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The Final Detail

The Final Detail

Page 15

Myron Bolitar." He pointed to Myron. All eyes turned. Myron stayed very still. "Our investigation shows that Mr. Bolitar has been missing for at least a week, perhaps in the Caribbean, even in the Cayman Islands."

"So what?" Crimstein shouted. "Arrest him if that's a crime."

But Fresh Face was not done. "And next to him is Miss Diaz's friend Windsor Lockwood of Lock-Home Securities." When all eyes turned to Win, he nodded and gave a small regal wave. "Mr. Lockwood was the victim's financial adviser and held the account where the two hundred thousand dollars was withdrawn."

"So arrest him too," Crimstein ranted. "Your Honor, this has nothing to do with my client, except maybe to prove her innocence. Miss Diaz is a hardworking Hispanic woman who struggled her way through law school at night. She has no record and should be freed immediately. Short of that, she has a right to reasonable bail."

"Your Honor, there's just too much cash floating around," Fresh Face said. "The missing two hundred thousand dollars. Miss Diaz's possible connection with both Mr. Bolitar and, of course, Mr. Lockwood, who comes from one of the wealthiest families in the region-"

"Wait a second, Your Honor. First, the district attorney suggests that Miss Diaz has stolen and hidden away this alleged missing money and will use it to run. Then he suggests that she'll ask Mr. Lockwood, who is no more than a business associate, for the funds. Which is it? And while the district attorney's office is busy trying to manufacture some kind of money conspiracy, why would one of the already wealthiest men in the country deem it appropriate to conspire with a poor Hispanic woman to steal? The whole idea is ludicrous. The prosecution has no case, so they've come up with this money nonsense that sounds as plausible as an Elvis sighting-"

"Enough," the judge said. She leaned back and strummed her fingers on the big desk. She stared at Win for a second, then back at the defense table, "The missing money troubles me," she said.

"Your Honor, I assure you that my client knows nothing about any money."

"I'd be surprised if your position were different, Ms. Crimstein. But the facts presented by the district attorney are sufficiently tropblesome. Bail denied."

Crimstein's eyes widened. "Your Honor, this is an out-rage-"

"No need to shout, Counselor. I hear you just fine."

"I strenuously object-"

"Save it for the cameras, Ms. Crimstein." The judge hit the gavel. "Next case?"

Suppressed mumbles broke forth. Big Cyndi started wailing like a widow in a war newsreel. Hester Crimstein put her mouth to Esperanza's ear and whispered something. Esperanza nodded, but it didn't look like she was listening. The guards led Esperanza toward a door. Myron tried to catch her eyes again, but she didn't-or maybe wouldn't-face him.

Hester Crimstein turned and shot Myron a glare so nasty it almost made him duck. She approached him and fought to keep her face neutral. "Room seven," she said to Myron, not looking at him, barely moving her lips. "Down the hallway and to the left. Five minutes. Don't say anything to anyone."

Myron did not bother with a nod.

Crimstein hurried out, already starting with the no comments before she hit the door. Win sighed, took a piece of paper and a pen from his jacket pocket, began to scribble something down.

"What are you doing?" Myron asked.

"You'll see."

It did not take long. Two plainclothes cops accompanied by the stench of cheap cologne made their approach. Homicide division, no doubt. Before they could even introduce themselves, Win said, "Are we under arrest?"

The cops looked confused. Then one said, "No."

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Win smiled and handed him the piece of paper.

"What the hell is this?"

"Our attorney's phone number," Win said. He rose and ushered Myron toward the door. "Have a special day."

They arrived in the defendant's conference room before the anointed five minutes. The room was empty.

"Clu withdrew cash?" Myron said.

"Yes," Win said.

"You knew about it?"

"Of course."

"How much?"

"The district attorney said two hundred thousand dollars. I have no reason to quibble with that estimate."

"And you just let him?"

"Pardon?"

"You just let Clu withdraw two hundred grand?"

"It's his money."

"But that much cash?"

"It was none of my business," Win said.

"You know Clu, Win. It could have been for drugs or gambling or-"

"Probably was," Win agreed. "But I am his financial adviser. I instruct him on investment strategies. Period. I am not his conscience or his mommy or his baby-sitter- or even his agent."

Ouch. But no time for that now. Once again Myron suppressed the guilt and mulled over

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