Fade Away Page 61

“Of course,” Myron agreed. “I was wondering if you could tell me where he is.”

Marty Felder waited a beat. This was no longer a sales pitch meeting. It was now a negotiation. A good negotiator is frighteningly patient. Like a good interrogator, he must above all else be a listener. He must make his opponent do the talking. After several seconds, Felder asked, “Why do you want to know that?”

“I need to speak with him,” Myron said.

“May I ask what this is about?”

“I’m afraid it’s confidential.”

They looked at each other, both faces open and friendly, but now they were two card sharks who didn’t want to show their hands. “Myron,” Felder began, “you have to understand my position here. I don’t feel comfortable divulging this type of information without having at least some hint as to why you want to see him.”

Time to jar something loose. “I didn’t join the Dragons to make a comeback,” Myron said. “Clip Arnstein hired me to find Greg.”

Felder’s eyebrows dropped to half mast. “Find him? But I thought he went into seclusion to heal an ankle injury.”

Myron shook his head. “That was the story Clip told the press.”

“I see.” Felder put a hand to his chin and nodded slowly. “And you’re trying to locate him?”


“Clip hired you? He chose you himself? It was his idea?”

Myron answered in the affirmative. There was a faint smile on Felder’s face now, like he was enjoying an inside joke. “I’m sure Clip already told you that Greg had done this kind of thing before.”

“Yes,” Myron said.

“So I don’t see why you should be all that concerned,” Felder said. “Your help is appreciated, Myron, but it is really not necessary.”

“You know where he is?”

Felder hesitated. “Again, Myron, I ask you to put yourself in my position. If one of your clients wanted to stay hidden, would you go against his wishes or respect his rights?”

Myron smelled a bluff. “That would depend,” he said. “If the client was in big trouble, I’d probably do whatever I could to help him.”

“What sort of big trouble?” Felder asked.

“Gambling, for one. Greg owes a lot of money to some awfully unpleasant fellows.” Still no reaction from Felder. In this case, Myron read it as a good thing. If most people had just heard that a client owed money to mobsters, they would show some sort of surprise. “You know about his gambling, don’t you, Marty?”

Felder’s words were slow, as if he were weighing each one separately with a hand scale. “You are still new in this business, Myron. With that comes a certain enthusiasm that is not always well placed. I am Greg Downing’s sports representative. That gives me certain responsibilities. It is not a carte blanche to run his life. What he or any other client does on his own time is not, should not, and cannot be my concern. For all our sakes. We care about every client, but we are not parental substitutes or life managers. It’s important to learn this early on.”

The Cliff Notes summary: he knew about the gambling.

Myron asked, “Why did Greg withdraw fifty thousand dollars ten days ago?”

Again Felder showed no reaction. He was either beyond being surprised by what Myron knew or he had the ability to shut off any connection between his brain and facial muscles. “You know I can’t discuss that with you—or even confirm that such a withdrawal took place.” He slapped his palms against his thighs again and mounted a smile. “Do us both a favor, Myron. Think about my offer and drop this other matter. Greg will pop up soon. He always does.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Myron said. “He’s in real trouble this time.”

“If you are talking about his alleged gambling debts—”

Myron shook his head. “I’m not.”

“Then what?”

So far, the man had given Myron nothing. Letting on that he knew about the gambling problem was a lay-up. He had realized Myron knew about it. To deny it would make him look either incompetent for not knowing or dishonest for making a strong denial. Marty Felder was shrewd. He would not misstep. Myron tried shifting direction. “Why did you videotape Greg’s wife?”

He blinked. “Pardon?”

“ProTec. That’s the name of the agency you hired. They set up a videotape surveillance at the Glenpointe Hotel. I’d like to know why.”

Felder looked almost amused. “Help me understand this, Myron. First you say that my client is in deep trouble. You claim you want to help him. Then you start making allegations about a videotape. I’m having trouble following you.”

“I’m just trying to help your client.”

“The best thing you can do for Greg is to tell me all you know. I am his advocate, Myron. I am truly interested in doing what’s best for him—not what might be best for the Dragons or Clip or anybody else. You said he was in trouble. Tell me how.”

Myron shook his head. “First you tell me about the videotape.”


There you have it. Top-notch negotiating getting down to basics. Soon they’d be sticking tongues out at each other, but for now both faces remained pleasant. They were playing the waiting game. Who would be the first to crack? Myron ran down the situation in his mind. The cardinal rule of negotiating: Don’t lose sight of what you want and what your opponent wants. Okay. So what did Felder have that Myron wanted? Information on the fifty thousand dollars, the videotape, and maybe some other stuff. What did Myron have that Felder wanted? Not much. Myron had made him curious when he mentioned big trouble. Felder might already know what trouble Greg was in, but he would still want to know what Myron knew. End analysis: Myron needed the information more. He would have to move. Time to up the ante. And no more delicacy.

“I don’t have to be the one asking you these questions,” Myron said.

“What do you mean?”

“I could have a homicide detective ask them.”

Felder barely moved, but his pupils expanded in a funny way. “What?”

“A certain homicide detective is this close”—Myron held up his thumb and index finger close together—“to putting out an APB on Greg.”

“A homicide detective?”


“But who was killed?”

Myron shook his head. “First the videotape.”

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