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Книга Whiplash. Содержание - 13

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Sherlock and Savich sat in wooden chairs across from the ancient desk Bowie had been temporarily assigned in the local police department.

Sherlock said, "I agree with Dillon. Let's get Caskie Royal in here tomorrow and have at him. No more kid gloves like you used today, Dillon, we'll catch him by surprise. Bring on the lawyers, it'll be fun."

Savich said, "If I were his boss, I'd lawyer him up and dare us to connect Blauvelt's death with Schiffer Hartwin." He paused a moment. "You know, I would like to go a couple rounds with Bender the Elder." He smiled a smile that would make the Devil rethink things, Sherlock thought. He continued, "What you found out, Sherlock, about this unexpected profit. I have a gut feeling you're on to something. Unexpected profit. It's worth looking into. I think I'll get MAX started on this. It could be someone in Schiffer Hartwin is involved in something unethical and illegal that's dumped money in their laps, and that's what Alvarez was referring to."

Bowie said, "A windfall profit. I like the sound of that."

Savich said, "I'll call Dice, see if we have any whistleblowers from Schiffer Hartwin who've come forward."

Bowie said, "Since that landmark criminal and civil fine last year of two point three billion dollars levied against Pfizer, I wouldn't doubt it. I wondered how much of that money the six whistleblowers split among them."

"Enough for a whole lot of encouragement," Sherlock said. "Admittedly, though, their lives couldn't have been fun for most of a decade, but in the end, it paid off big-time for them. That two point three billion dollars represents about a year of profits for Pfizer. Do you think it's enough to make some of the drug companies clean up their act?"

Bowie said, "Don't know. I'm rooting for Health and Human Services myself. I know they'll be monitoring Pfizer for the next five years, since no one trusts them to keep to a straight path." Bowie looked down at his watch. "I've got to go. I'll pick you guys up for our date at Chez Pierre, at eight forty-five, okay?"

They watched him dash out of the small makeshift room where he and four other FBI agents were temporarily housed. The Stone Bridge police chief, Clifford Amos, obviously wasn't happy about the feds invading his police station, and the accommodations he'd provided them showed how he felt about it.

Agent Dolores Cliff leaned forward in her ancient creaky chair, behind an even more ancient desk than Bowie's. "Bowie's got to pick up his daughter from school and take her to the new babysitter."


Erin came down on her knees to look Georgie Richards in the face. "You wanna stay with me for a couple of days, Georgie? Your dad and I decided it'd be more fun to stay here rather than me trucking over to your house. What do you think?"

Georgie was looking toward Erin's colorful living room, with bright pillows tossed on the green-and-white-striped sofa, a huge red beanbag in the corner, and framed posters of Degas ballet dancers on the walls. "I don't know," Georgie said, taking a step toward the living room. "Maybe you're not such a good roommate."

"Hey, anyone who can teach smart-mouthed kids how to demi-plié has to be a good roommate."

Georgie said, "You are a good dancer."

"Yep, I can dance up a storm. My grandmother told me my second arabesque was the most graceful she'd ever seen. Hmm, I think she told my mother the same thing. Anyway, maybe I could give you extra pointers. For free. I've got a surprise for you in your bedroom."

"A surprise?"

That got the kid's attention. "All surprises are better if you have to wait awhile."

Georgie was nearly humming with excitement. She'd scored a point on that one, Erin knew, and tried not to smile. Then Georgie said as she touched her fingertips lightly to the leaves of an African violet, "Can you cook?"

"Hard to get, aren't you? Sure, nearly as well as I can dance. Wait'll you taste my Nutcracker Brussels sprouts and Swan Lake cabbage salad."

The little girl grabbed her stomach. "Eeew! Daddy, tell her I can do the cooking, I know some great recipes. Daddy loves them."

Bowie laughed. "Her hot dogs with chili and grated cheese on top and her famous Special K with sliced baked apples stirred in are the best I've ever had."

"That does sound good," Erin said. "Hmm, maybe we could work something out."

"Daddy washes my clothes for me when Glynn doesn't. Will you, Erin?"

"Okay, maybe I could do that."

"And ironing-?"

"That's pushing it, kid. Your dad can iron for you before he goes to bed, how about that?"

"I just don't know, Erin. Daddy says he's got some real heavy stuff to do. I don't know if he'll ever go to bed until he catches these bad guys."

Erin didn't want to, but she looked up at Bowie Richards-Special Agent Bowie Richards, SAC of the New Haven field office-and recognized him for the predator she knew he could easily be. She wasn't fooled for a minute by the thankful father who saw her as his salvation. If only he knew. She'd already cursed herself from here to Bratislava thinking this over. She'd done it for Georgie, but she'd also realized if she was careful, she could work with this. Just maybe when he came over to visit his daughter, she could be subtle enough so he'd never know she was easing information out of him. She could do subtle well, her case successes told her that. The huge ball of fear she'd felt since this morning dissolved a bit in her belly.

She saw Bowie Richards look at his watch. She got to her feet and shook his hand, a big hand, callused. "I'll even iron her clothes, but I draw the line there. Georgie, you've got to make up your own bed."

The look of absolute relief on his face nearly made her laugh. "Georgie's been making her own bed for two years now, haven't you, baby?"

"I'm seven years and six months old now, Daddy, I'm not a baby."

"How could I be so blind? Forgive me." He went down on his haunches and hugged her, breathed her in. "I'll come visit whenever I can, but like I told you, I'm up to my earlobes in a big gnarly mess right now."

"Will you come back for dinner tonight?"

"No, sweetie, I'm sorry. I've got to have dinner with two hotshot FBI agents the bosses sent up from Washington."

"And they need you to show them what to do, right?"

She believed in him absolutely, Bowie thought, looking at that precious face and huge dark blue eyes, her mother's eyes. He nodded. "Yes, sweetie, they need my help."

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