Chapter 36

Indira Khariwalla waited for the visitor.

Her office was dark. All the private detection was done for the day. Indira liked sitting with the lights out. The problem with the West, she was convinced, was overstimulation. She fell prey to it too, of course. That was the thing. No one was above it. The West seduced you with stimulation, a constant barrage of color and light and sound. It never stopped. So whenever possible, especially at the end of the day, Indira liked to sit with the lights off. Not to meditate, as one might assume because of her heritage. Not sitting in lotus position with her thumbs and forefingers making two circles.

No, just darkness.

At 10 P.M., there was a light rap on the door. "Come on in."

Scott Duncan entered the room. He did not bother turning on the light. Indira was glad. It would make this easier.

"What's so important?" he asked.

"Rocky Conwell was murdered," Indira said.

"I heard about that on the radio. Who is he?"

"The man I hired to follow Jack Lawson."

Scott Duncan said nothing.

"Do you know who Stu Perlmutter is?" she continued.

"The cop?"

"Yes. He visited me yesterday. He asked about Conwell."

"Did you claim attorney-client?"

"I did. He wants to get a judge to compel me to answer."

Scott Duncan turned away.


"Don't worry about it," he said. "You don't know anything."

Indira was not so sure. "What are you going to do?"

Duncan stepped out of the office. He reached behind him, grabbed the knob, and started closing the door behind him. "Nip this in the bud," he said.