Chapter 38

FEW MINUTES AFTER ONE, THE CLOUDS BROKE AND THE half-moon lightened Romey's backyard and garage for a moment. Reggie glanced at her watch. Her legs were numb from squatting. Her back ached from sitting on her tail. Oddly, though, she had become accustomed to her little spot in the jungle, and after surviving the thugs, the cops, and the idiot with the shotgun, she was feeling remarkably safe. Her breathing and pulse were normal. She was not sweating, though her jeans and shirt were still wet from exertion and humidity. Mark swatted and slapped mosquitoes, and said little. He was eerily calm. He chewed on a weed, watched the fence row, and acted as if he and he alone knew precisely when to make the next move.

"Let's go for a little walk," he said, rising from his knees.

"Where to? The car?" "No. Just down the trail. My leg is about to cramp." Her right leg was numb below the knee. Her left leg was dead below the hip, and she stood with great difficulty. She followed him through the brush until they were on the small trail parallel to the creek. He moved deftly through the darkness without the benefit of the flashlight, swatting mosquitoes and stretching his legs.

They stopped deep in the woods, out of sight of the fence rows of Romey's neighbors.

"I really think we should leave now," she said, a bit louder since the houses were no longer in view. "I have this fear of snakes, you see, and I don't want to step on one." He did not look at her, but stared in the direction of the ditch. "I don't think it's a good idea to leave now," he whispered.

She knew he had a reason for saying this. She'd not won an argument in the past six hours. "Why?" "Because those men could still be around here. In fact, they could be close by waiting for things to settle down so they can return. If we head for the car, we might meet them." "Mark, I can't take any more of this, okay? This may be fun and games for you, but I'm fifty-two years old and I've had it. I can't believe I'm hiding in this jungle at one o'clock in the morning." He put his forefinger over his lips. "Shhhhhh. You're talking too loud. And this isn't a game." "Dammit, I know it's not a game! Don't lecture me." "Keep your cool, Reggie. We're safe now." "Safe my ass! I won't feel safe until I lock the door at the motel." "Then leave. Go on. Find your way back to the car, and leave." "Sure, and let me guess. You'll stay here, right?" The moonlight disappeared, aim "uuiu~iuy mv, woods were darker. He turned his back to her and began walking toward their hiding place. She instinctively followed him, and this irritated her because at that moment she was depending on an eleven-year-old. But she followed him anyway, along a trail invisible to her, through the dense woods to the undergrowth, to about the same point where they'd waited before. The garage was barely visible.

The blood had returned to her legs, though they were very stiff. Her lower back throbbed. She could rub her hand across her forearm and feel the bumps from the mosquito bites. There was a thin sliver of blood on the back of her left hand, probably from a sticker in the brush or perhaps a we'ed. If she ever made it back to Memphis, she vowed to join a health club and get in shape. Not that she planned any more ventures like this, but she was tired of aching and gasping for breath.

Mark lowered onto one knee, stuck another weed in his mouth to chew on, and watched the garage.

THEY WAITED, ALMOST IN SILENCE, FOR AN HOUR. WHEN she'd reached the point of leaving him and running wildly through the woods, Reggie said, "Okay, Mark, I'm leaving. Do what you've got to do, because I'm leaving now." But she didn't move.

They crouched together, and he pointed at the garage as if she didn't know where it was. "I'm crawling up there, okay, with the flashlight, and I'm looking at the body, or the grave, or whatever they were digging at, okay?" "No." "It won't take but a second, maybe. If I'm lucky, I'll be right back." "I'm going with you," she said.

"No. I want you to stay here. I'm worried that those guys are watching too, somewhere along the tree line. If they come after me, I want you to start yelling and run like crazy." "No, No way, sweetheart. If you're looking at the body, then I'm looking at the body, and I'm not arguing about it. That's final." He looked at her eyes, four or five inches away, and decided not to argue. Her head was shaking and her jaw was tight. She looked cute under the cap.

"Then follow me, Reggie. Stay low, and listen. Always listen, okay." "All right, all right. I'm not totally helpless. In fact, I'm getting pretty good at crawling." They attacked from the brush on all fours again, two figures sliding in the still darkness. The grass was wet and cool. The gate, still open from the hasty retreat of the grave robbers, squeaked slightly when Reggie hooked it with a foot. Mark glared at her. They stopped behind the first tree, then eased to the next. Not a sound from anywhere. It was 2 A. M., and the neighborhood was silent. Mark, however, was worried about the nut next door with the gun. He doubted the man would sleep well with a thin sheet of plastic over the window, and he could envision him sitting in the kitchen watching the patio and waiting for the snap of a twig before he began blasting away again. They stopped at the next tree, then crawled to the junk pile.

She nodded once, taking small, quick breaths. They crouched and darted to the rear door of the garage, which was slightly open. Mark stuck his head inside. He turned on the flashlight and aimed it at the floor. Reggie eased in behind him.

The odor was thick and pungent, like a dead animal rotting in the sun. Reggie instinctively covered her nose and mouth. Mark breathed deeply, then held his breath.

The only open space in the cluttered room was in the center, where the boat had been parked. They crouched over the concrete slab. "I'm getting sick," Reggie said, barely opening her mouth.

Another ten minutes, and the body would have been out. They had started in the center, somewhere around the torso, and chipped away at each side. The black garbage bags, partially decomposed by the cement, had been ripped away. A ragged little trench had been cut away toward the feet and knees.

Mark had seen enough. He picked up a chisel, one that had been left behind, and jabbed it into black plastic.

"Don't!" Reggie whispered loudly, backing away but still seeing it all.

He ripped through the garbage bag with the chisel, and followed it closely with the light. He made a slow turn, then pulled the plastic with his hand. He bolted upright in horror, then slowly placed the light squarely into the decaying face of the late Senator Boyd Boyette.

Reggie took another step backward, and fell onto a pile of bags filled -with aluminum cans. The racket was deafening in the still air. She scrambled and fought to get up in the darkness, but the thrashing and kicking created more noise. Mark grabbed a hand, and pulled her toward the boat. "I'm sorry!" she whispered, standing two feet from the corpse without thinking about it.

"Shhhhh," Mark said as he stepped onto a box and peeked through the window. A light came on next door. The shotgun could not be far behind.

"Let's go," he said. "Stay low." They eased through the rear door, and Mark closed it behind them. A door slammed at the neighbor's. He hit his hands and knees and slid around the debris pile, past the trees, and through the gate. Reggie was on his heels. They stopped crawling when they reached the brush. They crouched low and scampered like squirrels until they found the trail. Mark turned on the flashlight, and they didn't slow until they were at the creek. He ducked into some weeds, and turned off the light.

"What's the matter?" she asked, breathing hard, terrified, and damned sure not willing to pause in this getaway.

"Did you see his face?" Mark asked, in awe of what they'd just done.

"Of course I saw his face. Now let's go." "I want to see it again." She almost slapped him. Then she stood upright, hands on hips, and started walking toward the creek.

Mark ran beside her with the flashlight. "I was just kidding." She stopped and glared at him, then he took her hand and led her down the bank to the creek bed.

THEY ENTERED THE EXPRESSWAY BY THE SUPERDOME AND headed for Metairie. Traffic was light, though heavier than in most cities at two-thirty on a Sunday morning. Not a word had been spoken since they'd jumped in the car at West Park and left the area. And the silence bothered neither.

Reggie contemplated how close sne a DCCH iu death. Mafia hoods, snakes, crazy neighbors, police, guns, shock, heart attack-it would've made no difference. She was indeed fortunate to be here, racing along the expressway, soaked with perspiration, covered with insect bites, bloody from the wounds of nature, and dirty from a night in the jungle. It could've been so much worse. She'd take a hot shower at the motel, maybe sleep a little, then worry about the next move. She was exhausted from the fear and sudden shocks. She was in pain from the crawling and stooping. She was too old for this nonsense. The things lawyers do.

Mark gently scratched the bites on his left forearm, and watched the lights of New Orleans thin as they left downtown. "Did you see that brown stuff on his face?" he asked without looking at her.

Though the face was now forever seared into her memory, she could not, at the moment, recall any brown stuff, on it. It was a small, shriveled, partially decayed face, and one that she wished she could forget.

"I saw only the worms," she said.

"The brown stuff was blood," he said with the authority of a medical examiner.

She did not wish to pursue this conversation. There were more important things to discuss now that the silence was broken.

"I think we need to talk about your plans, now that this little escapade is behind us," she said, glancing at him.

"We need to move fast, Reggie. Those guys will be back to get the body, don't you think?" "Yes. For once I agree. They might be back now, for all we know." He scratched the other forearm, and placed an ankle on a knee. "I've been thinking.".

"I'm sure you have." "There are two things I don't like about Memphis. The heat, and the flat land. There are no hills or mountains, you know what I mean? I've always thought it would be so nice to live in the mountains, where the air is cool and the snow is deep in the wintertime. Wouldn't that be fun, Reggie?" She smiled to herself and changed lanes. "Sounds wonderful. Any particular mountain?" "Out west somewhere. I love to watch those old 'Bonanza' reruns with Hoss and Little Joe. Adam was okay, but it really ticked me off when he left. Fve watched them since I was a little kid, and I've always thought it would be neat to live out there." "What happened to the tall buildings and the crowded city?" "That was yesterday. Today, I'm thinking about mountains." "Is that where you want to go, Mark?" "I think so. Can I?" "It can be arranged. Right now, they'll agree to almost anything." He stopped scratching and locked his fingers around his knee. His, voice was tired. "I can't go back to Memphis, can I, Reggie?" "No," she said softly.

"I didn't think so." He thought about this for a few seconds. "It's just as well, I guess. There's not much left there." "Think of it as yet another adventure, Mark. A new home, new school, new job for your mother.

You'll have a much nicer place to live, new friends, mountains all around you if that's what you want." "Be honest with me, Reggie. Do you think they'll ever find me?" She had to say no. At that moment, he had no choice. She would run and hide with him no more. They had to either call the FBI and strike a deal, or call the FBI and turn themselves in. This little trip was about to be over.

"No, Mark. They'll never find you. You have to trust the FBI." "I don't trust the FBI, and you don't either." "I don't completely distrust them. But right now they've got the only game in town." "And I have to play along with them?" "Unless you have a better idea."

MARK WAS IN THE SHOWER. REGGIE DIALED GLINT'S NUMber, and listened as the phone rang a dozen times before he answered. It was almost 3 A. M.

"Glint, it's me." His voice was thick and slow. "Reggie?" "Yes, me, Reggie. Listen to me, Glint. Turn on the light, put your feet on the floor, and listen to me." "I'm listening." "Jason McThune's phone number, is listed in the Memphis directory. I want you to call him, and tell him you need Larry Trumann's home phone number in New Orleans. Got that?" "Why don't you look in the New Orleans phone book?" "Don't ask questions, Glint. Just do as I say. Trumann's not listed down here." "What's going on, Reggie?" His words were much quicker.

"I'll call you back in fifteen minutes. Make some coffee. This could be a long day." She hung up and unlaced her muddy sneakers.

Mark finished a quick shower, and ripped open a new package of underwear. He'd been embarrassed when Reggie bought them, but now it seemed so unimportant. He slipped into a new yellow tee shirt, and pulled on his new but dirty Wal-Mart jeans. No socks. He wasn't going anywhere for a while, according to his attorney.

He left the tiny bathroom. Reggie was lying on the bed, shoes off, weeds and grass on the cuffs of her jeans. He sat on the edge of her bed, and stared at the wall.

"Feel better?" she asked.

He nodded, said nothing, then lay beside her. She pulled him close to her body, and placed an arm under his wet head. "I'm all messed up, Reggie," he said softly. "I don't know what happens next anymore." The tough little boy who threw rocks through windows and outsmarted killers and cops and raced fearlessly through dark woods began to cry. He bit his Up and squinted his eyes, but couldn't stop the tears. She held him closer. Then he broke, finally, and sobbed loudly with no attempt to hold it back, no effort at being tough now. He cried without shame or embarrassment. His body shook and he squeezed her arm.

"It's okay, Mark," she whispered in his ear. "Everything's okay." With her free hand, she wiped tears from her cheeks, and squeezed him even closer. Now it was up to her. She had to be the lawyer again, the counselor who moved daringly and called the shots. His life was once again in her hands.

The television was on but the sound was off. Its gray and blue shadows cast a dim light over the small room with its double beds and cheap furniture.

JO TRUMANN GRABBED THE PHONE AND SEARCHED THE darkness for the clock. Ten minutes before four. She handed it to her husband, who took it and sat in the center of the bed. "Hello," he grunted.

"Hi, Larry. It's me, Reggie Love, remember?" "Yeah. Where are you?" "Here in New Orleans. We need to talk, and the sooner the better." He almost said something smart about the hour of the day, but thought better of it. It was important, or she wouldn't be calling. "Sure. What's going on, Reg-gie?" "Well, we've found the body, for starters." Trumann was suddenly on his feet and sliding into his house shoes. "I'm listening." "I've seen the body, Larry. About two hours ago. I saw it with my own eyes. Smelled it too." "Where are you?" Trumann pressed a button on the recorder by the phone.

"I'm at a pay phone, so no cute stuff, okay?" "Okay." "The people who buried the body tried to retrieve it last night, but they were unable to do so. Long story, Larry. I'll explain it later. I'm willing to bet they'll try again very soon." "Is the kid with you?" "Yes. He knew where it was, and we came, we saw, and we conquered. You'll have it by noon today if you do as I say." "Anything." "That's the spirit, Larry. The kid wants to cut a deal. So we need to talk." "When and where?" "Meet me in the Raintree Inn on Veterans Boulevard in Metairie. There's a grill that's open all night. How long will it take?" "Give me forty-five minutes." "The sooner you get here, the sooner you'll get the body." "Can I bring someone with me?" "Who?" "K. O. Lewis." "He's in town?" "Yeah. We knew you were here, so Mr. Lewis flew in a few hours ago." There was hesitation on her end. "How'd you know I was here?" "We have ways." "Who have you wired, Trumann? Talk to me. I want a straight answer." Her voice was firm, yet with a trace of panic.

"Can I explain it when we meet?" he asked, kicking himself in the ass for opening this can of worms.

"Explain it now," she commanded.

"I'll be happy to explain when-" "Listen, asshole. I'm canceling the meeting unless you tell me right now who's been wired. Talk, Trumann." "Okay. We bugged the kid's mother's room at the hospital. It was a mistake. I didn't do it, okay. Memphis did it." "Not much. Your man Clint called yesterday afternoon and told her you guys were in New Orleans. That's all, I swear." "Would you lie to me, Trumann?" she asked, thinking of the tape from their first encounter.

"I'm not lying, Reggie," Trumann insisted, thinking of the same damned tape.

There was a long pause in which he heard nothing but her breathing. "Just you and K. O. Lewis," she said. "No one else. If Foltrigg shows up, all deals are off." "I swear." She hung up. Trumann immediately called K. O. Lewis at the Hilton. Then he called McThune in Memphis.

EXACTLY FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER, TRUMANN AND Lewis walked nervously into the near empty grill at the Raintree Inn. Reggie waited at a table in the corner, far away from anyone. Her hair was wet and she wore no makeup. A bulky tee shirt with LSU TIGERS in purple letters was tucked into a pair of faded jeans. She sipped black coffee, and neither stood nor smiled as they approached and sat opposite her.

"Good morning, Ms. Love," Lewis said in an attempt to be nice.

"It's Reggie, okay, and it's too early for pleasantries. Are we alone?" "Of course," Lewis said. At that moment eight FBI agents were guarding the parking lot, and more were on the way.

"No bugs, wire, body mikes, salt shakers, or ketchup bottles?" "None." A waiter appeared, and they ordered coffee.

"Where's the kid?" Trumann asked.

"He's around. You'll see him soon enough." "Is he safe?" "Of course he's safe. You boys couldn't catch him if he was on the streets begging for food." She handed Lewis a piece of paper. "These are the names of three psychiatric hospitals that specialize in children. Battenwood in Rockford, Illinois. Ridge-wood in Tallahassee. And Grant's Clinic in Phoenix. Any one of the three will do." Their eyes went slowly. from her face to the list. They focused and studied it. "But we've already checked with the clinic in Portland," Lewis said, puzzled.

"I don't care where you've checked, Mr. Lewis. Take this list, and check again. I suggest you do it quickly. Call Washington, get them out of bed, and get it done." He folded the list and placed it under his elbow. "You, uh, you say you've seen the body," he asked, trying to sound authoritative but failing miserably.

She smiled. "I have. Less than three hours ago. Muldanno's men were trying to get it, but we scared them off." "We?" "Mark and I." They both studied her intently, and waited for the precious details of this wild, impossible little story. The coffee arrived, and they ignored both it and the waiter.

"We're not eating," Reggie said rudely, and the waiter left.

"Here's the deal," she said. "There are a few provisions, none of which are in the least bit negotiable. Do it my way, do it now, and you might get the body before Muldanno carries it away and drops it in the ocean. If you blow it, gentlemen, I doubt you'll ever get this close again." They nodded furiously.

"Did you fly here on a private jet?" she asked Lewis.

"Yes. It's the director's." "How many does it seat?" "Twenty or so." "Gobd. Send it back to Memphis right now. I want you to pick up Dianne and Ricky Sway, along with his doctor and Clint. Fly them here immediately. McThune is welcome to come. We'll meet them at the airport, and when Mark is safely on board and the plane is gone, I'll tell you where the body is. How about it so far?" "No problem," Lewis said. Trumann was speechless.

"The entire family enters the witness protection plan. First, they pick the hospital, and when Ricky is able to move, they'll pick the city." "No problem." "Complete change of identification, nice little house, the works. This woman needs to stay home and raise her kids for a while, so I'd suggest a monthly allowance in the sum of four thousand dollars, guaranteed for three years. Plus an initial cash outlay of twenty-five thousand. They lost everything in the fire, remember?" "Of course. These things are easy." Lewis was so eager, she wished she'd asked for more.

"If, at some point, she wants to return to work, then I'd suggest a nice, cushy government job with no responsibilities, short hours, and a fat salary." "We have plenty of those." "Should they desire to move at any time, ana 10 any place, they'll be allowed to do so, at your expense, of course." "We do it all the time." Trumann was smiling now, though he was trying not to.

"She"U need a car." "No problem." "Ricky may need extended treatment." "We'll cover it." "I want Mark examined by a psychiatrist, though I suspect he's in better shape than we are." "Done." "There are a couple of other minor matters, and they'll be covered in the agreement." "What agreement?" "The agreement I'm having typed as we speak. It'll be signed by myself, Dianne Sway, Judge Harry Roosevelt, and you, Mr. Lewis, on behalf of Director Voyles." "What else is in the agreement?" Lewis asked.

"I want your assurance that you'll do everything in your power to compel the attendance of Roy Fol-trigg before the Juvenile Court of Shelby County, Tennessee. Judge Roosevelt will want to discuss a few matters with him, and I'm sure Foltrigg will resist. If a subpoena is issued for him, I want it served by you, Mr. Trumann." "Gladly," Trumann said with a nasty smile.

"We'll do what we can," Lewis added, a bit confused.

"Good. Go make your phone calls. Get the plane in the air. Call McThune and tell him to pick up Glint Van Hooser and take him to the hospital. Get that damned bug off her phone, because I need to talk to her." "No problem." They jumped to their feet.

"We'll meet right here in thirty minutes,"


His third cup of coffee shook each time he slapped the return and rattled the kitchen table. He studied his hurried chicken-scratch handwriting on the back of an Esquire, and tried to remember each provision as she'd spouted it over the phone. If he finished it, it would be, without a doubt, the sloppiest legal document ever prepared. He cursed and grabbed the Liquid Paper.

A knock on the door startled him. He ran his fingers through his unkempt and unwashed hair, and walked to the door. "Who is it?" "FBI." Not so loud, he almost said. He could hear the neighbors now, gossiping about him and his predawn arrest. Probably drugs, they would say.

He cracked the door and peeked under the safety chain. Two agents with puffy eyes stood in the darkness. "We were told to come get you," one said apologetically.

"I need some ID." They stuck their badges near the door. "FBI," the first one said.

Clint opened the door wider, and waved them in. "I'll be a few more minutes. Have a seat." They stood awkwardly in the center of the den as he returned to the table and the typewriter. He pecked slowly. The chicken scratch failed him, and he ad-libbed the rest. The important points were there, he hoped. She always found something to change in his typing at the office, but this would have to do. He pulled it carefully from the Royal, and placed it in a small briefcase.

"Let's go," he said.

AT FIVE -  FORTY, TRUMANN RETURNED ALONE TO THE TAble where Reggie waited. He brought two cellular phones. "Thought we might need these," he said.

"Where'd you get them?" Reggie asked.

"They were delivered to us here." "By some of your men?" "That's right." "Just for fun, how many men do you have right now within a quarter of a mile of this place?" "I don't know. Twelve or thirteen. It's routine, Reggie. They might be needed. We'll send a few to protect the kid, if you'll tell me where he is. I assume he's alone." "He's alone, and he's fine. Did you talk to Mc-Thune?" "Yes. They've already picked up Glint." "That was fast." "Well, to be honest, we've had men watching his apartment for twenty-four hours now. We simply woke them up, and told them to knock on his door. We found your car, Reggie, but we couldn't find Glint's." "I'm driving it." "That's what I figured. Pretty slick, but we would've found you within twenty-four hours." "Don't be so cocky, Trumann. You've been looking for Boyette for eight months." "True. How'd the kid escape?" "It's a long story. I'll save it for later." "You could be implicated, you know." "Not if you guys sign our little agreement." "We'll sign it, don't worry." One of the phones rang, and Trumann grabbed it. As he listened, K. O. Lewis hurried to the table and brought his own cellular phone. He jumped into his chair, and leaned across the table, his eyes glowing with excitement. "Talked to Washington. We're checking the hospitals right now. Everything looks fine. Director Voyles will call here in a minute. He'll probably want to talk to you." "How about the plane?" Lewis checked his watch. "It's leaving now, should be in Memphis by six-thirty." Trumann placed a hand over his phone. "This is McThune. He's at the hospital waiting for Dr. Green-way and the administrator. They've made contact with Judge Roosevelt, and he's on his way down there." "Have you de-bugged her phone?" Reggie asked.

"Yes." "Removed the salt shakers?" "No salt shakers. Everything's clean." "Good. Tell him to call back in twenty minutes," she said.

Trumann mumbled into the phone and flipped a switch. Within seconds, K. O. 's phone beeped. He stuck it to his head, and broke into a large smile. "Yes sir," he said most respectfully. "Just a second." He jabbed the phone at Reggie. "It's Director Voyles. He'd like to speak with you." Reggie took it slowly, and said, "This is Reggie Love." Lewis and Trumann watched like two kids waiting for ice cream.

A deep and very clear voice came from the other end. Though Denton Voyles had never been tond ot the press during his forty-two years as director of the FBI, they occasionally captured a brief word or two. The voice was familiar. "Ms. Love, this is Denton Voyles. How are you?" "Just fine. The name's Reggie, okay." "Sure, Reggie. Listen, K. O. just brought me up-to-date, and I want to assure you the FBI will do anything you want to protect this kid and his family. K. O. has full authority to act for me. We'll also protect you if you wish." "I'm more concerned about the child, Denton." Trumann and Lewis glanced at each other. She had just called him Denton, a feat no one had dared to attempt before. And she was not the least disrespectful.

"If you want, you can fax me the agreement here and I'll sign it myself," he said.

"That won't be necessary, but thanks." "And my plane is at your disposal." "Thank you." "And I promise that we'll see to it that Mr. Fol-trigg has to face the music in Memphis. We had nothing to do with the grand jury subpoenas, you understand?" "Yes, I know." "Good luck to you, Reggie. You guys work out the details. Lewis can move mountains. Call me if you need me. I'll be at the office all day." "Thank you," she said, and handed the phone back to K. O. Lewis, the mountain mover.

The assistant night manager of the grill, a young man of no more than nineteen with a peach-fuzz mustache and an attitude, walked to the table. These people had been here for an hour, and from all indications they had set up camp. There were three phones in the center of the table. Some papers were lying about. The woman wore a sweatshirt and jeans. One of the men wore a cap and no socks. "Excuse me," he said curtly, "can I be of assistance?" Trumann glanced over his shoulder, and snapped, "No." He hesitated, and took a step closer. "I'm the assistant night manager, and I demand to know what you're doing here." Trumann snapped his fingers loudly, and two gentlemen reading the Sunday paper at a table not far away jumped to their feet and whipped badges from their pockets. They stuck them into the face of the assistant night manager. "FBI," they said together as they each took an arm and led him away. He did not return. The grill was still deserted.

A phone rang, and Lewis took it. He listened carefully. Reggie opened the Sunday New Orleans paper. At the bottom of the front page was her face. The picture was taken from the bar registry, and it was next to Mark's fourth-grade class photo. Side by side. Escaped. Disappeared. On the run. Boyette and all that. She turned to the comics.

"That was Washington," Lewis reported as he placed the phone on the table. "The clinic in Rockford is full. They're checking on the other two." Reggie nodded and sipped her coffee. The sun was making its first efforts of the day. Her eyes were red and her head was hurting, but the adrenaline was pumping. With a little luck, she would be home by dark.

"Look, Reggie, could you give us an idea how long it'll take to get to the body?" Trumann asked with great caution, tie aian t wam iu upset her. But he needed to start planning. "Mul-danno's still out there, and if he gets it first, we're all up a creek." He paused and waited for her to say something. "It's in the city, right?" "If you don't get lost, you should be able to find it in fifteen minutes." "Fifteen minutes," he repeated slowly, as if this were too good to be true. Fifteen minutes.