draws a lot more histles from this crowd than my buttoned-up navy-blue career blazer

"I deduced where the body is buried, darling," Nicky drawls, "but I need Asta to dig it up"

"I a Eau de Corpse on Asta and all over our aparthtfully feisty self "You’ll have to take Asta to the groo does its dirty work for you, and you’ll need to visit the groomer too, or there’ll be no treats for the both of you"

Even as chuckles echo through the roo in front of the bar obscures the famous film couple

"Pay no attention to the man in the white suit," Ric says quickly "He wasn’t supposed to be in the film clip"

Snow? The Inferno Hotel owner and albino rock star had been caught on fil up in a conference rooinia?

Ric turns to face the screen "And, by the way, in real life that horned skull you saw first off belonged to a half-demon CPA Okay This isan example of how the Immortality Mob manipulates illusion and reality for its own profit" The film jerks, breaks, resumes

More histles The robot from the silent film Metropolis stands front and center, a curvaceous silver metal woman robot out of a Playboy centerfold

Ric hasn’t revealed the truly fantastic side of his dead-dowsing giftsnot just raising the dead but raising a dead actress off the movie screen in her robot likeness

I want to stand up and explain how it’s all done through mirrors and the power of silver, the silver that can vanquish olves and even vampires sometimes and can noalk characters off the silver screen

Once again I watch Ric raise Brigitte Helm, a dead silent-screen actress in the form of the robot costume that had been molded to her body

People are used to 3-Doff the screen into their midst without the aid of the usual eye devices is even toochairs in their fever to escape the rooe screen, frouess the Cadaver Kid has more than made his point

"Ow!" RIC SAID beside ain

"Delilah! Your flailing elbow almost put my eye out"

A small lamp clicked on from the direction of his voice I stared at his at his naked chest, at his eyes blinking in the light--one espresso-brown, one silver if not disguised by a brown contact lens, as it wasn’t at night--and looked around

Oh We’re not in Quantico anymore, unless an FBI conference room has a double bed

What’s new? Irma, ain

"This isn’t Quantico," I said slowly

"I hope not" Ric’s pupils widened as they got used to the light "You had a uess At least at first"

He braced his head on his hand to turn to ht "We’re in a motel in Cold Creek, Colorado, Del, one that’s a teeny bit more upscale than the one we stayed at on our way out to Kansas fro okay?"