Книга EchoPark. Страница 94
Bosch took two steps toward the flag. He reached forward, grabbed it by the edge and ripped it down.
In the wall, three feet off the ground, was a tunnel entrance. About a dozen concrete blocks had been removed to create an opening four feet square and the excavation into the hillside continued from there.
Bosch crouched to look into the opening from the safety of the right side. The tunnel was deep and dark, but he saw a glimmer of light thirty feet in. He realized that the tunnel made a turn and that there was a source of light around the bend.
Bosch leaned closer and realized he could hear a sound from the tunnel. It was a low whimpering. It was a terrible sound but it was beautiful just the same. It meant that no matter what horrors she had experienced through the night, the woman Waits had abducted was still alive.
Bosch reached back over to the workbench and picked up the shiniest flashlight he saw. He turned it on. It was dead. He tried another and got a weak beam of light. It would have to do.
He flashed the beam into the tunnel and confirmed that the first leg was clear. He took a step toward the tunnel.
He turned and saw Rachel in the doorway.
“Backup’s on the way!” she whispered.
Bosch shook his head.
“She’s in there. She’s alive.”
He turned back to the tunnel and flashed the light in once more. It was still clear up to the turn. He turned the light off to conserve it. He glanced back at Rachel and then stepped into the darkness.
BOSCH HESITATED A MOMENT in the mouth of the tunnel to let his eyes adjust. He then started moving. He didn’t have to crawl. The tunnel was large enough for him to move through in a crouch. Flashlight in his right hand and gun up in his left, he kept his eyes on the dim light ahead. The sound of the woman crying grew louder as he moved forward.
Ten feet into the tunnel the musty smell that he had noticed outside turned into the deeper stench of decay. As rancid as it was, it was not something new to him. Almost forty years before, he had been a tunnel rat with the U.S. Army, taking part in more than a hundred missions in the tunnels of Vietnam. The enemy sometimes buried their dead in the clay walls of their tunnels. That hid them from sight but the odor of decay was impossible to hide. Once it got into your nose it was equally impossible to forget.
Bosch knew that he was headed toward something horrific, that the missing victims of Raynard Waits were ahead somewhere in the tunnel. This had been the destination on the night Waits was pulled over in his work van. But Bosch couldn’t help but think that maybe it was his own destination as well. He had come many years and many miles but it seemed to him that he had never really left the tunnels behind, that his life had always been a slow movement through darkness and tight spaces on the way to a flickering light. He knew he was then, now, and forever a tunnel rat.
His thigh muscles burned from the strain of moving in a crouched position. Sweat began to sting his eyes. And as he got closer to the turn in the tunnel Bosch saw the light changing and rechanging and knew that this was caused by the undulation of a flame. Candlelight.
Five feet from the turn Bosch slowed to a stop and rested on his heels as he listened. Behind him, he thought he could hear sirens. Backup on the way. He tried to concentrate on what could be heard from the tunnel ahead but there was only the intermittent sound of the woman crying.
He raised himself up and started forward again. Almost immediately the light ahead went out and the whimpering took on a new energy and urgency.
Bosch froze. He then heard nervous laughter from ahead, followed by the familiar voice of Raynard Waits.
“Is that you, Detective Bosch? Welcome to my foxhole.”
There was more laughter and then it stopped. Bosch let ten seconds go by. Waits said nothing else.
“Waits? Let her go. Send her out to me.”
“No, Bosch. She’s with me now. Anybody comes in here, I’ll kill her on the spot. I’ll save the last bullet for myself.”
“Waits, no. Listen. Just let her come out and I will come in. We’ll trade.”
“No, Bosch. I like the situation the way it is.”
“Then what are we doing? We need to talk and you need to save yourself. There’s not a lot of time. Send the girl out.”
A few seconds went by and then the voice came out of the darkness.
“Save myself from what? For what?”
Bosch’s muscles were on the verge of cramping. He carefully lowered himself to a seated position against the right side of the tunnel. He was sure that the candlelight had been coming ahead from the left. The tunnel turned to the left. He kept his gun up but was now employing a cross-wrists bracing with the flashlight up and ready as well.
“There’s no way out,” he said. “Give it up and come out. Your deal is still in play. You don’t have to die. Neither does the girl.”
“I don’t care about dying, Bosch. That’s why I’m here. Because I don’t fucking care. I just want it to be on my own terms. Not the state’s or anybody else’s. Just mine.”
Bosch noticed that the woman had gone silent. He wondered what had happened. Had Waits silenced her? Had he just…?
“Waits, what’s wrong? Is she all right?”
“She passed out. Too much excitement, I guess.”
He laughed and then was silent. Bosch decided that he needed to keep Waits talking. If he was engaged by Bosch he would be distracted from the woman and what was assuredly being planned outside the tunnel.
“I know who you are,” he said quietly.
Waits didn’t take the bait. Bosch tried again.
“Robert Foxworth. Son of Rosemary Foxworth. Raised by the county. Foster homes, youth halls. You lived here with the Saxons. For a time you lived at the McLaren Youth Hall out in El Monte. So did I, Robert.”
Bosch was met with a long silence. But then the voice came quietly out of the darkness.
“I’m not Robert Foxworth anymore.”
“I hated that place. McLaren. I hated them all.”
“They closed it down a couple years ago. After some kid died in there.”
“Fuck them and fuck that place. How did you find Robert Foxworth?”
Bosch felt a rhythm building in the conversation. He understood the cue Waits was giving by speaking of Robert Foxworth as someone other than himself. He was Raynard Waits now.
“It wasn’t that hard,” Bosch answered. “We figured it out through the Fitzpatrick case. We found the pawn slip in the records and matched birth dates. What was the heirloom medallion that had been pawned?”
There was a long silence before an answer.
“It was Rosemary’s. It was all he had from her. He had to pawn it and when he went back to get it, that pig Fitzpatrick had already sold it.”
Bosch nodded. He had Waits answering questions but there wasn’t a lot of time. He decided to jump to the present.
“Raynard. Tell me about the setup. Tell me about Olivas and O’Shea.”
There was only silence. Bosch tried again.
“They used you. O’Shea used you and he’s going to just walk away from it. Is that what you want? You die here in this hole and he just walks away?”
Bosch put the flashlight down so he could wipe the sweat out of his eyes. He then had to feel around on the floor of the tunnel to find it again.
“I can’t give you O’Shea or Olivas,” Waits said in the darkness.
Bosch didn’t get it. Was he wrong? He doubled back in his head and started at the beginning.
“Did you kill Marie Gesto?”
There was a long silence.
“No, I didn’t,” Waits finally said.
“Then how was this set up? How could you know where-”
“Think about it, Bosch. They’re not stupid. They would not directly communicate with me.”
Bosch nodded. He understood.
“Maury Swann,” he said. “He brokered the deal. Tell me about it.”
“What’s to tell? It was a setup, man. He said the whole thing was to make you a believer. He said you were bothering the wrong people and had to be convinced.”
“He didn’t tell me that.”
“This is Maury Swann saying this?”
“Yes, but it doesn’t matter. You can’t get to him either. This is communication between a lawyer and his client. You can’t touch it. It’s privileged. Besides, it would be my word against his. That won’t go anywhere and you know it.”
Bosch did know it. Maury Swann was a tough lawyer and a respected member of the bar. He was also a media darling. There was no way to go after him with just the words of a criminal client-and a serial killer at that. It had been a masterstroke by O’Shea and Olivas to use him as the go-between.
“I don’t care,” Bosch said. “I want to know how it all went down. Tell me.”
A long silence went by before Waits responded.
“Swann went to them with the idea of making a deal. My clearing the books in exchange for my life. He did this without my knowledge. If he had asked me I would have said, don’t bother. I’d rather take the needle than forty years in a cell. You understand that, Bosch. You’re an eye-for-an-eye guy. I like that about you, believe it or not.”
He ended it there and Bosch had to prompt him again.
“So then what happened?”
“One night in the jail, I was taken to the attorney room and there was Maury. He told me there was a deal on the table. But he said it would only work if I threw in a freebie. Admit to one I didn’t do. He told me that there would be a field trip and I would have to lead a certain detective to the body. This detective had to be convinced, and leading him to the body would be the only way to do it. That detective was you, Bosch.”
“And you said yes.”
“When he said there would be a field trip, I said yes. That was the only reason. It meant daylight. I saw a chance at daylight.”
“And you were led to believe that this offer, this deal-that it came directly from Olivas and O’Shea?”
“Who else would it come from?”
“Did Maury Swann ever use their names in connection with the deal?”
“He said this is what they wanted me to do. He said it came directly from them. They would not make a deal if I didn’t throw in the freebie. I had to throw in Gesto and take you to her or there was no fucking deal. You get it?”
“Yeah, I got it.”
He felt his face getting hot with anger. He tried to channel it, put it aside so that it was ready to be used, but not at this moment.
“How did you get the details you gave me during the confession?”