A Visitation

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        "Prisoner 58369-032, you have a visitor.  When your cell door opens, follow the blue line to the visitor area."


        Wolf hated the intercom system.  They always used his prisoner number instead of his name on it.  Who the hell would be visiting him now?  His dad visited once a month, but he wouldn't be here for another couple of weeks. Wolf didn't have anyone else anymore.


        He knew the drill though.  He was dressed, if a prison orange jumpsuit counted as being dressed, so he just stood up in his cell and waited.  Before long, his cell door opened.  Wolf went out into the hallway, made a left turn, and followed the blue line.  At the end of the hallway, there was a guard in a plexiglass booth, who buzzed him into a tiny chamber at the end of the hall.  Another guard, in a plexiglass booth on the other side, opened the far door of the chamber when the door he'd just passed through was securely locked.


        The little procedure was repeated six more times before Wolf finally reached the visitor area.  There was just one plexiglass booth here, with two guards in it. There was a row of ten visitor booths, each with a locking plexiglass door on the prison side and a plexiglass divider between the prisoner and the visitor sides.  They told him to take visitor booth number six, and buzzed open its door for him.


        It could have been anybody on the far side of the divider, but it was Mitch Flanagan.  The very same cop who'd arrested Wolf three years before, and on whose testimony Wolf had been convicted.  Flanagan was about five feet ten, a good three inches shorter than Wolf.  He was wearing a white buttondown shirt, with his badge case clipped to his pocket, and his brown hair was still cropped short.  Wolf paused for an instant to look at him before he picked up the phone.  The guy looked grim, so this definitely wasn't a social call.


        "Afternoon, Detective Flanagan," Wolf said into the mouthpiece, brushing his own hair back and holding the phone up to his ear.


        "Afternoon, Mister Scudder.  I guess you remember me."  Flanagan's face had worry on it, and embarrassment.


        "I hardly ever forget people, Detective," Wolf said coolly.  A vague, unspoken threat drifted in the air between them.  "What's this visit about?"


        "I'd like to ask you a few questions about Maria Rodrigues."


        Wolf regarded him darkly for a few moments before he answered.  "You better not be yanking my chain here, Flanagan.  Didn't you close that case two years ago?"


        "Yeah, we did.  But lately we found out something that may have something to do with it."


        "What the hell did you find?"


        "I'm sorry, but I don't have permission to talk about it yet.  All I can say is that there's an ongoing investigation, and the death of your wife may be relevant to it.  It's in your best interests to cooperate here."

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