Part 3, Chapters 13-18 Summary
Bobby Rupp walks among Mr. Clutter’s fruit trees and notices that the place is already seeing the decay of neglect. He visits Babe, Nancy’s horse, which remains in the barn.
Perry and Dick pick up a pair of hitchhikers in Texas, a boy and his sickly grandfather who are on their way to Sweetwater. The boy suggests that they stop and pick up some pop bottles to turn in for refund money. They garner over twelve dollars, and the four of them stop at a diner for a decent meal. Dick tells the boy that Sweetwater is a hundred miles in a different direction from where they are going. Perry realizes this means Dick is tired of the pair and wants to get rid of them.
On December 30, Alvin Dewey is elated. He has just received a phone call from Logan Sanford that Dick Hickock and Perry Smith have been arrested in Las Vegas. Dewey’s wife had been planning to have a party that evening, but Dewey dashes off to Nevada.
Perry and Dick had reached Las Vegas and were riding down the strip. Dick was planning on getting an Air Force uniform and posing as an officer while passing bad checks. He figured that he could get a few thousand dollars that way. He was also planning on ditching Perry; he had grown tired of him. The Las Vegas police spotted the car and recognized the license plate number as being that of a stolen car. The police car came alongside Perry and Dick and pulled them over.
The four KBI agents (Harold Nye, Roy Church, and Clarence Duntz) and Alvin Dewey gather in the interrogation room at the Las Vegas City Jail. Dewey feels that their case is still shaky, so they must proceed carefully. Dick Hickock is brought into the room first. He is asked about having passed bad checks in Kansas City. Willingly, he lists all the places where he wrote bad checks; he has an amazing memory. He gives them some information about his background, including his family history. The KBI agents ask him about his trip to Fort Scott. He says they were unable to find Perry’s sister, even though they inquired at the post office. He then tells the agents that he and Perry picked up a couple of women and spent the night in a motel. They awoke the next morning to find that the women stole money from Perry and left. The agents confront Dick with the fact that they know Perry’s sister never lived in Fort Scott and that the post office there is closed on Saturdays, the day he claims to have gone there. When Nye asks Dick if he heard about the Clutter murders, Dick becomes defensive. Nye tells him there was a living witness. Dick says this is impossible, giving himself away. Dick is taken back to his cell and Perry is brought in.