She gripped her door handle with her right hand and with her left she squeezed John's arm.

Suddenly the Chevy was right behind them again.

"Hold on," John said again. He turned off on the next available exit. This put them three blocks short of the beach and near an amusement park. There was twice as much traffic here than at the mall.

"What are we doing now?"

John forced a smile and said, "I have no idea at this point. Just driving."

"I thought you were trying to stay away from people."

"So did I."

Another ram came and pushed them into the car in front of them. It was a van full of children. John did the best he could to steer around the van. They were rammed again and ended up sideways in the grass median. A passing car loaded with teenagers honked a whiny little horn.

"Where'd he go this time?"

John put his head down in the steering wheel. "This is getting crazy and I'm over it. Don't tell me he's gone again."

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"He's gone," Tammy said.

John waited for a break in the traffic and then eased out into the flow. "Well," he said, "keep your eyes open again for the nut job."

Just then a marked police car pulled in behind them and flashed its blue lights once and let out a quick chirp of the siren.

"Another nice addition to this afternoon," the frazzled private eye remarked moodily. "I guess we're getting the police involved now."

"Can't get much worse," Tammy added.

Things did get worse in a hurry. The same car that had rammed John twice came back for a third try. This time he shot in front of the police car and tapped what was left of John's bumper.

Tammy screamed.

"This guy is nuts, Tammy. Look at him."

"Duck! There's a gun!"

The driver of the Chevy shoved a black pistol out of the window.

The policeman ordered the man to put the gun away and pull over, but the chase dangerously mounted.

John kept driving and swerved from side to side to avoid any a stray bullet. He crossed a busy street without even noticing if the light was red or green. He figured that their caravan was making enough commotion to be noticed. It was not long before another black and white joined the chase.

"Hold on," John ordered Tammy. "I want to bail out, but it might be harder for him to hit a moving target."