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twenty-one

Friday morning Raylan called Reverend Dawn from Miami, gave his name, told her he was there last Sunday for a reading, had stopped by yesterday and was anxious to talk to her again.

She said, I know.

Her voice calm, telling him-the way Raylan heard it-she knew who he was and what he wanted to talk to her about. She didnt try to avoid him. When he asked if he could come by this morning, she said as long as he came an hour or so before noon; shed be leaving then to go to the restaurant. So Raylan got in the Jaguar and headed up 95 in the traffic, the lanes both ways, north and south, strung with cars and pickups, vans, semis, motor homes Otherwise it was a nice sunny day and Raylan felt ready for it. He had on his dark blue suit, the air-conditioning turned up high.

Yesterday afternoon he had stopped by the Sheriffs Office to run Louis Lewis on FCIC, the state computer, and found he had spelled the name right. Lewis comma Louis. Also known as Ibrahim Abu Aziz. Date of birth-Louis three years younger than Raylan. A notation said: Born in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Black male, black hair, brown eyes. Six feet tall, 165 pounds-if they ever had a fistfight theyd be evenly matched. Scar, right arm, not specific. No FBI number. Early charges of importation of marijuana nolle prossed, temporarily dismissed for some reason and never brought up. Grand theft, auto, nolle prossed. Here we go:

A 790.01, carrying a concealed weapon. A 790.16, discharging a machine gun in public, and a 790.19, shooting into or throwing deadly missiles into a dwelling. Which sounded like a drive-by. Convicted on all counts. His sentence wasnt on the sheet-or all the hustles he got away with that Raylan read between the lines-but Louis must have done a few years state time.

So Raylans three suspects were all felons: Warren Ganz, one-time homicide suspect convicted of bank fraud and placed on probation; Bobby Deo, suspected killer for hire, convicted of manslaughter; and Louis Lewis, minor felon until brought up on gun charges and convicted. The question that remained in Raylans mind: which one was in charge? It would appear to be Ganz. But could he handle two ex-cons? Raylan didnt know enough about Louis Lewis to make a valid judgment, so he saw Bobby Deo as the one to look out for.

Later on he picked up Joyce and they went to Joes Stone Crab for dinner. At the table he told her everything he knew to date and his theory that Harry could be in Ganzs house-even though, he admitted, it didnt make much sense.

It did to Joyce. She jumped at the idea, wanting to believe Harry was alive and not buried in a swamp. Raylan had to tell her why he couldnt go in to investigate without permission or a search warrant, and this was the part that didnt make sense to her. If he had no trouble shooting a man seated at a table with him in a restaurant, why couldnt he walk into someones house?

He said to her, Why dont you take my word for it? tired of trying to explain distinctions, the gray areas in what he did for a living.

They picked at their crab claws pretty much in silence after that. He asked why she didnt try the mustard sauce. Joyce said she preferred drawn butter. Would she like another beer? No, she was fine. How about a piece of key lime pie?

He said to her, Were sure polite, arent we?

Joyce didnt bother to answer.


This morning Raylan stopped by the Sheriffs Office to listen to the tape Falco had mentioned, off the wire Dawn was wearing when she met Warren Ganz.

Falco set it up in one of the squad room offices, saying the conversation had taken place right out there-Falco pointing through the glass wall of the office to a row of chairs-Ganz thinking hed been brought in again for questioning. You understand this was Dawns idea, a way she could touch Ganz, their prime suspect in the murder of the woman in Boca, and find out if he did it or not.

Falco started the tape and sat down with Raylan. This was what they heard:


Ganz: You waiting to see the lieutenant?

Dawn: They want to ask me about Mary Ann Demery, the lady who committed suicide? Im Dawn, a friend of hers.

Ganz: No, youre not. Im her friend, youre her fortune-teller.

Dawn: If you say so.

Ganz: Whats going on?

Dawn: What do you mean?

Ganz: You sit down and shake my hand? Whatre we gonna do, get cozy here? You read my mind and I confide in you?

Dawn: I already know things about you.

Ganz: Is that right? From Mary Ann or you look in a crystal ball?


Dawn doesnt answer, Falco said.


Ganz: You read palms?

Dawn: I can. I dont usually.

Ganz: Here, take a look. Tell me what you see and maybe Ill confide in you.

Dawn (following a long pause): Youre egotistical.

Ganz: Where do you see that?

Dawn: Your index fingers longer than your ring finger. Most people, theyre the same length.

Ganz: Amazing.

Dawn: You have trouble paying bills.


Youll notice he doesnt deny it, Falco said.


Ganz: Which ones my life line?

Dawn: This one, curving down.

Ganz: All the way to my wrist. Thats good, huh?

Dawn: The length doesnt mean much.

Ganz: What do you see?

Dawn: A lack of energy.

Ganz: Dont you see anything good?

Dawn: Well, your fate line-youre ambitious, you know what you want. The lines a bit ragged though.

Ganz: You want me to confide now?

Dawn: If you like.

Ganz: What if I tell you Mary Ann didnt commit suicide, she was murdered?

Dawn: How do you know?

Ganz: Its why were here, isnt it? Im a suspect and they want to know what you feel about me, or however you get your messages. If youre any good you know I didnt do it. But what if I tell you I know who did?


The guy isnt dumb, Falco said.


Dawn: Do you?

Ganz: Lets say I know, but I cant tell the people here. Lets say for personal reasons I cant afford to become implicated in any way, the idea I was close to a woman who was murdered. Okay?

Dawn: You want me to tell them who did it.


She isnt dumb either, Falco said.


Ganz: You go in there, you tell them you laid out your magic cards or you touched something Mary Ann gave you Listen to me telling you how to do it. Youre the pro, you see things, right? You turned over a card and there he was. Or you closed your eyes, went into your clairvoyant mode and you actually saw what happened, the guy picking Mary Ann up and throwing her off the balcony. You hear her scream as shes falling. The guy looks down, he turns, and thats when, clairvoyantly speaking, you see his face. You describe the guy to the cops and they go looking for him. Overnight youre famous, the clairvoyant who cracked a murder case.

Dawn: Get my picture in the paper

Ganz: In the paper, in magazines, youre on talk shows. Before you know it theyre lined up to get a reading. Will I ever meet Mr. Right? Is my husband fooling around on me? Pretty soon you have a syndicated column in newspapers

Dawn: What if they find out the guy I describe didnt do it?

Ganz: Then youre fucked. You were gonna go in there and put it on me, and if it turns out I did it, youre a star. You want to work this mental telepathy shit to make a name for yourself. Okay, go ahead, try it. Only Im clean, I wasnt anywhere near Mary Anns place that night. As I said before, if youre any good, if you know what youre doing

Dawn: You said Mary Ann screamed as she was falling.

Ganz: Wouldnt you?

Dawn: She was already dead.

Ganz: They told you that?

Dawn: I told them.

Ganz (after a pause): Are you always right?

Dawn: Often enough. You want a quick reading? I wont charge you.

Ganz: Sure, go ahead.

Dawn: Give me your hand. (long pause) You make a good first impression, you can turn on the charm when you want to, and can talk people into doing things theyd rather not. At least some people. You could make a lot of money in sales, but youd have to work and thats out of the question. So you live by your wits and a high opinion of yourself, for what its worth, and so far it hasnt proved to be worth much at all.


Shes got him down cold, Falco said.


Ganz: But I know what I want and Im ambitious. You saw that in my palm, right? When were through here, what do you say we have a drink?


I think they had that drink, Raylan said, watching Falco reach over to push the rewind button, and got to be pretty good friends. She tell you right away it wasnt Ganz?

She said she didnt think so, but wanted to meditate on it. A couple days later she said she was positive he didnt do it.

After they got to know each other, Raylan said.

Falco was nodding. That was taken into consideration. We know she thought the guy had a lot of money, living in Manalapan.

Anyone tell her he didnt?

Not that I know of.

Why was Ganz your main suspect?

We didnt like anything about him, the guys shifty. We know hed borrowed money from the victim, we see cancelled checks in the amount of two grand, twenty-five hundred, that add up to over twelve thousand. He says he paid her back in cash, if you want to believe that, this born fucking loser-we know he owed bookies in Miami. The theory was, hes in deep, he asks Mary Ann for another loan and she turns him down. The guys desperate, frustrated, they get in a violent argument and he creams her with the bookend, this brass modernistic bull.

The one Dawn identified as the murder weapon, Raylan said, without having seen it.

Right, it was being held as evidence. She did see the other bookend on the shelf; there were two of them. We said, You mean that one? She goes, No, the one that was used has blood on it.

Wasnt it wiped clean?

No prints, no, but minute traces of blood around the base, this wood block the bulls standing on.

What about Ganzs prints?

All over the apartment. Listen to this, even on Mary Anns checkbook. The only other prints belonged to the cleaning woman. Thats another reason we leaned toward Ganz; there wasnt anyone else, unless some guy walked in off the street.

None of Dawns prints around?

Not that I recall.

Wasnt she ever a suspect?

We checked her out. There was no reason to think she had a motive.

Raylan gave that some thought before saying, The two guys that robbed the grocery store, you havent picked them up, have you?

Not that Ive heard, no.

I think I know who they are.

Like you happen to know Ganzs mom?

In a way, yeah, Raylan said. I want to take them federal. If I dont, theyre yours.


twenty | Riding the Rap | twenty-two