At the gun shop, Kurt Blackmore was more helpful.
"SVD they said?" he scratched in his beard for a moment.
"They must have seen some markings or something. Can't
tell one of those from any other steel-core NATO round.
Maybe from the rifling marks or something, made 'em think
it came from a Dragunov. I could sell you a box of cartridges
would work fine in a Dragunov or a M40A1, you couldn't tell
the difference. Made in the USA."
I pondered that.
"Maybe some graphite coating, or wax or something." he offered.
"Doubt if you'd find that around here though."
"Have you sold any steel-cores lately?"
"Lately? Doubt it. Not a lot of call for sniper ammo. Wouldn't
want to use it in an indoor range."
I looked around the shop.
"Could be they used one of those gadgets, found out where the
metal came from. Those things they have on TV, they put a sample
in and the computer says what's in it."
I knew what he meant. A gas chromatograph or a mass spectrometer
"They can tell where the metal came from?" I asked.
"On TV they can."
I thought about it. I didn't think they'd had time.
"Unless they already knew about the first bullet." I said aloud.
"What's that?" he asked. I said nothing, thinking. If they had
tested the first bullet then either Murphy had assumed the two
murders were related (not a stroke of genius, given the circumstances)
or he had already matched the bullet on Monday, and didn't want to
tell me until Tuesday. When he had O'Toole with him.
I had a good idea then who O'Toole was. What I didn't get was why
they treated me like the prime suspect if they had already known
about the first murder. I could understand suspecting the husband
as standard operating procedure. But there was nothing connecting
me to the first guy. It didn't make sense.