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eight

Sunday, Raylan phoned Joyce from the restaurant in Delray Beach.

The waiter remembers him. He said Harry had a few drinks, paid for the first one and then ran a tab. The reason the guy remembers him, Harry left his money on the table when he went in to use the phone.

Joyce said, Thats when he called and left the message. Said hed call me later, but that was the last I heard.

The waiter said he kept an eye on Harrys money.

Ill bet he did.

No, he said he told Harry, when he was leaving, he ought to be more careful with it.

The guy he was meeting never showed up?

Doesnt look like it. No, but theres a lady hangs around here does tarot card readings?

Joyce said right away, Yes, he mentioned that, and sounded excited about it. Is she there?

Not on Sunday. The waiter said she sat down with Harry and I guess they just talked. She didnt lay out the cards or anything.

But she was with him.

I guess. I dont know how long.

Can you find out?

Listen, Joyce? The waiter said Harry was drinking doubles, throwing them down. I checked with Delray PD and Boca Raton, see if he mightve been picked up.

He wouldve called, Joyce said, Im his one phone call, his bail, his ride home

Unless he didnt want you to know hed messed up again. He couldve called somebody else, one of the guys used to work for him.

It was two days ago, Joyce said. Where is he? Raylan, he calls me every day for something.

Tell me about it, Raylan thought, using his day off to look for a guy he wished would disappear from his life. Joyce, at the same time, saying how much she appreciated his help, sounding so polite, saying if anyone could find Harry He mightve said, What if I dont want to find him? But didnt and there was a silence. He was getting used to silences talking to her.

Her voice came on again, Joyce saying, What if Harry went to see the tarot card lady and she told him I dont know, that he was about to take a trip, go to some exotic place. That would appeal to Harry. I think he might do whatever she said.

You mean made plans to see her later.

Its possible.

Like she told him to go back to Italy, where he wouldnt be bothering anybody.

Joyce said, I think its worth following up, sounding so serious, sounding like that all the time lately. Can you ask around, find out where she lives? Or get her number and Ill call her.

I have her card, Raylan said. Theres a whole stack of them by the cash register.

Joyce said, Youre way ahead of me, arent you?

Ill go see her, find out if Harry had his fortune told. Maybe, as long as Im there, have her tell mine, see whats in my future.

You believe in that?

I dont know-maybe some of it.

She said, Well, youre psychic yourself. You know things no one else does.

It took him a moment to realize what she meant. Still at him. He said, You want to go around on that again? I knew Tommy Bucks had a gun. Ive thought about it since the other night and theres no way I see it any different. I called him out and he knew it. If he didnt pack his suitcase and leave hed be packing a gun. That was his choice.

You called him out, Joyce said. What did you think, you were in a movie?

It caught him by surprise, because he did see it that way sometimes. The idea of giving the guy twenty-four hours

Joyce said, What if he told you, sitting at that table, he didnt have a gun?

She wouldnt let it go.

Would you have shot him?

I dont know if I wouldve or not. Hows that?

The hell with it, let her think what she wanted.

She said, All right, in a different tone of voice, quieter. I wont mention it again.

Was he supposed to be grateful?

Raylan said, Honey, I shot the son of a bitch and killed him and Id do it again, the same way. If you have trouble with that, then you dont know me and theres nothing I can do to help you.

She said, after a moment, Im sorry, her voice even quieter than before.

Raylan waited, looking out at the Sunday brunch crowd on the terrace, not feeling he had any more to say, and there was a silence.

When her voice came on again:

She said, Raylan?

What?

If we knew who owed Harry money, would that help?

Like that, back to poor Harry.

It might.

When I was driving him around, he had names in a ledger hed check off, with the amounts. Then when he called me from where you are and left the message? He said the guy would have sixteen five for him. The one who didnt show up.

He mention his name?

No, only that hes Puerto Rican.

Ill call you after I see the tarot card lady.

Call me at Harrys. Ill go right now and look for the ledger. She said then, Raylan, Im sorry. I really am.

He said, I am, too, without knowing exactly what either of them was sorry about. As soon as hed hung up, though, he felt a sense of relief.


seven | Riding the Rap | c