The Final Detail Page 73

the gun on him.

"Myron keeps his cell phone on," Win said. "I listen to every word."

Zorra nodded. "Fair enough."

Pat and Myron started to leave.

"Oh, Pat?" Win said.

Pat stopped.

Win's voice was how's-the-weather casual. "If Myron isn't returned, I may or may not kill Zorra. I will decide at the appropriate time. Either way, I will use all my considerable influence and money and time and effort to find you. I will offer rewards. I will search. I will not sleep. I will find you. And when I do, I won't kill you. Do you understand?"

Pat swallowed, nodded.

"Go," Win said.
Chapter 25
When they reached the car, Pat frisked him. Nothing. Then he handed Myron a black hood. "Put this on."

Myron made a face. "Tell me you're joking."

"Put it on. Then lie down in the backseat. Don't look up."

Myron rolled his eyes, but he did as he was asked. His six-four frame wasn't all that comfortable, but he made do. Big of him. Pat got in the front seat and started the car.

"Quick suggestion," Myron said.

"What did you say?"

"Next time you do this, try vacuuming out the car first. It's disgusting back here."

Pat drove. Myron tried to concentrate, listening for sounds that would give him a clue where they were going. That always worked on TV. The guy would hear, say, a boat horn and know he'd gone to Pier 12 or something, and they'd all rush in and find him. But all Myron heard were, not surprisingly; traffic noises: the occasional horn, cars passing or being passed, loud radios, that kind of thing. He tried to keep track of turns and distances but quickly realized the futility. What did he think he was, a human compass?

The drive lasted maybe ten minutes. Not enough time to leave the city. Clue: He was still in Manhattan. Gee, that was helpful. Pat turned off the engine.

"You can sit up," he said. "But keep the hood on." "You sure the hood goes with this ensemble? I want to look my best for Mr. Big."

"Someone once tell you were funny, Bolitar?" "You're right. Black goes with everything." Pat sighed. When nervous, some people run. Some hide. Some grow silent. Some get chatty. And some make dumb jokes.

Pat helped Myron out of the car and led him by the elbow. Myron again tried to pick up sounds. The cooing of a seagull maybe. That too always seemed to happen on TV. But in New York seagulls didn't coo as much as phlegm cough. And if you heard a seagull in New York, it was more likely you were near a trash canister than a pier. Myron tried to think of the last time he had seen a seagull in New York. There was a picture of one on a sign for his favorite bagel store. Caption: "If a bird flying over the sea is a seagull, what do you call a bird flying over the bay?" Clever when you think about it.

The two men walked-where to, Myron had no idea. He stumbled on uneven pavement, but Pat kept him upright. Another clue. Find the spot in Manhattan with uneven pavement. Christ, he practically had the guy cornered.

They walked up what felt like a stoop and entered a room with heat and humidity slightly more stifling than a Burmese forest fire. Myron was still blindfolded, but light from what might be a bare bulb filtered through the cloth. The room reeked of mildew and steam and dried sweat-like the most popular sauna at Jack La Lanne's gone to seed. It was hard to breathe through the hood. Pat put a hand on Myron's shoulder.

"Sit," Pat said before pushing down slightly.

Myron sat. He heard Pat's footsteps, then low voices. Whispers actually. Mostly from Pat. An argument of some sort. Footsteps again. Coming closer to Myron. A body suddenly cut off the bare lightbulb, bathing Myron in total darkness. One more step. Someone stopped directly over him.

"Hello, Myron," the voice said.

There was a tremor there, an almost manic twang in the tone. But there was no doubt. Myron was not great with names and faces, but voices were imprints. Memories flooded in. After all these years his recall was instantaneous.

"Hello, Billy Lee."

The missing Billy Lee Palms, to be exact. Former frat brother and Duke baseball star. Former best bud of Clu Haid. Son of Mrs. My-Life-Is-but-a-Wallpaper-Tapestry.

"Mind if I take the hood off now?" Myron asked.

"Not at all."

Myron reached up and grabbed the top of the hood. He pulled it off. Billy Lee

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